Subject Solution to GDB/SYSTEM RESTORE issue :-)
Author csswa
Howdy all.

For XP users, here is what you need to do to remove the GDB extension
from your FILELIST.XML... forever! The process is similar for
win2000, but I haven't confirmed/experimented with that yet.
Following the steps will be a short discussion of what's actually
going on here. Also check out the REFERENCES section at the end.

Unfortunately I'm now working blind on my win98 partition because I
plan on playing America's Army after this post (98 is my gaming
partition), so I can't browse to my XP partition to doublecheck what
I did... but hopefully I will recall correctly. Before you yell at
me that this didn't work for you, it did for me (yes, after
rebooting!) so YMMV. Hopefully if a bunch of us can refine the
process and detail it clearly, the GDB system restore issue will no
longer be an issue.

1) browse to your WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 folder, thence to your RESTORE
folder -- note, some of the files/folders mentioned may be hidden so
ensure you have 'view hidden stuff' switched on :-)

2) make a copy of FILELIST.XML -- with a new name. Rightclick,
drag, 'copy here' is quickest and results in a new file "COPY OF
FILELIST.XML" to which I will now refer. This file will serve as
your original backup as well as the copy we will work with.

3) Copy "COPY OF FILELIST.XML" to the folder C:\WINDOWS\System32
\dllcache. Note, I didn't already have a copy of FILELIST.XML
sitting in this folder, but some might.

4) We now want to edit "COPY OF FILELIST.XML" residing in
C:\WINDOWS\System32\dllcache. I recall it is READ ONLY so change
that to begin with. Rightclick, choose EDIT, or whatever your
preferred means -- just get it up in notepad. Search for the line
containing GDB. From memory it was something like
<REC>GDB...</REC>. Delete that line. Note too that you can add or
remove other file extensions in this section. Just follow the same
XML format as shown. Quit your editor, saving the file.

5) Now comes the bit where we put the smackdown on XP. Rename the
file we just edited ("COPY OF FILELIST.XML") to FILELIST.XML.

In the next few seconds you may or may not get Windows complaining
about a system error. If so, just play along, yessir it until it's
happy. See the "What's going on?" section below for why this may

6) Return to the folder WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\RESTORE where our original
unmodified FILELIST.XML resides, along with the copy. Open the
original FILELIST.XML and edit it the same way you edited the copy we
put in the DLLCACHE folder.

7) Reboot your system.

8) Go to WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\RESTORE and have a look inside
FILELIST.XML. A quick search for 'GDB' should reveal that the
extension has been permanently purged from your list of system
restore files. If not, check that you followed the steps in the
order above.

--- WHAT'S GOING ON? ---

If you edit FILELIST.XML, Windows knows about it. It keeps a digital
signature of system files. If a system file fails authentication
then Windows restores an original post haste (e.g. on bootup).

Luckily for us, when Windows wants to restore a system file, one of
the places it looks first is the DLLCACHE folder -- which we happen
to have seeded with our modified copy of FILELIST.XML. Don't ask me
why Windows doesn't complain about our modded file not matching it's
digital signature for the original. That seems to be a (cough cough)
security lapse. Of course, if they change this in a service pack
then this GDB fix may prove useless. Maybe Windows doesn't keep it's
own internal signature but just the sig of what it thinks the current
version is. More research needed.

So it grabs our modded file and plonks it back where it belongs in
the RESTORE folder. Now I believe it will be doing this every time
you boot, but I could be wrong -- especially if the updated file is
now used to provide the digital signature. Anyhoo, this should not
be a problem.


Andrew Ferguson