System Restore: The Big Undo

By: Stephen Bucaro

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System Restore: The Big Undo

By Stephen Bucaro

System Restore is the ultimate band-aid fix for buggy
Microsoft Windows. If you make a hardware or software
change to your Windows Me or Windows XP system, and then
it doesn't work right, System Restore acts like a giant "undo".

For System Restore to work, you need a "restore point" to
go back to. A restore point saves a copy of the registry,
drivers, and crucial operating system files. The files are
saved as compressed .cab files in a folder named

System Restore monitors all partitions on your computer
(Windows XP lets you select which drives to monitor) and
automatically creates restore points. The actual number
of restore points saved depends on how much disk space has
been allocated for System Restore. System Restore will not
run if your system has less than 200 MB of free space.

= Types of Restore Points

- System Check Points: Scheduled restore points created by
Windows. System Restore automatically creates a restore
point every 10 hours (if your computer is on). Your
computer must be idle for a few minutes before a restore
point can be created.

- Manual Restore Points: Just before you make a hardware or
software change to your system, you can maually create a
restore point.

- Installation Restore Points: Restore points created by an
installation program.

Not all installation programs create
a restore point.

= Make sure System Restore is enabled

1. Select Start | Settings | Control Panel and open System

2. On the Performance tab, click on the [File System]
button. The "File System Properties" dialog box appears.

3. In the File System Properties" dialog box select the
"Troubleshooting" tab.

4. On the "Troubleshooting" tab, make sure the "Disable
System Restore" checkbox is not checked.

= To Create a Restore Point

1. Select Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools |
System Restore. The "Wecome to System Restore" window will

2. In the "Welcome to System Restore" window, set the
"Create Restore Point" radio button. Then click in the
[Next] button. The "Create Restore Point" window will

2. In the "Create Restore Point" window, enter a name for
your restore point. For example, "Before Modem Upgrade".
Then click on the [Next] button.

3. After a period of disk activity, the "Confirm New
Restore Point" window will appear displaying the date and
name of your restore point. Click on the [OK] button.

= Restoring Your System

You made a hardware or software change to your system, and
now it doesn't work right. If Windows won't start, press
the F8 key while your computer is starting. The "Startup
Menu" should appear. In the Startup Menu select "Safe Mode".
In safe mode, or if Windows does start, select

Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools |
System Restore

The "Welcome to System Restore" window will appear. Click
on the [Next] button. On the "Choose a Restore Point" page,
click on a restore point to highlight it. If there are no
restore points listed, click on the [back arrow] button on
the calendar until you find the most recent restore point.
Then click on the [Next] button. System Restore restores
your system to the state it was in at the restore point
you selected and then restarts your computer.

= Note: System Restore does not undo any changes that you
made to files you created with your applications. If a
restore doesn't work, you can undo it, and select a
different restore point.

When Microsoft created this big band-aid fix called System
RestoreFeature Articles, they admitted that Windows is an unstable
operating system. Now we should be able to get compensated
for all the productivity we lost because of Windows crashing.
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