No one likes to deal with computer issues, even more so if you are technically challenged. The System Restore option on the Microsoft operating system can be a true life saver if you are having configuration issues, have recently downloaded a program that is causing issues or have unknowingly picked up a virus. I have disabled a lot of common features using the Task Manager and that has saved unnecessary strain on my CPU but if you notice that something isn’t right with your laptop or computer, System Restore can save you a lot of time, aggravation and money.
If you are having issues like a flickering screen, improper visual display, slow page loads or a CPU drain you can access the System Restore module from the Start menu however you may have to access it through the Control Panel depending on which version of Windows you are running. Several programs are going to start running when you open System Restore so if you see them go active on the Task Manager (if you have it open) there’s no need to be alarmed.
System Restore allows you to basically take your computer or laptop “back in time” to a date when you know your machine was operating properly. Until you accept the changes after the program has run there are no permanent changes made to your computer. It won’t delete files (Word, Works, spreadsheets etc) or photos, videos or anything media related but if you happened to download something it will ‘erase’ it. The same thing applies to changes you may have made to any of the system configurations.
Every single time I have used System Restore it has ‘fixed’ my laptop or desktop. Some of the things that I foolishly did to both (that eventually caused major problems) included changing the desktop configuration without knowing what I was doing, picking up a virus that hijacked my browsers and tricked me in to giving up my credit card information, trying to overclock my desktop (again, without knowing what I was doing) and other embarrassing computer novice mistake.
For as much as I complain about Microsoft, their bloatware and the WMI Provider Host that lets them see my usage patterns without my permission, I love that System Restore is there when I need it. I also like that nothing is changed until you confirm it. As a word of warning, you are going to want to exit all other programs while this is working and when you confirm “the fix” your computer will need to restart. If you normally put your computer in sleep mode when you are done you are going to have to sit through the restart process and make sure that the changes fixed the issues.
Once you get familiar with the System Restore program you can create your own save points; these are done automatically (unless you changed the save prompt through Task Manager) but it never hurts to check the module to see the last save date and see how often it is saving your configurations. My System Restore has five dates that I can choose from ranging from ten days ago to three days ago. If you notice something peculiar with your computer you should try to use System Restore as soon as you can so you can access one of the “safe” save date points.