November 7, 2009

Windows XP-System Restore

Before You Try System RestoreSystem Restore should only be used after trying less comprehensive methods of troubleshooting. System Restore changes many files and registry entries, and in some cases might replace more files than you want restored. 

Run problem applications in Compatibility Mode 
If system instability occurs after installing a particular application. To run the Program Compatibility Wizard:
Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Program Compatibility Wizard.

Use Add or Remove Programs to uninstall a problem application 

If the system instability has occurred immediately after a new application has been installed and running the program in Compatibility Mode hasn't helped. Although System Restore will remove the application if you choose to apply it, it is better to remove the offending application from Control Panel. 

 How to open Add or Remove Programs:
1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Add or Remove Programs.
2. Click the program you want to remove, and then click Change/Remove.

If the system's instability has occurred immediately after a new device driver is installed, use the Device Driver Rollback feature instead of System Restore.

How to roll back to an earlier driver:
1. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
2. On the Hardware tab, click Device Manager.
3. In the Device Manager dialog box, double-click the hardware that uses the driver in question.
4. In the device Properties dialog box, on the Driver tab, click Roll Back Driver.
Windows XP troubleshooters in the Help and Support Center. To open a troubleshooter:

1. Click Start, and then click Help and Support.
2. Under Pick a Help topic, click Fixing a Problem.
3. Under Troubleshooting problems in the right pane, click List of troubleshooters, and then start a troubleshooter by clicking the name in the left column of the table.

If, after trying these options the computer is still unstable, opt for System Restore. You'll want to save this option for last because the changes made to your computer are more comprehensive than if you simply uninstall a program or rollback a device driver.

To use the System Restore Wizard, make sure you're logged on as an administrator, and then follow these steps:
1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click System Restore.
2. On the Welcome screen, click Restore my computer to an earlier time, and then click Next.
3. On the Select a Restore Point page, select the date from the calendar that shows the point you'd like to restore to, as shown in Figure 2, and then click Next.

Figure 2
4. On the Confirm Restore Point Selection page, verify that the correct restore point is chosen, and then close any open programs.
5. Click Next if you are ready to proceed or click Back to change the restore point.
6. The computer will shut down automatically and reboot. On reboot, you'll see the Restoration Complete page, and then click OK.   

After reviewing the stability of your system, you can choose another restore point or undo this restoration. Just open System Restore and make the appropriate choice. After you use System Restore, you'll have an additional task, Undo my last restoration, on the System Restore Welcome page. Remember that you'll have to reinstall any programs that were installed after the restore point. 

If System Restore doesn't work in Normal Mode, it might work in Safe Mode. To use System Restore in Safe Mode, press the F8 key during reboot and choose Safe Mode.

How to Create Restore Points Manually

Only application installations that use a System Restore restorept.api-compliant installer will trigger the creation of a restore point. So it's a good idea to create a restore point manually before you install an application that you suspect won't have one a restorept.api-compliant installer. For example, before installing a screensaver you've downloaded from the Internet or a beta program from a software vendor, you should manually create a restore point. For more information, see the TechNet article, Windows XP System Restore.

To manually create a restore point:
1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click System Restore.
2. On the Welcome page, click Create a restore point.
3. On the Create a Restore Point page, enter a descriptive name for your restore point, as shown in Figure 3, and then click Create.

Figure 3 

The Restore Point Created page confirms that the new restore point has been created. I think it's a good idea to manually create a restore point before you download and install any application from the Internet.
Use Scheduled Tasks 

You can use Scheduled Tasks to create restore points at specified times. You might want to configure Scheduled Tasks to run System Restore at 6:00 P.M. daily, so that you always have a restore point available at the end of each working day.

To create a Scheduled Task, log on as an administrator, and then follow these steps:
1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, click Scheduled Tasks, and then double-click Add Scheduled Task.
2. Click Next on the first Scheduled Task Wizard page.
3. On the second page, click System Restore in the list of applications, and then click Next.
4. Continue through the wizard, specifying the days and times to run System Restore.
5. When prompted, type in the user name and password for an administrator of the system, and then click Finish. Scheduled Tasks starts each time you start Windows XP and runs in the background.

Troubleshoot System Restore
Some common problems that could cause System Restore not to work properly and their solutions include the following:
There is less than 200 MB of free space available on the computer—free up some space on the hard drive by deleting unused files or images.
After rebooting, the restoration is unsuccessful—choose an earlier restore point and try again.
Restoration was denied due to non-administrator status—log out and then back in as an administrator.
The System Restore Service is not running—Open Administrative Tools, click Computer Management, and then click Services and Applications. Click Services, and double-click System Restore Services from the list. Verify the service is started and running. If not, under Service status, click Start and change the startup type to Automatic. 

System Restore is no substitute for regularly backing up your data. System Restore comes into play when your computer becomes unstable. System Restore can't be used if your hard drive fails or is melted down in a fire, because the information that System Restore uses is stored on the hard drive itself. To create regular backups of your data and computer system state, use the Backup utility in Windows XP.

To open Backup:
Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Backup. 

When you use Backup, save the backup information to a disk or an external drive for safekeeping. If there's a catastrophic failure, such as a hard drive crash, this backup can be used to restore the data after the hardware repair is complete.

DOWNLOAD -System Restore on Windows Vista and XP Guide in PDF format

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