Whenever your system gets corrupted or when something goes wrong with it like bad drivers or misconfigured settings, every user with basic knowledge about computers would think that the first option to remedy the issue is to restore the system to its previous working state. Actually, it is one of the most suggested options since it’s not only easy to perform; it solves some of the basic problems like corrupted system files as well. Despite of its usefulness, there are still some misconceptions about the function of the Windows System Restore. Here are some points on what System Restore can and cannot do on your computer.

Defining System Restore

Explained in simple terms, System Restore is a built-in feature that can be used to set the computer to a previous known good state. This feature is particularly useful whenever you want roll back major changes made to the system. You can manually create System Restore points, but they can also be create automatically in the event of any supported major changes to the system configurations or while installing programs or Windows updates. If you have more than one System Restore points, you can pick and choose the one that suits your current state.

Effects on Windows Programs

Every time you perform a System Restore on your Windows computer, your installed Windows programs will be affected. Any programs installed after the restoration point will be uninstalled and vice-versa. The only concern you should be aware of is that some programs like antivirus programs may not respond as they should once restored, and may require you to reinstall the affected program(s) in order to function properly. Whenever you restore your Windows PC, Windows will give you a list of all the affected programs within the Restoration Wizard. So it’s better to always check for the affected programs before proceeding to restore your Windows system.


Effects on Windows System Files

The System Restoration affects almost all the Windows system files. This means that whenever you perform this operation, any changes made to your system files, system programs, and registry settings will be rolled back to the restore point that you have chosen. In addition to this, any removed or changed system scripts, batch files, and any other executable will be restored. If in case your computer has corrupted system files, doing the system restore on your computer to its previous working state may just fix this problem.

Effects on Windows Update

Similar to the effects on installed programs, System Restore will also affect Windows updates installed on your PC. So just like what happens on installed programs after doing a system restore, any uninstalled Windows updates will be reinstalled and any updates that are installed after the restoration point will then be uninstalled. This is also the same on any installed and uninstalled hardware drivers. Since the hardware devices are affected by the changes in driver software, see to it that you always perform an update, install or uninstall the driver software accordingly.


Effects on Personal Files

Despite the fact that System Restore can change all your system files and programs, it will not delete or change any of your personal files or data that is saved on your computer hard drive. For example, if you have stored your documents or photos in the My Documents folder, which is located in the C: drive and then later restored your system, those files will not be affected in any way and are kept intact throughout the entire restoration process.


Effects on Viruses or Other Malware

System Restore does not remove or clean viruses, Trojans, or other malware. This malicious software behaves somewhat differently from the ordinary software and sometimes will be deeply integrated into your Windows operating system. If you found out that your computer is infected by a virus or malware, it is better to have it removed by installing a good antivirus/anti-malware program rather than performing a system restore.


Effects on Deleted Data

System Restore has the ability to restore your system files and programs; however, it does not help you recover any deleted files or data. Do not consider using the System Restore as an option to recovery your files and data, as it is completely different from how data recovery software works. If in case you want to recover your deleted data, it is better to use a reliable data recovery tool to get the job done.

Hopefully, this information will give you a better idea of the benefits and limitations of Windows System Restore when it comes to restoring your dysfunctional Windows computer.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 9:26:00 AM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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