All Windows computers have system restore turned on by default. System restore is an easy way to fix your PC whenever it encounters problems. Instead of troubleshooting the problem directly, system restores simply takes your computer back to a time when everything was working perfectly.
In most cases, system restore is a useful way to fix your PC. However, it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes, system restore points will disappear, which means you won’t have any points to choose from when you’re trying to find a time when your PC was working properly.
To find out how many system restore points you have, simply go to your Start menu and type in System Restore then click on the first result that pops up. From this menu, you’ll be able to see which system restore points are currently accessible – along with the date and time they were created.
By default, you might only see one system restore point from this menu. But don’t worry: more points will be revealed if you simply check the ‘Show more restore points’ button down below. This should reveal at least 2 to 3 more system restore points.
Why are my system restore points disappearing?
While your system will regularly delete system restore points as they get older, sometimes, system restore points can disappear for other reasons. This issue was recently highlighted by an article on PCWorld.com. That article analyzed a user complaint that his computer never had more than one system restore point – or any.
This made it difficult to fix computer problems when they arose. After looking throughout the computer for problems, the issue was finally narrowed down to a disk defragmenting application called Diskeeper. If you haven’t heard of Diskeeper, it’s an alternative to the Windows disk defragmenting program. It allows for automatic scheduling and more powerful defragmentation processes.
Unfortunately, Diskeeper also apparently deletes old system restore points, which means users can’t fix their computer easily when problems appear. The user was able to fix the problem of disappearing restore points by disabling automatic defragmentation. Of course, leaving the hard drive fragmented will also lead to performance problems, so this wasn’t an ideal solution.
Diskeeper doesn’t actually delete the System Restore files. After all, it’s a disk defragmenter and not a disk cleanup program. Instead, it moves around Volume Snapshot Service (VSS) files. These files are not meant to be moved, and once they’ve been shifted from their original location, they might become inaccessible. That was the problem that this user was experiencing.
How to fix the problem of disappearing system restore points
If you’ve been frustrated by this issue and you have a third-party disk defragmentation program installed, then there are two solutions:
1) You can uninstall your third-party disk defragmentation program
2) You can enable VSS compatibility mode on your disk defragmentation program (not all programs have this mode)
Otherwise, your system restore points are going to continue to disappear. Once your system restore points are back up and running, learning how to fix your PC free will be as easy as possible.