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Services Utility: System Restore Service Service

Display Name (?): System Restore Service
Short Name (?): srservice
Executable (?): svchost.exe
Library (?): srsvc.dll
Depends On (?): Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
Supports (?): None.
Description (?): Performs system restore functions. To stop service, turn off System Restore from the System Restore tab in My Computer->Properties
OS (?): NT4 Server, 2000 Server, Server 2003, Vista Server
Startup (?):

Explanation (?):

The system restore service is used in providing methods for Windows to restore a crashed installation if such a thing as a bad driver install has made your computer unstable or unusable. This was a very good idea to add, but I am guessing they added this service not being it was nice to have, but because the inherent flaws that Microsoft embeded into XP from 2000. Things called system restore points are created whenever some Microsoft judged critial moments occur, such as before an application installation or before a driver install.

You can access the configuration controls for this service under the system properties menu under the system restore tab. The system restore service is set to use a percentage of your hard-drive space. All system restore point images are stored in the "system volume information\_restore" directory of the root of every drive that is configured to do so. Please note that this directory is most likely hidden on most systems and only accessible to system accounts, so you would have to take ownership of this directory to gain access to it. An application is also included with Windows called System Restore that can be found in the system32\restore dir under the file of rstrui.exe (also in your start menu by default). This application allows you to create manual restore points and to load restore points from any given point.

Overall this service is a good idea to include, but I found it to be fairly ineffective in most situations. For the majority of Windows problems the single most common flaw that this feature cannot fix is a boot error. As system restore requires you to enter Windows to use it, if you receive a blue screen error on boot then this service will most likely do absolutely nothing for you. System restore also consumes about 12% of your drive by default. For most users this is irrelevent as it is common for users only to use a fraction of their HD space in the first place, but for some this amount of space could be seen as a complete waste.

For the majority of people I would recommend leaving this service set to automatic. This is because if you wish to receive support for your computer it crashes most computer companies will have you first try system restoring to see if it fixes the problem. However, I would suggest turning down the amount it uses down a bit to perhaps 5% of the drive as the default option is generally insane. If you do not wish to use this then in system properties on the system restore tab tick the box labeled "turn off system restore on all drivers". You will most likely also wish to disable the service then as it sometimes stays running even when it is not functional.

Please visit /tools/services/ for the complete Services utility.