System Restore:
System Restore is a component of Microsoft’s Windows Me, Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems that allows for the rolling back of system files, registry keys, installed programs, etc., to a previous state in the event of a failure.

System restore functions are only available to an administrator of the computer, therefore if you are not an administrator, you will not be able to perform a system restore.

System Restore backs up system files of certain extensions (.exe, .dll, etc.), with the exception of files in My Documents folders, and saves them in a large compressed block for later recovery and use. It backs up the registry and most drivers. It does not back up or restore user data. System Restore will not monitor changes to file types commonly used for users’ personal data files, such as documents, graphics, e-mail, etc., and will not restore windows logins.

When a rollback to a previous restore point is performed, the files that were being monitored by System Restore are restored and newly created folders are removed. Microsoft recommends that if a user is unsure as to whether certain files will be modified by a rollback, they should keep those files under My Documents.

Disaster Recovery:
Disaster Recovery; is typically a back up of data that includes the necessary operating system, applications and data components to rebuild or restore the failed system. The hardware receiving the restore needs to have an identical configuration to the hardware that was the source of the backup. It works on the file level structure which might be slower than imaging; but in advantage, you have the option to include other personal files and folders along with the default system file selections in order to restore a single file or folder as you wish without restoring the whole system back again.

A Disaster Recovery job includes:

  • Windows
  • Program Files
  • Documents and Settings
  • System State