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How to Create Windows Vista Restore Points

Restore Points enable you to repair a Vista operating system.  System Restore started life in XP, and thus is part of a moderately mature backup technology.

Purpose of System Restore

To understand the meaning of System Restore, place the emphasis on the word System.  Now its function becomes clear; namely to restore operating system files. When you repair a Vista system, you avoid over-writing data, such as spreadsheets or emails, like you would with a reformat and reinstall.

You don't have to worry about having to take periodic snapshots, because System Restore automatically creates a restore point whenever the operating system changes significantly.  However, if that isn’t often enough for you, restore points can be created manually.

How to Create a Vista Restore Point

Instructions to reach 'System Protection'

  1. Navigate to the Control Panel --> System and Maintenance.
  2. Click on System.  Select System Protection from the left menu.
  3. Make sure that the C: drive, or the drive with the Windows folder is ticked.
  4. Click on the 'Create' Button.
  5. Type a description in the resulting dialog box.
  6. Enjoy the 'Creating a restore point....' progress bar.

Using a System Restore in Anger

As so often, Microsoft Vista provides at least two ways of performing a task.  To return to a previous restore point, you could either:

  1. Click on the 'System Restore' button in the screenshot above.
  2. Navigate to the Backup and Restore Center and click on the link: Repair Windows using System Restore'.
  3. From the next screen, either choose 'Recommended Restore'
  4. Or else select 'Choose a different restore point'.  Now decide which Date and Description would represent the best repair option for your operating system.

Summary of Vista's Restore Points

Mastering Vista's Restore Points Involves to major halves. The first half involves making sure that your operating system is actually protected by one or more Restore Points.  The second half requires choosing a proper restore point, or a point that is likely to produce an effective repair. One final note: restore points don't affect your data files such as Word Documents or Excel Spreadsheets.