Have you ever run into a problem on your computer and thought to yourself "If only I could click a button and just put my computer back like it was yesterday"? Well, I have some good news. You have to click more than one button, but you can easily set your system back to the way it was yesterday... even last week or last month.
Though the System Restore feature was introduced in Windows Millennium Edition, it is behaves differently in Windows XP. This article will assume you are using Windows XP. Windows XP makes a restore point every 24 hours and also when any automatic updates are installed from Windows Update. These restore points are backups of many of the Windows system files. It is important to note that the System Restore feature does not backup any of your personal data files. You should backup your data regularly, but that is another subject all together.
To set your computer back to one of these restore points, click on Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Restore. When the System Restore utility opens, select the "Restore my computer to an earlier time" radio button. Now click the "Next" button. Use the calendar on the left to navigate to the desired day. Days that are bold on the calendar contain restore points. You can use the arrows on the left and right at the top of the calendar to change months. Click on the desired day to display the available restore points in the box on the right. Click on the desired restore point. Now click the "Next" button. The confirmation screen will now display. Click "Next" again to confirm. The computer will now logoff and restore the files from the selected restore point. When this is complete it will reboot and start Windows. You will see a message telling you whether or not the System Restore was successful.
This feature can often times overcome problems with drivers and other issues in Windows. If it does not correct your problem, you can go through the process again and select a different restore point. As always, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.