DIY How To - Creating a System Restore Point Manually
Before attempting any system optimization, whether it is memory upgrades, software configurations, software removal/installation, or hardware removal/installation it would be a good idea to create a System Restore Point.
Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 all claim to create restore points automatically before any hardware or software modifications but it doesn't hurt to manually create one just prior to installing or uninstalling hardware or software, or before making changes to any system configuration settings.
Basically a restore point allows you to do exactly what the name implies. Using the restore point you can 'restore' or revert your computer back to a specific date and time. Thus, if something goes horribly wrong during the installation of a new software application let's say, and your system is now not functioning properly, you can attempt to restore back to the good state that existed just prior to the software installation. This is of course assuming that a restore point exists for that date and time.
According to Microsoft's Website Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 all create system restore points automatically before all hardware and software installations. I never like to take chances however so my belief is that it does not hurt to create one manually before installing any new software or hardware.
Having a restore point is great insurance policy however; using the restore point can sometimes create unintended consequences. Reverting the entire system back to an earlier date and time requires quite extensive changes to the registry settings as well as significant modification of stored data files. I point this out only as a cautionary note. Reserve the System Restore for those situations where nothing else has worked to repair the system.
The most basic yet many times overlooked technique to address either software installation problems or hardware installation problems is simply rebooting the system; sometimes more than once. Also if you are experiencing a software installation error try uninstalling the software before you use a System Restore. The Add or Remove Programs tool is located in the control panel (in Windows Vista and Windows 7 you will need to click 'Programs' and then 'Installed Programs').
If your system is not booting properly, you can also try using the boot menu that is available during the system start-up process. To access it press F8 while the system tries to reboot (you may have to tap the key multiple times as the system powers back up) and then use your arrow keys to select 'Last Known Good Configuration', this works in many cases.
Manually Creating a Restore Point (Windows XP)
Click on Start-> All Programs-> Accessories-> System Tools-> System Restore.
The System Restore Menu should open and appear on your screen.
Select 'Create a restore point', and press 'Next'.
Be sure to create a name for the restore point that is descriptive and that you will remember, and/or make a note to yourself.
The current date and time will be added to the restore point automatically by the system.
Manually Creating a Restore Point - (Windows Vista & Windows 7)
- Click Start and then right-click on 'My Computer' and select 'properties' from the menu.
- The 'System' menu will open. Click 'System Protection', which will be listed on the left side of the menu.
- This brings up the 'System Properties' menu. Click on the tab labeled 'System Protection' at the top of the menu.
- You are now at the 'System Restore' menu. Press the 'Create' button you will find near the bottom right corner of the menu.
- Be sure to create a name for the restore point that is descriptive and that you will remember, and/or make a note to yourself.
- The current date and time will be added to the restore point automatically by the system.
You should receive a confirmation message stating that the restore point has been successfully created. Congratulations you have manually created a restore point! Now that you have completed this process you can add new software or hardware with a little more confidence.
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