One of the features that was introduced into Windows as of Windows XP is an invaluable resource called System Restore.
We’ve all seen the program installations that flash a message that they’re creating a Restore Point. Windows makes a Restore Point whenever you install a new driver. It also makes a restore point periodically based on elapsed time.
While System Restore and its Restore Points do not protect data files, it protects Windows’ system files and the Windows Registry. That way, if you install something that totally messes up Windows, whether it’s a new program or drivers for new hardware, you can easily restore Windows to the way was recently (as long as you have not turned off System Restore).
Howver, Windows does a good job of hiding the tool for actually using those restore points.
The route to find the System Restore tool is:
Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore.
After we click the Next button at the bottom of this introductory window, we get the following dialog box. This is where you will set all your options to use a Restore Point.
The first thing to note is that three restore points are displayed. By default, only the latest restore point is shown.
To show all the restore points (three in this case) put a check in the checkbox that says
Show more restore points.
A button on the right-hand side, Under the listing of available Restore Points, allows you to check to see which programs will be affected by the rollback to that Restore Point. Affected programs may have to be uninstalled and re-installed. FOr Windows itself, you'll have to run Windows Update again to get those system updates (since you will have restored the original files).
When you have selected the Restore Point that you want to use, click the Next button.
This dialog box gives you one more chance to decide whether or not you want to run the System Restore with that Restore Point.
Fortunately, Windows will make a Restore Point just before the restoration. That way, if it doesn't work, you can restore back to where you were (and try to solve the problem some other way).