What's in the Snapshot?
Taking copies of the registry and saving it to a disk cache area is a great idea. The next step will be able to selectively choose the components, and in effect create the optimum configuration from all previous ones. Today, it is manually intensive, but one can hope that Microsoft pushes this technology to that level. So which components make the cut and which don't? Here are the components that are included in the System Restore sequencing of taking a snapshot of the registry:
Profiles (local onlyroaming user profiles not impacted by restore)
Internet Information Server Metabase
Files with extensions listed in the <include> portion of the Monitored File Extensions list in the System Restore section of the software developer's implementation of system commands.
Items not included in the System Restore are as follows:
SAM hives (do not restore passwords)
WPA settings (Windows authentication information is not restored)
Specific directories/files listed in the Monitored File Extensions list in the System Restore section of the Platform SDK
Any file with an extension not listed as <included> in the Monitored File Extensions list in the System Restore section of the Platform SDK
Items listed in both Filesnottobackup and KeysnottoRestore (hklm->system->controlset001->control->backuprestore->filesnottobackup and keysnottorestore)
User-created data stored in the user profile
Contents of redirected folders