Creating Backups and Preparing for Problems
Used to back up your personal data automatically so that you can recover it easily
Complete PC Backup
Used to back up your entire computer so that you can recover it from a backup
None of these features is meant to be used in lieu of the other; you should configure
and use all four backup features. As part of periodic maintenance, you should also
regularly check the status of these features.
Conﬁguring System Restore
You use System Restore to fix problems and undo changes to Windows. With Sys-
tem Restore enabled, your computer makes periodic snapshots of the system config-
uration. These snapshots are called restore points.
Restore points include Windows settings, device settings, and program settings.
Restore points are intended to be used to recover your computer to the state it was in
prior to performing a task that changed the configuration of the operating system,
devices, or programs. If your computer has problems starting or isn’t working prop-
erly because of a configuration change, you can use a restore point to restore the
computer to the point at which the snapshot was made. For example, suppose your
computer is working fine until you install a security patch or a service pack.
Although you uninstall the update, your computer still doesn’t work correctly, so
you decide to use System Restore to restore the computer using a snapshot taken
prior to the update.
System Restore can provide several different types of restore points. One type, Sys-
tem Checkpoint, is scheduled by the operating system and occurs at regular inter-
vals. Another type of snapshot, Installation Restore Point, is created automatically
based on events that the operating system triggers when you install applications.
Other snapshots, known as Manual Restore Points, are ones you create manually.
You should create a Manual Restore Point prior to performing any operation that
might cause problems on your computer.
You can restore your computer when it is running in normal mode or safe mode. In
normal mode, a restore point is created prior to restoration of the computer. But in
safe mode, a restore point is not created because changes you make in safe mode
aren’t tracked and you can’t undo them using restore points. However, you can use
safe mode to restore any previously created restore point.
You control how System Restore works using the System Restore tab of the System
Properties dialog box. System Restore saves system checkpoint information for all
monitored drives and requires at least 300 MB of disk space on the System volume to
save restore points. System Restore reserves additional space for restore points as
necessary—up to 15 percent of the total disk capacity—but this additional space is