Question about PC Desktops
System Restore is a valuable tool Microsoft released with Windows Me and substantially enhanced with Windows XP. (Windows 98 users can only gain this functionality with a third-party program.) Although it is not a backup utility per se, it performs a valuable backup function. System Restore monitors a wide variety of system and program files and creates a backup (called a restore point) of them at predetermined intervals. If a user experiences a problem with his system, he can roll back (restore) the system to a previously working state. By design, System Restore does not monitor data files. Consequently, you cannot use System Restore as a backup utility. Nevertheless, its significant value as a system backup tool makes it worthy of inclusion in this section.
Users cannot control many of System Restore’s parameters without manually making dangerous system edits, but they can adjust a few of its settings, such as how much room the system allots for restore points. In addition, users can manually create, invoke, and undo restore points.
In WinMe and WinXP, System Restore monitors and records changes to EXE (executable), VXD (virtual device driver), DLL (software and hardware drivers), and Windows Registry files. (Drivers are small programs that let system components communicate with a computer. The Registry is a database containing information about the system and user configurations and settings.)
System Restore periodically saves this information in a compressed archive and stores it on your hard drive. According to Microsoft representatives, System Restore makes an automatic checkpoint approximately every 10 hours your computer is running. The system must be idle for two minutes before it can create a checkpoint. If System Restore cannot create at least one checkpoint within a 24-hour period, it will attempt to create one at that interval. However, the system must also be idle for two minutes before it can create a 24-hour checkpoint.
Users of both WinMe and WinXP access System Restore from the System Tools menu (click Start, Programs [All Programs in WinXP], Accessories, and System Tools). When the main System Restore window opens, you will see two or three choices. The first two, Restore My Computer To An Earlier Time and Create a Restore Point, are present in all cases. The third option, Undo My Last Restoration, is present only if you have previously restored your computer to an earlier state. WinXP users have another option on the left side of the window: System Restore Settings. This option opens the System Properties dialog box you used in the “Give yourself room” and “Turn it off” sections.
Posted on Feb 14, 2008
Did you set a restore point lately. You do need to do that occasionally
(for example after removing a virus)
Maybe your restore point is not valid anymore
you can do Your first port of call for System Restore problems should be the System
Restore Troubleshooter, which you'll find here. However, it's also possible
that one of your Restore points has become corrupt, in which case you'll
need to disable System Restore. This will delete all existing Restore points
and then re-enable it. To do so, right-click My Computer on the Start menu
or desktop and choose Properties -> System Restore tab. Tick the 'Turn off
System Restore on all drives' and click Apply - you'll be told that all
existing Restore points will be deleted, so click Yes, at which point the
Restore points will be removed. Now remove the tick and click Apply again to
You can now test that System Restore is working properly by creating a new
Restore Point and then immediately attempting to restore your computer to
that point in time. Hopefully, now you'll be successful
Posted on Feb 14, 2008
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