Must Know Facts About Using System Restore
System Restore is a Windows utility that can roll your operating system’s settings back to a previous state without altering personal files you’ve recently created (such as documents, photos or e-mail). Using a Restore Point will remove any Windows updates or program-specific upgrades, particularly virus and spyware definitions you installed after the Restore Point’s date. You’ll need to reinstall these updates after the restoration.
How Does it Works?
System Restore creates monitors your computer and many applications and creates restore points (known also as snapshots). It affects Windows system files, programs, and registry settings. When you have problems in your system configurations, you can restore to previous snapshot. By default, it creates restore points daily and when significant event occur (installation of new software or a device driver).
Here are the different types of snapshots:
- Initial System Snapshot – This snapshot is taken from the first time your system start. Restoring to this snapshot will return your system to be after installation.
- Daily Snapshot – By default a snapshot is created every day. It will be also when you turn on your computer after was shut down for more than a day.
- Automatic Update Snapshot – A Snapshot is created before Automatic Windows Updates is running to update your system. So if you restore to previous state, you need to download and install the updates again.
- Installation Snapshot – System restore creates restore point when you install new program. If you want to reverse the changes made by this program, restore to the latest snapshot. If you want to remove a software, then you must remove this program using ‘Add or Remove Programs’ utility before you restore to the previous snapshot.
- Restore Operations Snapshot – When you restore to a specific snapshot, it creates also snapshot of your current state, so you can roll back the restore operation.
- Manual Snapshot – You can create your own snapshot using system restore. This is most recommended to do before changing things in Windows registry.
- Backup Utility Recovery Snapshot – System restore create snapshot before you use backup utility to perform a recovery.
- Unsigned Device Driver Snapshot – A snapshot is created when you install unsigned device driver, so you can rollback the installation of the device driver if it interferes with your computer’s stability.
Given enough disk space, it can maintains up to 90 days of restore points.
To create a snapshot or restore one, go to Start->All Programs->Accessories->System Tools->System Restore. You can then use recommended restore, choose a different restore point, or create a restore point.
Important Tip: System Restore may be disabled in your computer due to lack of disk space. System Restore requires 300MB of free space to keep running properly. Once you’ve freed up 300MB on your hard drive, System Restore will automatically re-enable itself.