The System Restore feature is used to return your computer to a known working earlier state following a system failure or major problem with your system.

System Restore creates a Restore Point before changes are made to the system, such as the installation of new device drivers or applications. A Restore Point is a snapshot of the system and consists of a copy of the registry and other important system files. It is also possible for a user to create Restore Points manually.

System Restore requires at least 200Mb of disk space and should be enabled before it can be used, from the System Restore tab of the System Properties dialog.

This is launched either from RMB (right mouse button) on My Computer and select Properties

or

Start … All Programs … Control Panel … System

The settings allow you to specify how much disk space to use for System Restore Points and whether monitoring of the drive, or drives, is switched on.

To revert your system to a previously created Restore Point use the System Restore Wizard, which is launched from

Start … All Programs … Accessories … System Tools … System Restore

and select the option

Restore my computer to an earlier time

Follow the wizard instructions, selecting a date from the calendar of the Restore Point you want to revert to, and on completion the system will shut down and reboot to the state the system was in at that date.

Remember you will lose changes to any settings, applications, installations etc. that you have made since the date of the Restore Point (For example you will need to re-install any applications that you installed after the date the Restore Point was created).

BTW. You can see that this is the same wizard to use for manually creating System Restore Points. In this case select the option to Create a restore point.

(Tip: I have successfully recovered from a corrupt User Profile by returning to a previously created Restore Point – although this may not always work, depending on the nature of the corruption, it can be worth a try).

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