System Restore is a feature of Windows XP that will revert your computer to an earlier state.
Upon a system restore, any settings that were changed, programs that were installed, documents that were created, and any other changes that were made after the restore date will be lost. For example, if on December 7th you choose to restore to December 1st and you wrote 10 papers between the 1st and 7th, all of those papers will be gone. (Note: it is recommended that you store papers on your Home Directory where they will be backed up and can be accessed remotely through Webmail.)
How is this useful?
Often, if you know the approximate date that an error started occurring and you do not know how to fix it, you can restore to a date you know your computer was working properly.
Executing System Restore
To perform a system restore:
- Click on Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore.
- On the Welcome to System Restore window you will have two options. The first is to restore your computer to an earlier time and the second is to create a restore point.
- To continue with the restore select the Restore my Computer to an Earlier Time and click Next.
- On the Select a Restore Point window you will see a screen with a calendar. The dates in bold are dates that you can restore to. To select a date, simply click on it and click Next.
- You will now be at a confirmation page to make sure you are selecting the correct date and are aware that anything saved to your computer after the restore point will be lost. You can then click Next a final time and the computer will restore to that date.