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Old 03-03-13, 06:41   #1
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Arrow Right Windows 7 System Restore explained

Windows 7 System Restore explained

Windows 7 Week Recover from spyware and Windows 7 errors

Having access to old versions of files is extremely useful, but don't let it stop you

taking more formal backups as well
Windows 7 has many great features, but System Restore is one of the few genuine

It's a tool that you'll hopefully never have to use, but as with all system maintenance,

it's always worth making sure that you're ready in the event of having to call on it.
Its job is to keep notes of everything you change on your computer, enabling you
to reverse them with a couple of clicks. Times you might need to use it include
clearing up a bit of spyware that managed to sneak its way on to your system,
error messages suddenly appearing after installing a new tool, or a critical error
System Restore is switched on by default when you install Windows 7, although
it's always worth doublechecking. Type 'restore' into your Start menu (not pressing
Return) and you'll see the three key options – opening System Restore, and shortcuts
to creating and restoring from a Restore Point.
Windows 7 creates these automatically, once a week or just before you install new
software, but you're not bound to this schedule – you can create your own Restore
Points whenever you like. For the most part, though, this isn't necessary.

Changes, changes
The most important thing to remember about System Restore is that it isn't a file

backup tool – it's a system backup tool, and there's a critical difference.
System Restore's job is to look out for Windows files; the programs that you
install; registry settings that get changed; and other behind-the-scenes elements –
not your documents.
The advantage of this is that in the event of a disaster, you can get your system up

and running without needing to worry about anything you created post-Restore
Point being wiped away. The downside is that there's not much that it can do if
your problem is a deleted file or corrupted photograph.
Windows 7 does add one useful feature, however. Along with system data,

Restore Points track any changes to files and folders, enabling you to go back to
previous versions.

RESTORE POINT:The best time to make a System Restore point is when you've
just installed/reinstalled Windows 7 and your drivers, and everything's working
as it should
Right-click on any file or folder, choose 'Restore previous versions' and you will
see the list. This is fantastic for documents with a long lifespan, but it doesn't help
you if you only need to rewind time by an hour or so.

System security
What can help is that System Restore works hand-in-hand with Windows Backup,

although this isn't switched on by default. You'll find the option to use it in System
and Security in your Control Panel.
This provides extra previous version support, with its saved copies accessed from
the same place as the System Restore ones mentioned earlier; file backups that
enable you to retrieve individual documents; and most dramatically, full system
A system image is a complete copy of your hard disc – Windows, system settings,
your documents, your files, even your wallpaper settings – that can simply be
dropped back on to the drive after a crash, ready to use as though nothing ever

Online backup for your Windows 7 machine

It's a good idea to couple all this built-in protection with an online service. Your

data may be safe on a DVD or a network drive at home, but a fire or similar
disaster isn't likely to stop at just your computer.
Saving a copy of critical files to the internet gives you many more options, often
including access to your files wherever you go, not just if you need to recover them.
Not needing to have DVDs or portable hard drives to hand also means that the
process can be invisible, rather than a weekly chore, and can be performed on a
more regular basis than any of us would have time for – every few minutes, not
every few days. For mass backup and restoration,
someone like Carbonite for a cost of about £33 a year
is a good start.

If you want easier access to your files when on the move, Livedrive is an excellent
mix of backup tool and online storage. The standard version offers 100GB of
space for about £39.95 a year.
Combine all these, and there's not much that can go wrong. You might lose a file
on your hard drive, but you'll always have a copy close to hand. Fail to prepare for
disaster, however, and when the worst happens, there'll be nothing you can do.

Protecting your system

1. Automatic process

System Restore runs automatically, and there aren't any complicated options to

keep track of. The recommended restore point is simply the last one, but you don't
need to remember what it did – important changes are listed.

2. Alternative points

To see more Restore Points, simply click Choose a different restore point followed

by Next. This lists the ones Windows has saved, and by clicking Scan for affected
programs you get more detail without having to actually run the process.

3. Back up

Backup requires more effort. Visit System and Security in Control Panel to activate it.

You can choose to save your files to a network drive (Professional/Ultimate
edition only), but in most cases you'll be burning to a DVD.

4. Select files

The default is to let Windows choose which files to back up – which includes the

desktop, libraries and standard Windows folders, such as Documents. This will
cover 99 per cent of files you want, but you can add more or be more selective.

5. Whole hard drive

The System Image option, on the other hand, copies your whole hard disc. This

requires multiple DVDs or a second hard disc (a risky proposition) for a complete
system reinstall, but you can't pull individual files from the archive.

By Richard Cobbett from Windows: The Official Magazine Issue 36 October
First published in Windows: The Official Magazine Issue 36
If the ThankYou button was the key to heaven ...
Only a few DTD1 members would have access ...

Last edited by BaZZa101; 03-03-13 at 10:13.
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