System Restore in Windows 7 - A guide

System Restore is a built in feature by Windows that helps roll back your system to a stable state when major changes are made in the system and it goes wrong. This article describes the systme restore facility in Windows 7.

'System Restore' creates system snap shots or restore points for returning to at a later time in scenarios of system failure or any other major problem. Every time you install a program or a new driver, this service creates a "restore point" to roll back to if a problem occurs. In easy words, it is similar to 'Undo' command. It is a built-in feature of Windows and the restore points are created automatically whenever you install an application or new device drivers, automatic updates, unsigned drivers without prompting the user. In addition to it, you can also create restore points manually.

System Restore automatically tracks changes to your computer and takes a full snapshot of the registry and some dynamic system files, before any major changes are to occur in the system. With System Restore, you can revert to a saved state without losing personal data in the My Documents, My Pictures, or My Music including Word documents, e-mail settings and messages and your Internet favorites list. While some may misinterpret this as back up of their data, this is not actually true. System Restore saves the data on the hard drive itself and hence cannot be used as a backup for your data in case of hard disk crash.

By default, System Restore Service uses a large amount of disk space to store rollback points. You will need free space of 200 MB to store all your data for restoring. Though most of the experts do not use System restore and hence disable it to free space utilized by it. On the other hand some newbie's might see this feature as a boon.

Disable System Restore

1. Go to Start and Control Panel
2. Select System
3. Select System Restore Tab
4. Check "Turn off System Restore" and then click OK

How to increase or decrease disk space usage

1. Go to Start and Control Panel
2. Select System
3. Select System Restore Tab
4. Select the drive you want to monitor and click Settings
5. Use the slider to increase or decrease the disk space and click OK

How to use System Restore

1. Go to Start>>All Programs>>Accessories>>System Tools>>System Restore
2. On the Welcome screen, click System Restore welcome screen

3. On second screen, select an appropriate Restore point and click Next
Select restore point

4. Once done the system will automatically reboot and you will see the system has restored to its previous state.

If in any case you want to revert your system restore, you will find an additional task Undo my last restoration on the System restore welcome screen after using System restore.

Windows 8 update: This article is written with system restore for Windows 7, but the concept is pretty much same for the Windows 8 as well.

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Author: Bharath13 Nov 2012 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

I am using windows 7 in my compaq laptop. I have only single drive. It is C drive. My harddisk size is 320GB. It was fully loaded into C drive. How to make a backup in my laptop and how can use the system restore.

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