Installing a new piece of software on your computer can sometimes feel like Russian Roulette. Most of the times, everything goes exactly as planned. But every once in awhile… poof!
The most obvious solution would normally be to run the Uninstall Wizard that came with your program. But unfortunately, these are not perfect… and they often leave tiny errors on your machine.
Thankfully, Windows has built-in functionality to help with these sorts of problems. If you ever need to reverse the effects of a program that you’ve installed intentionally – or even for a piece of malware which you never intended to install in the first place – you can use the System Restore function.
How to turn back the clock using Windows Vista’s System Restore:
1. In Windows Vista, simply click on the Start Menu button at the bottom left hand side of the screen.
2. From the search box, type “System Restore” and press enter. This will bring up the system restore window.
3. Because of security settings, windows might ask for permission to run this program. If this happens, simply click “Continue”.
4. From this screen, it will recommend the most recent restore point. If you’d like to go farther back in time, you can select the button next to “Choose different restore point” and click Next.
5. From here, you can select from a range of restore points… going back five days or farther.
Please keep in mind that this will only restore changes made to your Windows Vista system files. You will not fix broken or corrupted data files on your computer. If you’re having problem with data files such as Word or Excel, you will need to use backup Software that features point-in-time recovery. These backup systems save your data, and create an archived “version” every time you save a change.
In most cases, you will be able to go back in time for either 30 days or seven different file “versions”.
Of course, if you’re reading this right now, there’s a very good chance that your computer is running smoothly… and that everything is just the way you like it. If this is the case, I would encourage you to create a restore point right now. This way, if you have problems in the future, you can roll back to your current system configuration fairly easily.
Create a Restore point in Windows Vista:
1. In order to do this from the system restore window, click on the “open System Protection” link. See second screen shot above.
2. From here, simply click the “Create…” button at the bottom. (Shown above)
3. This will bring up a small box that asks you to label this new restore point. Make it something that’s easy to remember so that you can find it later on when you need it.
If you ever run into problems with a new piece of software that you’ve tried to install, these tips should help you get out of trouble about 9 out of 10 times. For the other 10%, make sure that you have a fresh backup ready to go.
About the author: Storagepipes Solutions has been offering online backup software with point-in-time the recovery technology since 2001.