Windows XP System Restore

by Wayne Maples [Published on 20 April 2004 / Last Updated on 20 April 2004]

Windows XP includes the System Restore feature, which is much like an enhanced Last Known Good Configuration. Just like LKG, you can use System Restore to restore the computer to a known previous state using the backups that it makes of selected system files and program files. System Restore is enhanced over LKG because it maintains multiple restore points instead of one last restore point.

Windows XP normally maintains a restore point for each drive letter if the feature is turned on. To turn on or off:

  • Click Start.
  • Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
  • Click the System Restore tab.
  • Check or uncheck Turn off System Restore on all drives checkbox.
  • Click Apply, and then click OK.

Notes: You must be logged in as an Administrator to do this. If you are not logged in as an Administrator, the System Restore tab will not be displayed.

If you turn off System Restore, the following message appears:

You have chosen to turn of System Restore. If you continue all existing restore points will be deleted and you will not be able to track or undo changes to your computer.

You normally don't want to turn of System Restore. For virus recovery and other specialized situations, you may want to delete the existing restore points and start over. There have also been reports of System Restore being turned ON but there being no restore points. The solution: turn System Restore off and then back on. Its asif the system does know that System Restore should be on.

Q306084 HOW TO: Restore the Operating System to a Previous State in Windows XP

For more information about System Restore:

  • Click Help and Support on the Start menu
  • In the Search box, type system restore
  • Press ENTER

There are registry hacks to disable user access to System Restore menu via Start menu or Control Panel.

Related tips:

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