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System Restore

Table of Contents

Overview

System Restore works a lot like the Undo command in Microsoft Word. You can use System Restore to remove any system changes that were made since the last time you remember your computer working correctly. System Restore does not affect your personal data files (such as Microsoft Word documents, browsing history, drawings, favorites, or email so you won't lose changes made to these files.

This is most effective to use when attempting to get rid of viruses such as a fake antivirus program.

This will not always work because in some cases the virus is smart enough to disable System Restore or to not allow it to work properly.

Using System Restore

How does System restore work?

Windows periodically records a snapshot of your computer. These snapshots are called restore points. Windows also creates restore points at the time of significant system events (such as when an application or driver is installed) or you can create and name your own restore points at any time. If you have installed a program that has made your computer unstable, you can open system restore, choose a restore point, and return your computer to its previous stable state.

When you run System Restore, a calendar is displayed to help you find restore points. If you don't use your computer every day, some days might not have any restore points. If you use your computer frequently, you might have restore points almost every day, and some days might have several restore points.

Use System Restore to undo changes you have made to your computer

Before you open the System Restore console, you may want to save your work and close all programs since System Restore requires you to restart your computer.

System Restore with Windows XP

There are two ways to access System Restore through Help and Support or through your All Programs folder.

Through Help and Support:

  1. Click Start, and then click Help and Support.
  2. Under Pick a Task, click Undo changes to your computer with System Restore.
  3. Follow the instructions on the wizard.

Through the All Programs menu:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Point to All Programs.
  3. Point to Accessories.
  4. Point to System Tools.
  5. Click System Restore.
  6. Follow the instructions on the wizard.

Creating a restore point can be useful any time you anticipate making changes to your computer that are risky or might make your computer unstable. If something goes wrong, you select the restore point you just created and Windows XP undoes any system changes made since that time.

System Restore with Windows Vista and Windows 7

Starting with Windows Vista there is a big leap in doing a system restore or recovery. Windows 7 also has the same options. In case your system is not displaying any GUI or there is crash more often, just follow these:

  1. Press F8 when your computer starts.
  2. Choose System Recovery which should be the first option
  3. You will be prompted for user name password which should be an administrator account.
  4. Next you will get 5 ways of making a restore : Startup repair, System Restore, Windows complete pc restore, Windows Memory Diagnostic tool and Command prompt

Select System Restore and follow the steps.

System Restore with WIndows 8

Remove everything and reinstall Windows

Do I Need Recovery Media?

You might be prompted to insert discs or recovery media that came with your PC. Check the info that came with your PC to see if your PC manufacturer provided these discs or media. In some cases, you might have created them when you first set up your PC.

To reset your Windows 8 PC

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)

  2. Under PC settings, tap or click General.

  3. Under Remove everything and reinstall Windows , tap or click Get started.

  4. Follow the instructions on the screen.

Data Management

You'll be prompted to choose whether you want to erase data quickly or thoroughly. If you choose to erase data quickly, some data might be recoverable using special software. If you choose to erase data thoroughly, this will take longer but it makes recovering data far less likely.

Refresh your Windows 8 PC without affecting your files

If your PC isn't performing as well as it once did, and you don't know why, you can refresh your PC without deleting any of your personal files or changing your settings.

Refresh vs Reinstall

Refreshing your system does not reinstall the operating system and will not meet the fresh start requirements of a quarantine. Its purpose is to remove recently installed apps and drivers that may now be interfering with the performance of your device.

To refresh your PC

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)

  2. Under PC settings, tap or click General.

  3. Under Refresh your PC without affecting your files, tap or click Get started.

  4. Follow the instructions on the screen.

 

System Restore with Windows 10

Remove everything and reinstall Windows

To reset your Windows 10 PC

  1. Using the search bar, open Settings.
  2. Click "Update & Security"
  3. Click "Recovery" on the left side of the window.
  4. Select "Get Started" under the "Reset this PC" title
  5. Select "Remove everything"
  6. Follow the instructions on the screen.

Refresh your Windows 10 PC without affecting your files

To refresh your PC

  1. Using the search bar, open Settings
  2. Click "Update & Security"
  3. Click "Recovery" on the left side of the window
  4. Select "Get Started" under the "Reset this PC" title
  5. Select "Keep my files"
  6. Follow the instructions on the screen

Sources and Relevant Links

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/helpandsupport/learnmore/systemrestore.mspx
http://www.technospot.net/blogs/how-to-do-a-system-restore-in-windows-vista-and-windows-7/
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/restore-refresh-reset-pc


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