As in many walks of life you will find variations in philosophy especially in approaches to computer maintenance. Here at Panther Computers one of the steps we take is to turn off the system restore feature of Windows (ME and above). The reasons are that system restore slows the system down, uses up resources (hard drive & memory), often doesn\'t work, and is a safe-haven for viruses and spyware.
Turning of system restore frees up valuable resources like hard drive space and memory as well as CPU cycles. This is a "tweak" that will most likely be noticed on older slower machines with limited memory (192Mb or less), hard drive space (nearing or below 20% left on drive) , and processors slower than 1Ghz. Faster machines may see little improvement depending on the work load of the machine.
All machines benefit from not running a process that has roughly a 50% success rate. Proper maintenance, keeping your system free of viruses & spyware, and properly backing up important files is much more conducive to your system health and recovery after mishaps. More importantly, consider how system restore (is supposed to) work(s):
When the system is changed, a system restore point is made, usually by a program or update being installed. You also have the option to create manual restore points, and Windows will make them periodically. This is your virtual "do-over" if you make a mistake, a program crashes, or a virus slams your machine.
The problem is that viruses may not be discovered till days or weeks later. The same is true of spyware. This means that if you have undiscovered nasties on your machine long before you know it, the restore points will include copies of these viruses and spyware. In addition to this, system restore is a "protected" area of your hard drive. This protection also prevents anti-virus and spyware cleaning tools from ridding the computer of found nasties completely.
So this is the reason all computers that have been tuned up at Panther computers will have system restore turned off. Feel free to re-enable it at your own risk.