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Insider Power Techniques for Microsoft® Windows® XP by Austin Wilson, Scott Andersen, Geoff Winslow, Paul McFedries

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Step 5—Set System Restore Points

One of the biggest causes of Windows instability in the past was the tendency for some newly installed programs to simply not get along with Windows. It could be an executable file that didn’t mesh with the Windows system or a registry change that brought chaos to other programs or to Windows itself. Similarly, hardware installations often caused problems by adding faulty device drivers to the system or by corrupting the registry.

To help recover from software or hardware installations that bring down the system, Windows XP offers the System Restore feature. Its job is straightforward, yet clever: It takes periodic snapshots—called restore points or checkpoints—of your system, each of which includes the currently ...

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