Often after we make changes to our computer, we will be ready to do our work and find out there is a problem with the computer. These problems can make it impossible to do schoolwork, business reports, or other tasks. Often, we can use the System Restore function in Microsoft Windows XP to go back to a point when the computer was working properly.

System Restore acts very much like a photographer, constantly poking around behind the scenes of your computer and taking “snapshots” of the current state of the operating system and critical Windows files. If Windows XP starts to experience problems, the System Restore features is able to look up one of these snapshots and return your computer to a previous working state. It’s almost like a time machine that lets you undo any problems which may have occurred. None of your personal documents or files are affected — just the critical Windows files themselves.

In order to restore your computer just follow these simple steps: Close any open programs. Click on the Windows “Start” button (normally located on the bottom of your computer desktop) Click on “All Programs” Click on “Accessories” Click on “System Tools” Then click on “System Restore” At this point the System Restore wizard will launch. You will have two options: “Restore my system from an earlier date” or “Create a system restore point”

System restore

To restore your system to proper working order, first select option A and then click on “next.” This will bring you to a screen with a calendar on it, which will allow you to select the date of the backup file you want to restore your system from. If your computer worked OK two days ago, for example, choose that date on the calendar and click “next.” The next screen allows you to confirm the information you have supplied, so verify that data and then click “next” again. That will allow Windows XP to reboot and attempt to restore your system with the selected backup file.

The System Restore process can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes depending on how much reconfiguration Windows XP needs to do and how fast of a PC you have. When System Restore is done, a screen will popup with the results of the restore. If it was successful, you can then log into the system and start using the computer again. Any quirky issues that you were having are now hopefully gone.

Look again at the “Create a restore point” option. The purpose of this is to allow Windows XP to create a point ‘frozen in time’ that allows you to save the state of the system before updating drivers or installing a new program. It gives you a little piece of mind that you will be able to undo any problems should they arise. The best way to use this feature is to get yourself into the habit of always making a fresh restore point before making any major system changes or installations. In the event of a crisis, you can quickly undo the damage and bring your computer back to a clean slate. This is a simple utility to use and gives you tremendous piece of mind.

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