My Life In Tech: Adventures With Restore

HP turns off System Restore by default

System Restore off

First of all, what was HP thinking when they decided to turn off System Restore by default?

Today I set up another HP Pavilion with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit on it, and when I told PC Decrapifier to set a Restore Point, the Decrapifier complained that System Restore was off.

And indeed it was.  This is the fifth HP I’ve set up in  the past few weeks featuring no System Restore.  I’m not seeing this on Acers or Toshibas.  Come on, HP, that is not helpful.


Second, if you want a really horrible piece of backup software, go with the FreeAgent program that comes with Seagate external hard drives.

Seagate Freeagent Pro 320 GB external Hard Drive

Seagate external HDD

That’s what today’s customer did.  He had a Dell XP with a 320 GB external Seagate drive connected, and he’s installed the FreeAgent that came with the drive. He’d been backing up religiously.

When his machine threw a BSOD complaining of unbootable media, he went right out and bought the above-mentioned HP Win7 64-bit machine, feeling comfortable that we could just restore his files onto the new machine.

I set up the HP, connected the Seagate drive and looked for the backup software. Found it, ran the installer, hoping it would work on a 64-bit Win7 OS.  It did…to a point.

Then it complained about not being compatible.  OK, fine.  I ran the installer in Compatibility Mode for XPSP3.  We got a little farther, and then it wanted to install .NET Framework 1.0.

Just shoot me.

At that point I knew that wasn’t going to work.  So, I called my husband and partner and asked  him to look for a version of this program that will run. To hedge the bet, while he did that, I installed the software from the drive to my little netbook that runs XP Home. I thought, “Once I restore the files there, I can put them on MY external drive and move them to the new machine.”  Sounds like a plan, right?

Microsoft .NET Framework 1.0

Microsoft .NET Framework 1.0

Of course I had to install .NET Framework 1.0 and it’s cousin 1.1. I did, because I imaged the netbook last week, and I can restore it if I need to!   Everything and its pet dog installs, I reboot several times in the course of this, and then I open the program and click on the Restore tab.

And .. it won’t let me restore the files to my netbook because it doesn’t match the “backup plan” from the original machine.  Honestly.  What kind of backup program lets you backup but won’t let you restore?

In the meantime I get a link from my husband to a 64-bit version, and a note that “some people claim they’ve actually gotten this to work.”  But not, apparently, many.

So I did what I probably should have done in the first place.  I booted the old machine from a Knoppix Live CD and rescued as much data as I could, including email.  I transferred the files over, installed Easus ToDo and set up the backup.


In contrast to the file transfer portion of the job, setting up the computer, decrapifying it, making it safe, installing the HP All-In-One and the Microsoft Life Cam went perfectly.  The customer is happy.



Permanent link to this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.