Windows XP’s System Restore is an essential utility that can restore your computer to a previous state. If you’re having a problem with Windows XP after installing new software programs or drivers, especially if the computer fails to boot, System Restore can get your computer running properly again very quickly and without data loss. This is because System Restore affects only your system’s settings and doesn’t erase any of your personal files. Using System Restore is dramatically easier than reinstalling Windows XP, yet often has equally positive results.
Turning On System Restore
To turn on System Restore in Windows XP, click “Start,” then right-click “My Computer” and select “Properties.” Select the “System Restore” tab within the “System Properties” dialogue box. Clear the check box next to “Turn off System Restore,” then click “OK.” Take care not to accidentally turn off System Restore if it’s already on, since this will erase all your current restore points, which are required to restore your computer to an earlier state.
Manually Creating Restore Points
Windows XP automatically creates restore points at regular checkpoints and whenever you install new software. However, it may also be necessary to manually create a system restore point when you make changes to your computer’s settings. To create a restore point, click “Start,” “All Programs,” “Accessories” and then “System Tools.” Then click “System Restore.” Check the radio button beside “Create a restore point,” then click “Next.” Type a “Restore Point Description” for your restore point, then click “Create.”
Restoring Windows XP to a Previous State
Open System Restore again, then select the button beside “Restore my computer to an earlier time.” Choose a date when Windows XP was running smoothly, then click “Next.” Make sure you’ve saved any files you’re working on, then click “Next” again. Your computer will automatically restart. You will receive a message saying whether System Restore was successful or not when Windows XP reboots.
Troubleshooting System Restore
If you can’t restore Windows XP to a previous state, your restore points may be corrupted. You may also find that you have no restore points when you run System Restore. Both of these problems can be solved by turning System Restore off, then turning it back on again. However, before you try this solution, try restoring Windows XP to different restore point. If all the restore points fail to restore successfully, then you can safely turn off System Restore. Windows XP should automatically create a new restore point when you turn System Restore back on again. However, you can create a manual restore point if you like, to be on the safe side.
For more information about Windows XP, read How to Make Windows XP Look like Windows Vista or 7 for Free and How to Change Themes in Windows XP and Vista.
“How to restore Windows XP to a previous state” Microsoft.com