Windows XP / Beginners

Windows XP Using System Restore

System Restore is a great feature of Windows XP that can get you out of all sorts of trouble. What if your computer won't start? What if you install a bad application that wrecks your computer? If you have ever worked with Windows, you know that bad configuration problems can become a serious troubleshooting problem. System Restore makes this concern a thing of the past because you can easily restore your computer to a previous state. The following sections show you how to use System Restore.

System Restore Requirements

System Restore is automatically installed and configured on Windows XP if your computer has at least 200MB of free disk space after Windows XP is installed. If your computer does not have 200MB of free disk space, System Restore is installed, but it is not set up to run. System Restore functions by saving information about your system so that it can be restored in the event of problem. To function correctly, System Restore requires 200MB of free disk space, and actually may need much more. Fortunately, if you are using a newer computer, you most likely have plenty of free disk space, and System Restore is already operational on your computer.

Making System Restore Available

If your computer did not have 200MB of free disk space upon initial installation, but you have made 200MB or more of free disk space available, you can enable System Restore so that it begins functioning on your Windows XP computer. To enable System Restore, just follow the steps described in the next section.

Enabling System Restore

  1. In Control Panel, double-click System, or just right-click My Computer and click Properties.
  2. Click the System Restore tab.
  3. You can click the Enable System Restore check box to turn off System Restore on all drives on your computer. If this check box is selected, just click to clear it so that System Restore is enabled.
  4. Click OK, then click OK again on the System Properties window.

Note System Restore is set on a per-drive basis. If you are using multiple drivers, you must access the System Restore tab on each drive's Properties sheet to configure the option.

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