Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How to Create a Windows 7 Restore Point

Create a Windows 7 Restore Point, Windows 7 backup & restore.

Undo Bad Stuff

Create a Windows 7 Restore Point
Click "System Properties" to get to the "Restore Point" window.
Creating a "Restore Point" is a must-do activity whenever you make significant changes to your Windows 7 computer. That means before you install a new program, change a setting like a user account or firewall, or anything else that could lead to instability. Let's say you download an file-sharing program off the Internet. After installing the program, your computer starts behaving weird, then crashing. By making a restore point, you can turn back the clock to a point in your computer before the program was installed; a restore point "re-sets" your computer to the time of its creation (the restore point's creation, not your computer's creation). The offending program will be removed, previous settings restored, and your computer will love you again.
Start by clicking the Windows 7 Start button, then click "Computer" on the right-hand menu. That will bring up the screen shown above. Click "System Properties", outlined here in red. (Note that you can get to the same place by clicking Start/Control Panel/System).

Click "System Protection"

Create a Windows 7 Restore Point
Click System Protection, outlined here in red.

The "System Protection" Window

Create a Windows 7 Restore Point
Click the "Create" button, outlined in red, to make the Restore Point.
The "System Protection" window has a number of options. For now, you're concerned about the one at the bottom, that says "Create a restore point right now...". Click the "Create" button to start the restore point creation process.

Name the Restore Point

Create a Windows 7 Restore Point
Name your Restore Point something specific. Note that the computer automatically appends your Restore Point with the date and time it was created. This is another way to distinguish it from others.
After clicking "Create", a popup window will ask you to name the Restore Point. Name it something you'll recognize. In this example, I've called it BeforeUpgrade, because I created it before upgrading a program. Since you computer sometimes creates Restore Points without your knowledge (don't worry, this is a good thing), you'll need to distinguish your Restore Point from the others.

Restore Point Created

Create a Windows 7 Restore Point
Assuming everything went properly, you'll be notified that the Restore Point was created.
Upon successful creation, a pop-up message will inform you that the Restore Point is finished.

Restore Your Computer

Create a Windows 7 Restore Point
If your computer starts acting up from a change, like installing a new program, use "System Restore" to make it behave again.
If you ever need to use your Restore Point, go through the actions in Steps 1-3 to return to the System Properties window. This time, you'll click the "System Restore" button near the top.

Start the Rollback

Create a Windows 7 Restore Point
Click "Next" to start the restore. Remember that it might take several minutes, or longer, for your computer to finish the restore.
After clicking "System Restore", you see the menu above. The Restore Point you created should be the one at the top (in this case, the one that says "BeforeUpgrade"). You can also restore to an earlier point than this by clicking a restore point that was created even earlier. Click "Next" to start the process.
As you can see here, Windows 7 creates its own restore points at certain times, like before critical updates. If your system starts showing signs of instability and you haven't installed a new program or changed settings, you can use one of the self-created points to undo changes that might have harmed your computer.

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