At one time or another, this has probably
happened to you, too. You turn on your computer (boot up)
getting ready to type a special report, business presentation,
or an email, and the computer just doesn't want to work today.
Whether it's the word processor, spreadsheet, or financial
package that isn't working, most people aren't aware that
Microsoft Windows XP System Restore is a built in feature that just may save
Basically, XP System Restore is like a little helper that runs
behind the scenes taking "snapshots" of various parts of the
Microsoft Windows XP operating system. So, if a part of
Microsoft Windows XP stops working one day, the System Restore
utility is able to reference one of these "snapshots" and
restore your system from a previous day.
It's kind of like going back in time to a day when your
computer worked. All your current data (Microsoft Word
files, etc.) are still retained, so you don't have to worry
about losing any present day files.
Here's how to restore your
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 see two options:
a. "Restore my system from an
b. "Create a system restore
If you only need to restore your system and get it working
correctly again, select option "a" and click "Next."
From this screen you can
select a "restore to" date from the calendar. So, if
you knew that your computer worked fine two days ago, just
pick that date and click "Next."
The next screen is the confirmation window. Just verify
the information on the screen and click "Next." Windows XP
will then reboot and try to restore your system with the
settings from the date you selected.
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 a PC you
When System Restore is done, a screen will pop up with the
results of the restore. If it was successful, you can then
log into the system and start using the computer again. Any
problem issues that you were having are now hopefully gone.
Now, about 7b above the "Create a system restore point"
option. Use this option when you want to force Windows
XP to take a snapshot of your system just before you install a
program or alter any system settings that you are not sure of.
Restore is like a safety net for when you install
system drivers (video, audio, etc) or any internet
programs (sometimes riddled with
malicious worms and spyware)
If you want to go back to
a virgin state, simply create a restore point "before"
installing any software. This way, if your machine starts
acting weird, you can restore your settings from the selected
With a little practice, the XP System Restore utility is easy to
use and a great way to help insure the safety of your computer.
... Richard Rossbauer