System Restore for Windows 7
Sometimes Windows 7 suddenly starts to misbehave for reasons unknown. You could spend hours tracking down the subtle change that caused the problem, or you could just go back to an earlier, pleasanter time when everything worked perfectly. That latter option is possible with System Restore. Here's how it works...
Fix Windows 7 Problems With System Restore
Installing new applications, Windows updates, or software drivers can sometimes cause Windows to behave unpredictably. If un-installing the new software doesn't cure the problem, or you're not sure which recently installed software is causing the problem, then System Restore can undo all of the changes made to your system up to a specific "restore point" in the past.
System Restore can also help if a virus or spyware is causing you trouble. If your internet security software doesn't clean up the mess, a trip back in time with System Restore might do the trick.
Restore points are snapshots of your system's registry and system information settings taken at various times, and saved in date-stamped restore point files. Windows 7 creates restore points automatically right before new software packages are installed using Windows Installer, when Windows Updates are installed, and about once every 24 hours of computer use. Also, users can manually create a restore point at any time.
To create a restore point, click the Start button and type, "create a restore point" in the Search box. Click the "create a restore point" link in the search results and then click the "Create" button at the bottom of the System Protection tab that appears. There are other things you can do on the System Protection tab, too.
Managing Restore Points
Restore point files are kept in a reserved area of your hard drive. The Configure button on the System Protection tab lets you configure what System Restore can save and restore. The first option, "Restore system settings and previous versions of files" gives you the most protection, but the restore point files created are larger and so fewer are saved at any given time. You can control the amount of disk space reserved for restore points on this tab as well. When the reserved space starts to run out, the oldest restore points are deleted to make room for new ones. If you have hundreds of gigabytes of available hard drive storage, this may not even be an issue.
Back on the System Protection tab, you can click the System Restore button to start restoring your system to an earlier time. Alternatively, you can launch system Restore by typing "system restore" in the Start search box and clicking the "system restore" link.
The System Restore utility displays a list of system restore points available to you. I recommend that you click the "Show more restore points" checkbox to show all of the available restore points. Select one that you feel will restore your system to a state when it was working well. But first, you may want to click that button that says, "scan for affected programs." These are programs that will be lost or restored to states prior to their last update during a System Restore.
It's important to remember that your data files will not be lost. Documents, photos, spreadsheets, etc., created by application programs, and other files stored in the My Documents folder, are off-limits to System Restore.
System Restore is the "undo button" that can save you hours of trying to figure out which of many recent changes is causing Windows to misbehave. It's worth a try, especially since you can undo the System Restore!
Do you have something to say about using System Restore on Windows 7? Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 21 Mar 2011
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- System Restore for Windows 7 (Posted: 21 Mar 2011)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved