System Restore - WinME


New Member
When I erase unused disk space on my hard drive and go to the System Restore program all restore points are gone.

I created a restore point before installing software and all date/times are gone.

Is this a feature of deleting unused disk space and can I turn it off?
Thats an odd problem. I use Windows XP, and I have never had a problem with System Restore like that.

When Eraser does the free space wipe, all it does is it fills up the free space on the harddrive with *.tmp files, and then deletes and overwrites them according to how many overwrites you have specified. Eraser shouldnt really remove or delete anything else whilst doing this.
I tried it again and Eraser(unused disk space) still removes all restore points in System Restore.

Any ideas?
I believe this is because Windows will automatically delete System Restore points when it runs low on hard drive space in the system partition. To my knowledge, this is true in all versions of Windows that support System Restore points (which, if I recall correctly, includes both Windows ME and Windows XP Home/Pro).

One way to prevent this would for Eraser to "tweak" the setting in Windows that causes this automatic action to take place. I have no idea, however, if there is a simple registry tweak that is possible, or if it would involve extreme complexity.

For example, IF (and thats a big IF) Windows has a setting that says "delete restore points when storage falls below X mb", then perhaps Eraser could tweak X to be zero. Thats purely hypothetical on my part, as I do not know if any such value exists. Another option would be IF Windows has a toggle that enables/disables deleting System Restore points when the system partition runs low on space. If so, Eraser (or the user) could turn this option temporarily off.

There may be other ways to accomplish this as well that Im not considering. I think its a fairly important issue, so hopefully someone will be clever enough to come up with a solution.

(BTW, a WORKAROUND, but not a solution, is to never put ANY data on the same partition that contains your System Restore points. But Microsoft has made this next to impossible in many versions of Windows.)
I just noticed this same issue with Win XP professional and Eraser 5.6. I checked my system log and sure enough when Eraser runs, free disk space falls below the System Restore threshold (200MB) and System Restore terminates deleting all system restore points (normal behavior).

There is a registry value:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionSystemRestoreDSmin
that defines the free space threshold (in MB), the default is 0xC8 (200). If the previous posts are accurate and Eraser writes all available free space with temp files, it would seem that the only way to correct this issue is to set this value to 0, however, I do not know if there might be any negative impact as a result.

As an alternative, is it possible for Eraser to check this value and ensure that free space within this range is always available? Perhaps Erase could write to the drive in stages?

Any other thoughts?

In a way, I do not understand the problem:
(it happens only when making a "freespace erase", not a file erase)

When you erase, this is probably the final step of a general and
irrevocable cleaning the PC of its "past". After having deleted,
whatever was "superfluous". (including caches & recycle bin, etc.)

When you try to keep "restore points", you just keep a status the
PC had in the past. Which would contradict the sense of erasing.

So: why do you not clean the PC and, when finished, then make a new
restore point (or several if you like) of the now clean PC?
Or erase only when you know, that you will no longer use "restore
point" leading to the past. They cannot bring back what was erased,

PS: setting the value for restore to zero inhibits making a "restore
point", for lack of storing space... (in WinME it may be adjusted in
"my computer" by right cklicking and then under "properties")
In response to Gustis post:

The point of maintaining restore points through System Restore is to be able to "roll back" a change to the system state (i.e. a buggy driver, misbehaving app, or other anomaly) that cannot be achieved though the standard user interfaces. System Restore is primarily concerned with taking a snapshot of the registry, system files, and executables, largely ignoring user files. Therefore, if during a free space erase, system restore points are lost (which in fact they are), I have effectively lost my systems "safety net"... I perceive this to be a problem. Making a new restore point after the fact does little good.

I dont use ME so I cant be sure what settings are available through the UI, but if it is similar to XP, the disk space parameter controls the amount of space allocated to store system restore data. The registry value I referred to sets the minimum free space that must be available for System Restore to continue monitoring the system. If free space falls below this threshold (as it appears to do when Eraser executes a free space erase), SR terminates and deletes all available restore points. This setting is only available through a registry hack.