Rolling Back to a Stable State with System Restore

In the previous section, we described how to set up the System Protection feature so that it creates regular snapshots of your system configuration. In this section, we explain how to make use of those snapshots.

The System Restore utility provides controlled access to snapshots created by the System Protection feature. It can't perform miracles—it won't bring a dead hard drive back to life, unfortunately—but it can be a lifesaver in any of the following situations:

• You install a program that conflicts with other software or drivers on your system. If uninstalling the program doesn't cure the problem, you can restore your system configuration to a point before you installed the program . That should remove any problematic files or registry settings added by the program .

• You install one or more updated drivers that cause performance or stability problems. Rather than using the Roll Back Driver command in Device Manager, use System Restore to replace the new, troublesome driver (or drivers) with those that were installed the last time you saved a restore point.

• Your system develops performance or stability problems for no apparent reason. This scenario is especially likely if you share a computer with other family members or coworkers who have administrator accounts and are in the habit of casually installing untested, incompatible software and drivers . If you know the system was working properly on a certain date, you can use a restore point from that date, undoing any changes made since then and, if all goes well, returning your system to proper operation caution !

Don't count on System Restore to protect you from viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and other malware. Use a reliable and up-to-date antivirus program .

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