Undoing a System Restore


Steve Matzura
 

Someone whom I support remotely via NVDA Remote did something to his Windows 11 system today which I think was a system restore, but I've never seen System Restore do what it did to any system. It all started out when I told him to restart his machine, which he couldn't do despite many explicit directions on how to do so, so we hung up our telephone call and he went about his business. Later in the day he called and told me he found Settings and found what he thought was system restart. I suspect it was really System Restore. Anyway, he clicked it, but didn't remember selecting a restore point. According to him, suddenly it restarted, and after its usual gyrations and reboots, his system came back up with an empty desktop except for the Recycle Bin, and an icon labeled "Remove programs.' Inside Removed Programs he found some of, but not all, of the programs that had disappeared from his desktop. In particular, Chrome was there, but NVDA gave him a Web page describing that program, not the program itself. This guy is one step up from a Luddite, a true 'stone knives and bearskins' kind of technical know-nothing person, which in this day and age is quite surprising. My question is, if you're a Windows 11 user, or even if you're a Windows 10 user, have you ever seen behavior like this, and if so, how is it undone? I've never heard of System Restore wiping the Desktop clean and putting everything into a "Removed Programs" directory, and an online search didn't bring me any happiness either. Any suggestions or ideas?


Gene
 

I haven't looked for this in Windows 10 but any time you run a restore point, an undo option is created.  I don't know how you find it in Windows 10.

If the person did run a restore point, and it sounds as though he did, you should be able to undo it.  However, I don't know if undo is completely reliable in fully restoring a machine to the condition before the restore point was run.  I seem to recall that on the occasion that I ran it it didn't completely do so but it was so long ago that I may be wrong.

Gene

On 12/5/2022 6:02 PM, Steve Matzura wrote:
Someone whom I support remotely via NVDA Remote did something to his Windows 11 system today which I think was a system restore, but I've never seen System Restore do what it did to any system. It all started out when I told him to restart his machine, which he couldn't do despite many explicit directions on how to do so, so we hung up our telephone call and he went about his business. Later in the day he called and told me he found Settings and found what he thought was system restart. I suspect it was really System Restore. Anyway, he clicked it, but didn't remember selecting a restore point. According to him, suddenly it restarted, and after its usual gyrations and reboots, his system came back up with an empty desktop except for the Recycle Bin, and an icon labeled "Remove programs.' Inside Removed Programs he found some of, but not all, of the programs that had disappeared from his desktop. In particular, Chrome was there, but NVDA gave him a Web page describing that program, not the program itself. This guy is one step up from a Luddite, a true 'stone knives and bearskins' kind of technical know-nothing person, which in this day and age is quite surprising. My question is, if you're a Windows 11 user, or even if you're a Windows 10 user, have you ever seen behavior like this, and if so, how is it undone? I've never heard of System Restore wiping the Desktop clean and putting everything into a "Removed Programs" directory, and an online search didn't bring me any happiness either. Any suggestions or ideas?





Gene
 

We don't know how long the person had the computer.  II'm not sure how long System Restore is supposed to keep restore points but it sounds as though this one is from before much was done to the machine.  Windows comes with nothing but the recycle bin on the desktop.

Gene

On 12/5/2022 6:02 PM, Steve Matzura wrote:
Someone whom I support remotely via NVDA Remote did something to his Windows 11 system today which I think was a system restore, but I've never seen System Restore do what it did to any system. It all started out when I told him to restart his machine, which he couldn't do despite many explicit directions on how to do so, so we hung up our telephone call and he went about his business. Later in the day he called and told me he found Settings and found what he thought was system restart. I suspect it was really System Restore. Anyway, he clicked it, but didn't remember selecting a restore point. According to him, suddenly it restarted, and after its usual gyrations and reboots, his system came back up with an empty desktop except for the Recycle Bin, and an icon labeled "Remove programs.' Inside Removed Programs he found some of, but not all, of the programs that had disappeared from his desktop. In particular, Chrome was there, but NVDA gave him a Web page describing that program, not the program itself. This guy is one step up from a Luddite, a true 'stone knives and bearskins' kind of technical know-nothing person, which in this day and age is quite surprising. My question is, if you're a Windows 11 user, or even if you're a Windows 10 user, have you ever seen behavior like this, and if so, how is it undone? I've never heard of System Restore wiping the Desktop clean and putting everything into a "Removed Programs" directory, and an online search didn't bring me any happiness either. Any suggestions or ideas?





Gene
 

Here is an article that looks credible on undoing a system restore.
https://www.easeus.com/data-recovery-solution/undo-system-restore-in-windows-10-8-7.html

Gene

On 12/5/2022 6:23 PM, Gene wrote:
We don't know how long the person had the computer.  II'm not sure how long System Restore is supposed to keep restore points but it sounds as though this one is from before much was done to the machine. Windows comes with nothing but the recycle bin on the desktop.

Gene

On 12/5/2022 6:02 PM, Steve Matzura wrote:
Someone whom I support remotely via NVDA Remote did something to his Windows 11 system today which I think was a system restore, but I've never seen System Restore do what it did to any system. It all started out when I told him to restart his machine, which he couldn't do despite many explicit directions on how to do so, so we hung up our telephone call and he went about his business. Later in the day he called and told me he found Settings and found what he thought was system restart. I suspect it was really System Restore. Anyway, he clicked it, but didn't remember selecting a restore point. According to him, suddenly it restarted, and after its usual gyrations and reboots, his system came back up with an empty desktop except for the Recycle Bin, and an icon labeled "Remove programs.' Inside Removed Programs he found some of, but not all, of the programs that had disappeared from his desktop. In particular, Chrome was there, but NVDA gave him a Web page describing that program, not the program itself. This guy is one step up from a Luddite, a true 'stone knives and bearskins' kind of technical know-nothing person, which in this day and age is quite surprising. My question is, if you're a Windows 11 user, or even if you're a Windows 10 user, have you ever seen behavior like this, and if so, how is it undone? I've never heard of System Restore wiping the Desktop clean and putting everything into a "Removed Programs" directory, and an online search didn't bring me any happiness either. Any suggestions or ideas?





Gene
 

Here is another site you may want to look at.  I'm reproducing a bit from it.  Reading it reminded me of how this was done in Windows 7 and the same thing is done here.  The interface may be a little different, I'm not sure, but the principle is the same.  There is an undo restore point in the restore points list.

https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/4588-system-restore-windows-10-a.html
When you do a System Restore, system protection will automatically create a restore point before proceeding, so you can undo the changes made by the System Restore if needed.

Gene

On 12/5/2022 6:27 PM, Gene wrote:
Here is an article that looks credible on undoing a system restore.
https://www.easeus.com/data-recovery-solution/undo-system-restore-in-windows-10-8-7.html

Gene

On 12/5/2022 6:23 PM, Gene wrote:
We don't know how long the person had the computer.  II'm not sure how long System Restore is supposed to keep restore points but it sounds as though this one is from before much was done to the machine. Windows comes with nothing but the recycle bin on the desktop.

Gene

On 12/5/2022 6:02 PM, Steve Matzura wrote:
Someone whom I support remotely via NVDA Remote did something to his Windows 11 system today which I think was a system restore, but I've never seen System Restore do what it did to any system. It all started out when I told him to restart his machine, which he couldn't do despite many explicit directions on how to do so, so we hung up our telephone call and he went about his business. Later in the day he called and told me he found Settings and found what he thought was system restart. I suspect it was really System Restore. Anyway, he clicked it, but didn't remember selecting a restore point. According to him, suddenly it restarted, and after its usual gyrations and reboots, his system came back up with an empty desktop except for the Recycle Bin, and an icon labeled "Remove programs.' Inside Removed Programs he found some of, but not all, of the programs that had disappeared from his desktop. In particular, Chrome was there, but NVDA gave him a Web page describing that program, not the program itself. This guy is one step up from a Luddite, a true 'stone knives and bearskins' kind of technical know-nothing person, which in this day and age is quite surprising. My question is, if you're a Windows 11 user, or even if you're a Windows 10 user, have you ever seen behavior like this, and if so, how is it undone? I've never heard of System Restore wiping the Desktop clean and putting everything into a "Removed Programs" directory, and an online search didn't bring me any happiness either. Any suggestions or ideas?





Steve Matzura
 

Thanks for the article.

Two good things: One, it happened just yesterday morning and he called me about it right away, and two, it's Windows 11, which may make it easier to fix.