Driver reinstall after System Restore?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Steve S. from Kentville, Nova Scotia writes:

" Dear Dennis,

Why is it desirable to backup windows driver files when I can use Windows System Restore to go back to a previous state of my computer's configuration in which everything was working fine? Is it because System Restore does not always restore all the necessary drivers? "

My Response:

As far as I understand, the Windows System Restore feature focuses primarily on restoring a working copy of the Windows Registry. As programs, operating system updates, and drivers are installed to a system, the Windows Registry is updated. Over time, Windows will automatically archive and set aside a copy of the Windows Registry incase you need to run a System Restore.

To answer your question: any changes made to your system -- including the Registry and device driver details -- will be lost (up until the point of your last System Restore).

Based on what I've read while surfing the 'net and what I've heard from others, the System Restore feature seldomly resolves deeply rooted issues and isn't at all helpful in a major disaster situation (due to a virus attack or a corrupt hard drive). Only disk imaging software is capable of offering true system protection, which is why I periodically harp on the issue.

To recap, here are some key differences of System Restore vs Roxio GoBack and Disk Imaging:

  • Windows System Restore will only revert to a previously archived Windows Registry. If your system is infected with a virus or Spyware, the Windows System Restore will do little to help (if at all). On the same note, a program called Roxio GoBack works much the same way Windows System Restore operates, except it offers a few more options. Roxio GoBack, however, is *definitely not* a disk imager.
  • When creating a disk image, a backup is created into a single file, called the image file. Disk imaging is different from other backup software because it copies the hard drive's raw data (sectors and bytes) rather than file-by-file in a typical backup operation. After an image is created, it can be stored on the hard drive or recorded onto another medium (such as Zip Disk, CD-R, or DVD-R media). Some disk imaging programs can even transfer the contents of a hard drive onto another -- including the operating system. This is particularly useful if and when you decide to upgrade to a bigger-sized hard drive.

For more info on disk imaging, please see this newly revamped article:

Acronis True Image v8.0 Review

Rate this article: 
No votes yet