Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

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BobH
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Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

Post by BobH »

The discussions about Win 10 2004 update mentions system restore points. I have a vague recollection about being able to tell earlier versions of Windows to take system restore information on a schedule, say daily or twice week or whatever. Is this just mist in an old man's mind or is this actually something that a person can accomplish. My laptop runs continuously and reboots when necessary, I was thinking that it would be better to take a system restore checkpoint before shutting down rather than when starting Windows. Being doubtful that such parameters exist led me to considering scheduled restore points.

:cheers: :chocciebar: :thankyou:
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Re: Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

Post by Argus »

I believe System Restore (SR) follows the same rules in Windows 10 as in older Windows versions.

That is, Restore Points (RPs) should be created when software are installed or updated (if the installer is compliant with SR); when Windows Update install updates; before any restore operation starts, i.e. when using SR to go back to an earlier RP it will create a RP; and if no RP has been created within the previous 7 days a scheduled RP is created (in XP it created one every 24 hours, I think).

Reference:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/window ... ore-points

It is perhaps a bit convoluted to create a scheduled task for RPs, but it can be done; see for example these two:
https://winaero.com/blog/restore-point- ... indows-10/
https://www.thewindowsclub.com/how-to-s ... windows-10
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Re: Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

Post by ChrisGreaves »

BobH wrote:
16 Aug 2020, 22:31
The discussions about Win 10 2004 update mentions system restore points. I have a vague recollection about being able to tell earlier versions of Windows to take system restore information on a schedule,
Bob: Did you manage to get a schedule set up and running?
Argus: Your links included some that I had identified; I followed instructions from The Windows Club link.

All:

Untitled.png
All went swimmingly and I had a task set up to run weekly, Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. (it is 8:45 as I type; I wanted to stand by and watch it fire up and check that it had done its job, hence "Monday 9a.m.) and at the last moment Task Scheduler objected to my not having a password.

I don't want a (Windows o/s/) password on the laptop. My Data partition is encrypted with a password.

(1) I continue to be amazed at Windows. Why should an O/S be worried about whether or not I have a password (as an Administrator) for me to ask for a scheduled task to be performed.
(2) I continue to be amazed at Windows. Why should an O/S let me wade throuigh the swamps of one of its applications and wait until the last minute before telling me that this wasn't going to work anyway?

(3) More to the point: Is there a way around this hurdle. I do not want to add a third password to this system (I have one for the Hard Disk from the UEFI schemozzle form three months ago)

Thanks
Chris (who has created a SRPoint manually for now)
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Re: Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

Post by JoeP »

Why don't you just add a password and then setup Windows to boot without requiring you to enter it each time?
Joe

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Re: Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

Post by ChrisGreaves »

JoeP wrote:
12 Oct 2020, 19:21
Why don't you just add a password and then setup Windows to boot without requiring you to enter it each time?
Hello Joe, and thanks for the question in response to my question(grin).
My miserable answer is that, for all my Windows-Life, I have thought/understood that to eliminate the need for a Windows-user-login password I needed to have NO password, by setting the user password to be blank.
(23)AdministratorPassword: Preferably None.Y
Here is an entry from a much earlier Rebuild.doc. I suspect that this was at least as long ago as I started using TrueCrypt, perhaps 10 or 15 years ago.

So, to this day I have avoided the Windows-user-logon screen by setting the Windows password to be <blank> or <empty>.

From your question it sounds as if in Win10 I can set a password, but then unset a Boolean switch to disable the use of the password.
I shall try that this morning once I have reached my quota of :coffeetime:

Thanks again!
Chris
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Re: Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

Post by Argus »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
13 Oct 2020, 11:09
Here is an entry from a much earlier Rebuild.doc. I suspect that this was at least as long ago as I started using TrueCrypt, perhaps 10 or 15 years ago.

So, to this day I have avoided the Windows-user-logon screen by setting the Windows password to be <blank> or <empty>.

From your question it sounds as if in Win10 I can set a password, but then unset a Boolean switch to disable the use of the password.
Been possible for many Windows generations (Win95 with TweakUI etc.). If using a password (after having added one), take a look at running: control userpasswords2 (or, with some fewer letters: netplwiz). Select a user and uncheck the checkbox. Note: if using the (Win 10) May 2020 update, you have to first disable "Require Windows Hello sign-in for Microsoft accounts, in Settings, Accounts, Sign-in options.
ChrisGreaves wrote:
12 Oct 2020, 11:22
All went swimmingly and I had a task set up to run weekly, Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. (it is 8:45 as I type; I wanted to stand by and watch it fire up and check that it had done its job, hence "Monday 9a.m.) and at the last moment Task Scheduler objected to my not having a password.
Could be worse, standing by can be interesting ... I recently bought a new external drive (for backups); before using it I decided to update my backup software to the latest version (major upgrade). After first initial full backups of system disk and dito data I created new schedules, similar to the old ones, for the new destination, and disabled the old scheduled backups. Some day later it was time for its first incremental, it went, with my eyes on the screen, and with your words, swimmingly. Some days later and it was time for the next incremental; Argus is now relaxed, but notice the time and counts down, 3, 2, 1 and :overclocking: No signal, computer reboots ungracefully ... no backup running (but Windows' Scheduler (used by the backup software) insists it's running. At least something happened on schedule. :laugh: And I lost some minor notes in the process. Next backup job some 15 min later ran as intended.
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Re: Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

Post by BobH »

Chris, I did get one set up but I haven't verified that it is working as I want it to. I decided to disable the one I had set up previously and set up a new one. I followed instructions on this web page.
Regards, BobH
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Re: Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Argus wrote:
14 Oct 2020, 00:16
If using a password (after having added one), take a look at running: control userpasswords2 (or, with some fewer letters: netplwiz). Select a user and uncheck the checkbox. Note: if using the (Win 10) May 2020 update, you have to first disable "Require Windows Hello sign-in for Microsoft accounts, in Settings, Accounts, Sign-in options.
Thanks, Argus, but even after my second coffee I am still stuck.
(1) I have set a user password "password" to make it easy during this trial. That works fine. I reboot and am prompted by Windows10 for my "Chris074" password. I key in "password" and the auto-exec kicks in and as usual asks me for my VeraCrypt password, and here I am.
pwd01.png
(2) I am the only user, and I am Administrator.
I have seen posts with "the check box" to which (I believe) you refer, but can not find it anywhere through this "User Accounts" form in Control Panel.
pwd02.png
The two-tab form is devoid of any checkbox.
The "properties" command renders a deeper-level two-tab form devoid of any checkbox.
pwd03.png
I have searched Settings for anything that looks as if it might lead to bypassing the requirement to log in, with no success.
I even read a few web pages, but they lean heavily towards "Microsoft Accounts", and I don't have, have never had, a Microsoft account. I am a "Local Account" user.

I suspect that as usual I am doing something wrong, or have missed a turning.
Are any of my rabbit-holes even close to the target?
I am finding Win10 an increasingly time-wasting effort, for all of us. I am trying not to calculate how much time I/we have spent on this exercise versus how many times I could have shrugged and logged in!
Thanks Argus and JoeP.
Chris
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Re: Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

Post by ChrisGreaves »

BobH wrote:
14 Oct 2020, 00:56
... I followed instructions on this web page.
Thanks Bob. I shall check this out once I have worked out how NOT to log on, a concept which seems strange to me. ("here's the password you insist on; now don't user it, ever!")
Cheers
Chris
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Re: Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

Post by Argus »

Hello Chris,
ChrisGreaves wrote:
14 Oct 2020, 12:18
I suspect that as usual I am doing something wrong, or have missed a turning.
Are any of my rabbit-holes even close to the target?
Yes, the first one. Have you checked this:
Argus wrote:
14 Oct 2020, 00:16
If using a password (after having added one), take a look at running: control userpasswords2 (or, with some fewer letters: netplwiz). Select a user and uncheck the checkbox. Note: if using the (Win 10) May 2020 update, you have to first disable "Require Windows Hello sign-in for Microsoft accounts, in Settings, Accounts, Sign-in options.
I.e. before using the User Accounts setting (netplwiz), check what you have in Windows 10's Sign-in options as per above.
ChrisGreaves wrote:
14 Oct 2020, 12:18
I am finding Win10 an increasingly time-wasting effort, for all of us.
I agree; some parts, the new ones ...
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Re: Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Argus wrote:
14 Oct 2020, 17:29
...you have to first disable "Require Windows Hello sign-in for Microsoft accounts, in Settings, Accounts, Sign-in options.[/b]
Thank you for your patience, Argus.
So yes, I have set up a Win10 User Account password, and I think that my next step is this disable "Require Windows Hello sign-in for Microsoft accounts, in Settings, Accounts, Sign-in options..
First off, as far as I know, I do not have a Microsoft Account, only a local account.
When I was setting up this strange system three months ago I read numerous web pages that suggested "if you just sit at home and don't deal with Microsoft, you can/should not create a Microsoft Account", so I skirted around any suggestion by Microsoft that my life would be a complete misery unless I had a Microsoft Account. (Turns out they might be right!)

So I am not at all sure how I would go about disabling a requirement for a sign in that I do not have.

Nonetheless I go to Settings, Accounts, SignIn, and scroll up and down. This is what I see, in total:-
pwd04.png
My guess is that in a little while I shall be in that little key icon "Password: sign in with your account's password" area. But not yet.
pwd05.png
The "Require Sign-in" also garners my interest, but the drop-down list offers only two options, the first of which seems to indicate that my last four reboots should NOT have asked me for a Win10 user account password.

Back to those first six options, "Windows Hello" sounds like one of those chatty "aren't I lucky to have this" services, which I do not have. I don't use a security key - I just type in "password" when it asks me to, and I don't have a picture password, whatever that is.

In short, I am brought up short.

I have seen gazillions of web pages that say "blah blah blah ... and then just uncheck the box", but in all my peregrinations I have yet to see a checkbox that could be unchecked, were it checked.

Joke: Do you think it was a mistake to install the special "Bonavista Harbour" special edition of Win10 from that guy on the wharf?

Cheers,
Chris
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Re: Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Argus wrote:
14 Oct 2020, 17:29
If using a password (after having added one), take a look at running: control userpasswords2 (or, with some fewer letters: netplwiz). Select a user and uncheck the checkbox.
So then I thought, perhaps Argus's "but first ..." which I documented above is not required, in which case Argus might tell me to go ahead with the Netplwiz technique, so I did.
Cmd.exe with administrator privileges and this pops up:-
pwd06.png
I have toured this province over the past couple of days.
1) clicking on the (only) user name does nothing.
2) double-clicking is as effective as choosing "properties"
3) Ctrl-Alt-Del takes me to the threshold of a password-changing device, so I back out of there.

4) Properties presents two tabs
5) General shows no check box
6) Group membership has both option buttons set OFF "Standard user" and "Administrator", which I found odd (that neither one is set, even though I am Administrator).
7) The third option button is ON and "debugger Users" is disabled (at least, greyed out and unresponsive)

8) I believe that I do not want to add another user via the "Add" button.
9) Ctrl-Alt-Del takes me to a change-password dialogue, and I think that I don't want to change my password.

Now I am going to make a fresh pot of tea; the one I made 55 minutes ago is stewed and cold.
Cheers
Chris
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Re: Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

Post by Argus »

I, again, agree with you; we can, still, have a happy life without a Microsoft account. I have none. The reason I mentioned it was because it has been mentioned by others that recent changes may have some impact on the setting we are trying to tweak (using the User Accounts dialog). That is, no matter if you don't have a MS Account and only a local account. (And what's wrong with stepping into the settings (Sign-in options) of it (MS Accounts) to simply disable some Hello Kitty thingy?)

(I think it's possible (to auto sign-in) via some other mechanisms in the OS, but I have a bit of work to do.)

See for example this page discussing auto sign-in; the recent changes in Windows 10 regarding this "Hello thing" (and its impact on the missing check box), and the fact, to top it off, that some users of Windows 10 ver. 2004 seem to be missing the Hello thing (to disable, to enable the check box and be able to uncheck it), just like you, but then win version is interesting, more below. There is a registry edit ... (just to enable a check box, for you to uncheck, so that the password you are being forced to use is never used :laugh: :nuts: ) You don't have to thank me for any patience, but I'm afraid we are trying yours. :grin:

It could perhaps be good to establish which version you are using, i.e. the numbers after "Bonavista Harbour special edition". They are discussing Win10 2004 above.

There is also this page:
https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/138 ... ounts.html
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Re: Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

Post by ChrisGreaves »

BobH wrote:
16 Aug 2020, 22:31
... I have a vague recollection about being able to tell earlier versions of Windows to take system restore information on a schedule, say daily or twice week or whatever. ... led me to considering scheduled restore points.
After a Good Night's Sleep I have decided to back out of this thread.
Yes! Me!!

I could, but don't, measure the time I spend resolving a Win10 issue such as "How to schedule a task using Task Manager" which has now morphed into "How to set a password for Win10 Login so I can instruct Win10 not to ask me for that password for login" which virus-like has morphed into a party game "Pin the tail on the disappearing checkbox".
I can not measure the time spent by Loungers making parallel paths through their systems to help find out why I can't see a checkbox to disable the password I don't need so I can run a task once a week.

Every day I reboot, on principle.
That means that my AutoExec.bat file runs every day, usually first thing in the morning while I am pottering about firing up the jukebox, making a first coffee, etc.
My AutoExec.bat file uses the date (as in 2010-10-15) to produce a folder (today "T:\Blotter\20201015\").
And it does this by using another batch file called SetDate.BAT which as a byproduct assigns values to environment variables %YR%, %MN%, %DY".
:doh:

To run a command-line (a.k.a. a batch file) approximately once a week, all I need do is test the %DY% variable

Code: Select all

title %0
if "%dy%"=="01" echo %0 - Creating System restore Point
if "%dy%"=="08" echo %0 - Creating System restore Point
if "%dy%"=="15" echo %0 - Creating System restore Point
if "%dy%"=="22" echo %0 - Creating System restore Point
if "%dy%"=="29" echo %0 - Creating System restore Point
Now it can be argued that this will not work for a command-line task that must be run on a certain day(s) of the week, but I can do that already in my weekly backup batch file (which tests for "Sun" in a date field).

In terms of System Restore I confess to being lax in my habits, so a jury-rigged batch file that creates a System Restore Point four times a month is much better than wishing that I had made a System restore point yesterday.

I find that I am spending more and more time (and more and more of YOUR time) trying to resolve the ever-changing landscape of Microsoft's Graphic Interface ("Is it SETTINGS or is it CONTROL PANEL? Only her hairdresser knows for sure") instead of getting on with what, to me, is creative work.

So, apologies to BobH, and especially to Argus (who has been diligently shepherding me through the annoying UEFI debacle since the get-go),

Truly. Thanks for your time.
And please accept my apologies for not thinking hard enough before embarking on this path. :thankyou: :thankyou: :thankyou:

Cheers
Chris
Last edited by ChrisGreaves on 15 Oct 2020, 11:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Argus wrote:
14 Oct 2020, 19:35
It could perhaps be good to establish which version you are using, ...
My apologies, Argus; I should have done that first.
Version 2004 (OS Build 19041.508)
Untitled.png
Cheers
Chris
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Re: Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

Post by Argus »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
15 Oct 2020, 11:11
After a Good Night's Sleep I have decided to back out of this thread.
I see no major reason to schedule RPs, if creating frequent backups of the system drive. As mentioned earlier, they "should" be created under certain circumstances. I can't remember, but think they are a bit bigger than in say WinXP, but as we know one can set a certain disk quota for RPs so perhaps not an issue, unless the one you need has just been pushed out on a FIFO basis, but I have over time seen less use for System Restore (never used during the Windows 7 era). It's true that using a RP is far less invasive than say restoring an image (complete) from a backup, but if you don't install and uninstall different software on a daily basis, in which case one could create one manually while already at the keyboard if not trusting the, eh, trusted installers that create RPs, I see no major reason to add a schedule on top of Windows scheme for SR.

Also, Windows Defender has been known to create RPs whenever a new definition, or similar, is downloaded, and that's quite frequent (Windows Modules Installer).

By the way, it is, for example, possible in Windows 10 Pro to create an automatic RP whenever Defender does a scan of the system (there is a template for RPs under Defender in the Group Policy editor that can be enabled). (It's also possible in Home with a small registry edit.) Thus you could have it scheduled with Defender's system scans, if they are on a schedule.

I don't know for how long MSFT will keep SR in Windows. Isn't it disabled after major updates to win10?

Chris, apart from this thing with System Restore I think you will find that there are some things that can't be scheduled without a password, and there are often good reasons to have a password (although I understand you have a belt and braces approach with disk encryption etc) so perhaps might be worth looking at another time.
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Re: Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

Post by StuartR »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
15 Oct 2020, 11:15
Version 2004 (OS Build 19041.508)Untitled.png
Chris, I have build 19041.572, I use a local account, not a Microsoft account, I have the same sign-in options as you, and I do see this checkbox!
netplwiz.png
Sign-in options.png
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Re: Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Argus wrote:
17 Oct 2020, 00:49
I see no major reason to schedule RPs,
Hi Argus, and I agree with you. I chose SR because it was, to me, an example of something that I might want to run on a regular (say, weekly) basis. I needed a Task to Schedule, I might say. I can still dream up tasks that I think need scheduling - reminders and my own data backups: I do a data backup each night and don't need to be reminded, but then Sunday night I backup my backup to a cumulative monster, and that task I might want to schedule every seven, ten, or fourteen days.
Chris, apart from this thing with System Restore I think you will find that there are some things that can't be scheduled without a password, and there are often good reasons to have a password (although I understand you have a belt and braces approach with disk encryption etc) so perhaps might be worth looking at another time.
This brings me, if not you, back into the realms of "Who owns my computer?" and I of course am a control-freak; I want to make the decisions, and not have Msoft treat me like the plebeian I really am(grin).
I know that I still think like the DOS-based Win3.1 days and have not kept up/been aware of changes in OS over the years, largely because my dear old DOS-Batch files have served me so well.
But please see my reply to Stuart in about five minutes time!
Cheers, and again, Thank You for the time you have spent on this.
Chris
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Re: Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

Post by ChrisGreaves »

StuartR wrote:
17 Oct 2020, 10:59
Chris, I have build 19041.572, I use a local account, not a Microsoft account, I have the same sign-in options as you, and I do see this checkbox!
Hi Stuart. I have almost made an Executive Decision overnight: I am conscious of the time I spend away from important tasks (fixing up this house/shed/garden) and from my chosen delight in cobbling together program code, not to mention the 1,000 books from July that wait to be read.

Since starting to play with Win10 I seem to have run into several inconsistencies. This password-checkbox is a good example.
I am now on my second "rebuild" of a customized Win10 system.
I have an ISO file somewhere, d/l less than a month ago.
If anyone in this thread wants to nominate a Win10 ISO I shall d/l that ISO and install it and then immediatelt ferret out this password-checkbox to lay the ghost to rest.
I shall than install my minimal system (Office2003) and rattle one by one through my windows tweaks (well documented in Rebuild074.doc, soon to be copied as Rebuild075.doc) and see if I can't stop tampering long enough to match our various systems.

Cheers
Chris
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Re: Automatic System Restore Creation on Schedule

Post by DaveA »

I would wait until the next "2020 Fall Update" is released, to get the latest ISO.
It should be available any time.
I am so far behind, I think I am First :evilgrin:
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