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Thread: Just Wanting Verification

  1. #1
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    Default Just Wanting Verification

    Hi everyone,

    Had some odd behavior with a program, worried it may have caused yet unseen damage and looking for some information or advice.

    What happened:
    I was in safe mode running some virus scans on my personal laptop, and it came time for Spybot. I opened it up as Admin. (I was doing my weekly scans, nothing really prompted it aside from that. If it matters, it all came up clean.)

    I clicked for it to start a scan, but changed my mind and hit "Stop Scan" (I dont like to use it while it is scanning since it makes things take longer, wanted to do something else first) then attempted to close it. The program locked up and the blue bar where it normally displays the name "Spybot Search & Destroy" changed ot the following:

    "Unloading user registry hives may take awhile.... "

    Despite having used Spybot for some time, I have never seen this message and had no idea what it meant. After a few minutes of trying to get the program to respond (kept saying not responding), and in a bit of a panic, I used CTRL ALT DEL and killed the process.

    I re-opened the program, it seemed fine. I have also been able to restart into safe mode and normal mode without issue and I havent noticed anything else odd. However.. I still find myself worried that I may have screwed something up by forcing it to close, since I generally avoid the registry like the plague from how much I hear of messing around with it completely breaking computers.

    The only topic I could find in a search of this made mention of a few users who had it cease to run after that and one even said his AV stopped working. Glad it hasnt happened to me, but.. doesnt help me! D:

    Anyway, onto my questions..

    1 - Can anyone tell me what it was doing? Not an expert with computers, so.. dumb it down if possible.
    2 - Could damage have been caused to my machine (mostly the registry) by forcing a close? Mind I was in a safe mode, if that matters.
    2b - Can Spybot even cause damage to a machine? If not... I guess what happened to those people were unrelated with this. o.o
    3 - Is it anything to worry about since nothing seems to be wrong?
    4 - I have a Restore Point for Nov 23rd (it happened Nov 24th), should I do a system restore anyway just in-case?
    4b - I read someone mention that system restore can corrupt-damage files.. hence why I havent used it yet. Is this true or were they just spouting nonsense?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    The machine:
    Acer Laptop. Windows Vista 64-bit Home Premium. Spybot S&D Version.. whatever was out on Nov23rd, I have not updated it since.

  2. #2
    Senior Member honda12's Avatar
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    Hi nelmorr13,

    No need to be alarmed, I too receive that message when trying to close Spybot during a scan.

    While it is recommended to allow Spybot to completely unload registry hives, I highly doubt not doing so would cause any damage to your registry, in safe mode or not. I would equate it to closing a program forcefully through task manager - while not the suggested way of closing programs, very little or no harm is done by doing so.

    If you haven't been experiencing any issues I wouldn't perform a system restore.
    I read someone mention that system restore can corrupt-damage files
    What kind of 'damaged files'? From my experience, System Restore has worked perfectly fine. The only thing which I can think of that System Restore could corrupt is any programs installations which you have installed on your current Windows state but not on the Windows state you plan to restore to, or vice versa.

    Best regards,

    honda
    -honda12

  3. #3
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    Thank you so much. :D It is a relief to hear that.

    I guess if it happens when closing Spybot during a scan, I did not wait long enough after hitting stop scan.. oops. I will be more careful in the future.

    As for your question, I am.. not really sure. I cannot even seem to find the thread I read this in now, as I came across it on a forum somewhere while looking up something from my event log the other week (simply attempting to learn what things mean.) And I have no installed any programs, in fact, I have sort of been avoiding the Laptop for now since I couldnt remember how much space system restore was using to keep restore points, and did not want it to overwrite my good one.

    Would it be worth running it just for peace of mind? (System Restore). As well - I would be losing some windows updates, I take it these would be re-installed via automatic update? Although knowing OF system restore.. I admittedly know little about it and have never used it before.

  4. #4
    Senior Member honda12's Avatar
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    Hi nelmorr13,
    Quote Originally Posted by nelmorr13 View Post
    Thank you so much. :D It is a relief to hear that.
    No problem.
    ... I have sort of been avoiding the Laptop for now since I couldnt remember how much space system restore was using to keep restore points, and did not want it to overwrite my good one.
    From Windows Help:
    Quote Originally Posted by Windows Help
    How much disk space does System Restore require?

    To store restore points, you need at least 300 megabytes (MB) of free space on each hard disk that has System Protection turned on. System Restore might use up to 15 percent of the space on each disk. As the amount of space fills up with restore points, System Restore will delete older restore points to make room for new ones.

    System Restore will not run on disks smaller than 1 gigabyte (GB).
    To find out how much space system restore is taking up you can follow these steps:

    1. Start menu >> type in 'cmd'
    2. Right click cmd.exe and choose 'Run as administrator'
    3. In the prompt, type: vssadmin list shadowstorage
    4. Press enter
    5. The 'Used Shadow Copy Storage space' value is how much space system restore is taking up.

    Would it be worth running it just for peace of mind? (System Restore). As well - I would be losing some windows updates, I take it these would be re-installed via automatic update?
    Like I said before, if you haven't been experiencing any issues I see no reason why one should perform a system restore. System Restore should be regarded as a last resort tool. You are correct in thinking that any updates lost after a system restore would be reinstalled via windows update.

    Regards,

    honda
    -honda12

  5. #5
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    Is there any particular reason it should be regarded as a last resort? I get the feeling I am missing something... I know it resets system files to that date, and that my personal files are untouched but aside from that...

    I may end up running it anyway, for the reason I mentioned - peace of mind. I am someone who worries easily, and if running a system restore would prevent anything that may pop up in regards to this (however unlikely), and not cause a whole other host of problems (the corruption thing was the reason I didnt do it in the first place, but if that is false.. and pending the answer to the above) - I think doing so would be better for me than not doing so and losing that restore point when it is overridden.

    I do appreciate your advice, so I am not trying to make it seem like I am disregarding it. I am mostly just trying to keep what I know about myself in-mind and not make a poor decision which may cause me a headache later down the road.

    Thanks again for you're helpful and expedient assistance.

  6. #6
    Senior Member honda12's Avatar
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    Hi nelmorr13,
    Is there any particular reason it should be regarded as a last resort?
    Just the fact that the tool is a piece of software and no piece of software runs flawlessly every time.
    That being said, I've never run into any issues with System Restore, nor have thousands of other users, but if there isn't a sufficient reason why one should perform a System Restore, I would leave it alone.

    I describe it as a "last resort" tool because it is not designed for everyday use (for backups and such), but to specifically 'roll back' your system files to a previous date if you have been experiencing issues, for example with a new program/driver ect. Even in the case of having a bad driver/program, the first logical course of action would be to uninstall the driver/program. If uninstalling does not remedy the problem, that's where System Restore comes in. Hence why it is regarded as a 'last resort' tool.

    Since you have not been experiencing any problems, I feel there's no reason why you should perform a System Restore. Unless you are actually encountering problems, performing a restore would only be a waste of time imho. Personally, I do not think peace-of-mind alone is a sufficient reason to warrant a System Restore, however the ultimate choice is yours - You know yourself better than I do!

    Best regards,

    honda
    -honda12

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