[SOLVED] Make a snapshot of the system?

miha2

Distinguished
Aug 14, 2009
525
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18,995
Hi all,

Now, I know what you might think: I want to just make an image of the current state of the OS with all programs and documents and everyting... but no, what I want is something different.

So, imagine for a moment that you are working on something important, and have a ton of programs open, and also, you have a ton of tabs open in your browser's incognito mode. And then the power goes off. And you lose basically everything that you had open. As you had too many programs open, you don't remember what programs were working and what documents were open. Now, with most paid programs, like MS Word or maybe Photoshop, those programs have an autosave, which you may want to set up yourself... (But that's another story. Let's get back on track.) But with lots and lots of other programs, they don't have that option. And even if they do... If the autosave last saved 20 minutes ago and since then you made a lot of changes, all of it would be gone...

Or the power goes off in the middle of the night, and you don't remember which tabs were open and so on and so forth...

Basically, is there a way to make a snapshot, just like that of a VM, so that when the power goes down, and you saved the state, like, a minute before, it would restore upon restart or upon request? I usually have a lot of everything open, and I may need any of it at any moment, and so I usually don't close the tabs or programs or... etc. So if there was such a way, that would be cool. I have a hard drive where I can "put" the state, so that it would reopen.

I'm sorry if I'm not clear... Basically, if you know how the VMs save the current state, that's what I'm after, but for the host OS itself. If that is possible at all.

Let me know if you need more info to understand what I'm talking about.
 
Solution
It seems you're looking for magical auto prediction.

At some point, the system state will be what it is in the past.
When the power goes off...all you can do is revert to whatever and however you saved it last.

And open programs and unsaved data? That lives in RAM.
Which is volatile...power goes off, what is in RAM is lost.

For instance, the autosave you reference.
20 minutes ago, great. You get that doc as it was 20 minutes ago.

Trying to save every 2 seconds (or 1 minute), in prep for a potential power loss right now....that would bring your system to a crawl.

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
It seems you're looking for magical auto prediction.

At some point, the system state will be what it is in the past.
When the power goes off...all you can do is revert to whatever and however you saved it last.

And open programs and unsaved data? That lives in RAM.
Which is volatile...power goes off, what is in RAM is lost.

For instance, the autosave you reference.
20 minutes ago, great. You get that doc as it was 20 minutes ago.

Trying to save every 2 seconds (or 1 minute), in prep for a potential power loss right now....that would bring your system to a crawl.
 
Solution

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
When power goes off everything in RAM is lost.

Some information may be temporarily stored in the page file (on a drive) but that can vary with what the OS needs to be doing at any given instant.

All in all you are probably using only 20% of the applications etc. that you have 80% of the time.

You could probably create some script files that will reopen and restore most of that on the next restart. Then have that script launch via Task Manager when the computer successfully boots.

Do you have lots of power outages?

If so consider getting a UPS so if power goes off you have a few minutes to gracefully shut down and minimize potential data lost. Maybe make a couple of quick notes as to where you are "leaving things off".
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
As far as power going off "in the middle of the night"....my system does an Incremental Image every night.
Each drive individually, at set hours.

For instance, the C drive at 01:00.
If the power fails at 01:20...no problem. I've not lost anything.
If it were to go off at 00:45....well, I'd only get the state it was the night before.
 
is there a way to make a snapshot...so that when the power goes down...it would restore upon restart or upon request?
not with any built-in or separate applications in Windows.

you will just have to start making your own backups more often and saving what you're doing more often before you leave the system unattended.

if also worried about these saved files and backups being lost make sure to save them all to a separate disk.