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Set up a Windows restore point in Windows 7

windows7_logoA system restore point is basically a snapshot of the Windows operating system and programs and configurations at the time the restore point was created. The purpose of System Restore is to provide a way recovering from an error or failure on a Windows-based computer. This is especially useful if you have just experienced file corruption or installed or uninstalled something and now your computer is unstable.  As a preventive measure, you can also create a System Restore Point before you make any modifications to your computer, just in case something goes wrong.

Things you should know about System Restore

  1. System Restore works in the background and is enabled and running by default. System Restore makes automatic restore points of your computer every day of your primary hard drive (Local Disk C:). You can also use System Restore to make restore points of any other hard drives in your computer.
  2. System Restore does not typically affect your documents, media, or personal data. However, any programs you installed after the selected restore point would have to  be reinstalled. To be safe, you should always have an external backup of your data.
  3. After running System Restore, it is important that you run Windows Updates again and make sure you have the latest security patches installed. You should also do the same with your antivirus and malware protection.
  4. The downside to System Restore is that if your computer was infected with viruses or malware at the time a system restore point was created, chances are they will also be restored when you restore your computer. That is why you should run an updated antivirus and malware removal scans immediately after you restore your computer.
  5. System Restore works in Windows normal boot mode or in Safe Mode. If System Restore will not run in a normal Windows environment, boot to a local administrator account in Safe Mode and try it there.
  6. Depending on the issue, System Restore may not work. If it does not work, you should stop immediately, and contact your computer vendor or IT Support for assistance.

Modifying System Restore Settings

System Restore by default runs automatically in the background and is enabled on the primary hard drive  C:\ (System). You can configure or disable System Restore on any hard drive detected on your computer, and control how System Restore works in System Protection, located in the System Properties.

  1. In Windows 7, Open the Start Menu, Right-click on  “Computer” and select “Properties
  2. In Windows 8, click the Windows logo key and type the word “restore” and select System Restore.
  3. In the left-hand column, select “System protection
  4. In the System Properties window, select “System Protection
  5. Click “Configure” to modify restore settings for each drive.
  6. Apply changes



To create a restore point

As I mentioned above, you can manually create a system restore point, which is a good thing to do before you install any new software or hardware on your computer. Creating a System Restore Point is a simple process and takes just a few minutes to complete.

  1. Go to Start, and right-click on the Computer menu item, and select Properties. (You can also get there by clicking  Start, type “create restore” in the Search field, and select the “Create Restore Point” option that appears.)
  2. In the left pane, click System protection.  (Administrator permission are required, you will need to enter Administrator credentials if you’re prompted.)
  3. Click the System Protection tab, and then click Create
  4. In the System Protection dialog box, type a description, and then click Create.

Restoring your computer to a previous time

Restoring your Windows 7 computer to a previous restore point is an easy process, but can take a considerable amount of time, depending on how much data needs to be restored. If you have a laptop, you will want to make sure that it is running off the AC power supply, not the batteries. If your computer shuts down during the restore process, it could cause irreparable damage to your operating system and data.  During the restoration process, you will not be able to use your computer.  When you are ready to begin restoring your computer, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools, and open System Restore.
  2. Click Next -> on the Restore system files and settings window.
  3. Choose the restore point that you want to use.

Note: Check the Show more restore points checkbox to see more than the most recent restore points. Any restore points that you created, scheduled restore points that Windows 7 created, and those created automatically during the installation of certain programs will be listed here. You can not use System Restore to undo Windows 7 changes to a date that a restore point does not exist.

  1. Click Next .
  2. Click Finish on the Confirm your restore point window to begin the System Restore.

Note: Windows 7 will shut down to complete the System Restore so be sure to save any work you might have open in other programs before continuing.

Important: System Restore will not revert any of your non-system files like documents, email, music, etc. to a previous state. These types files are completely unaffected by System Restore. If your intention with this tool was to recover a deleted non-system file, try using a file recovery program instead of System Restore.

  1. Click Yes to the” Once started, System Restore cannot be interrupted. Do you want to continue?” dialog box.
  2. System Restore will now restore Windows 7 to the state that was recorded in the restore point you chose in Step  3. When the restoration process is complete, your computer will reboot.
  3. Immediately after logging in to Windows 7 after the reboot, you should see a message that System Restore completed successfully.
  4. Click Close.

Check to see if whatever Windows 7 problem you were troubleshooting has been corrected by this System Restore. If the problem still persists, you can repeat the steps above and choose another restore point if one is available.

I hope this post was useful for you.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding this process, please feel free to contact me. I won’t sell your information or try to spam you, but I will try to help you or at least get you going in the right direction.

Thanks for reading, and Peace!

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