Windows XP / Beginners

Using Restore Points

System Restore functions by creating restore points. A restore point is a "snapshot" of your computer's configuration that is stored on your hard disk. If you launch System Restore, System Restore accesses a restore point to reconfigure your computer. This brings your computer back to a stable state-a place where it was when the system was stable.

Troubleshooting: Adjusting System Restore Disk Usage

By default, System Restore is given 12 percent of your hard disk space when you install Windows XP, assuming that 12 percent is at least 200MB. If you access the System Properties sheet and click the System Restore tab, then click the Settings button, you see a slider bar on the Hard Disk tab indicating the total amount of disk space that System Restore is allowed to use. You can lower this amount by moving the slider bar. However, keep in mind that System Restore must have at least 200MB, and if you want System Restore to function really well, you should leave this 12 percent setting at its default level.

Note System Restore restores your operating system and applications only; it does not save and restore any files. For example, if you accidentally delete a Word document, you cannot use System Restore to get the document back. Also, System Restore does not affect other files, such as e-mail messages and web pages.

Note System Restore automatically creates restore points for you, so usually you need not create a restore point manually. However, what if you are about to try some configuration option or configure a software program that you know may be risky or that has caused you problems in the past? You can then manually create a restore point so you can restore your system to the exact present state. To create a restore point, just follow the easy steps described in the next section.

Creating a Restore Point

  1. Click Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | System Restore.
  2. In the System Restore window click the Create a Restore Point radio button, then click Next.
  3. In the window that appears, enter a description. You may want to include information that will help you distinguish this new restore point from others. The date and time of the restore point are added automatically, so you don't need to include those. Click Next.
  4. The restore point is created. Click OK and you're done.
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