System restore in Windows 7 vs restore on reboot - Application in multi-user computing environments


Multi-user computing environments are a reality for every organisation in today’s digitally-powered world. Offices, schools, colleges, and other institutions have multiple users accessing a single system throughout a workday. This makes devices vulnerable to user-made changes, unauthorised downloads, and a host of other threats to the system’s operational integrity. Maintaining security and optimal functionality of such systems is critical as any interruption in operability can lead to extended downtime and deter important, sometimes life-saving tasks.

Such multi-user infrastructure requires a comprehensive and swiftly functioning workstation management solution. Such a solution must be easily operable and yield results quickly, thereby reducing the instances of downtime and the need for IT intervention.

System restore in Windows 7

This is one of the most frequently used tools for system recovery in the Windows 7 arsenal. System Restore is an efficient tool for troubleshooting issues arising from running an update or installing new software. System Restore can also help if the device starts behaving in an unpredictable manner after making changes to the system settings. More often than not, users deploy this first when they detect signs of any detrimental activity in the device.

System Restore functions by creating Restore Points, which are essentially snapshots of the computer configuration at a particular point in time. On being executed, System Restore returns the device’s settings to a previous state of configuration as preserved by a Restore Point. When enabled, System Restore creates Restore Points automatically at regular intervals or users can create them manually. It is best to create Restore Points before and after an update has been run, system settings have been changed or a new program has been installed.  

If signs of system malfunction are detected, choose the necessary Restore Point and follow the requisite steps to brings your system to an earlier, more functional state.

One must know that System Restore does not affect personal files. It only restores system files, registry, system settings, and objects related to the operating system. It cannot be used to recover deleted files.

In multi-user computing environments, System Restore can present a few limitations in its working.

  • After being executed, System Restore takes about 30 minutes to complete its process. When tight deadlines are at hand, this can cause unexpected delays. For example, if the system malfunctions less than 30 minutes before an important presentation, then the user can face major inconvenience.
  • Initiating System Restore requires the user to know a fair bit about the operating system and its nuances. For those unfamiliar with the above, confusion can ensue. A certain level of technical know-how is necessary to operate the System Restore function.
  • Restore Points need considerable disk space to be stored. If System Restore is set up to create Restore Points automatically, then a significant chunk of storage space is necessary.
  • System Restore has to be initiated on every affected device individually. It cannot be initiated centrally on multiple devices. This would consume time and resources in case multiple devices are affected by issues and need IT intervention.

Restore on Reboot  

Restore on Reboot technology is an effective alternative to System Restore as a workstation restoration and recovery solution. Software solutions leveraging this technology are particularly effective in multi-user computing environments. It compresses the entire process of system restoration into a matter of few minutes. As the name suggests, the act of rebooting a computer is all it takes for the system to restore itself back to a functional state.

When installed, the technology preserves the current configuration as the baseline. From here on, every time the system is restarted, it is reverted to the baseline configuration. This means that all user-made changes are automatically removed with every single reboot. In multi-user computing environments, this is an especially useful tool as the devices tend to be accessed by numerous users every single day.

It must be noted that Reboot to Restore technology must be installed when the device is operating with a flawless configuration. It is best to install the software right after the device has been purchased. In case IT admin needs to make permanent changes to the configuration, they can disable the software, make the desired changes, and enabled it once again. The updated configuration will now become the new baseline.

In multi-user computing environments, Reboot to Restore software comes with some specific advantages:

  • Such technology is easily operable. Since all a user has to do is restart the system, there is no need to execute lengthy troubleshooting procedures.
  • Since the software is easy to use, it reduces the need to summon IT personnel to resolve every issue. In fact, most system issues can be resolved with a reboot. This means that IT employees can focus on innovation and establish avenues to gain more productivity. They do not have to be burdened with excessive IT support tickets.
  • Since the process of system restoration takes place when the machine is restarted, it takes a few minutes for the process to complete. This drastically reduces the duration of downtime and enhances productivity as users will not have to wait for long to resume work in the event of any malfunction.
  • l   Reboot to Restore software for enterprises generally come with a centralised management console that can be used by IT administrators to initiate the process of system maintenance and restoration remotely. This means that if multiple devices are affected, IT admin can commence the maintenance process from the central console. Minimal expenditure of time and resources are involved.

Jose Richardson, Marketing, Restore on Reboot Technology
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