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System Restore Functionality in Windows 7 - How It Works

carlhand72 profile image Carl Hand ・10 min read

Getting a malfunctioning Windows OS (operating system) back to the desired configuration can be really challenging for end-users. It generally requires complicated system recovery methods such as reimaging or formatting the systems.

To help mitigate the complexities that crop up when rectifying a system error, Microsoft Windows 7 offers multiple inbuilt recovery tools. System recovery options in Windows 7 include restore, repair, and few other diagnostic tools that help users resolve various system issues like system slowdown, boot errors, and reboot loops.

Here is a breakdown of all the major system restore options in Windows 7, how they function, and the situations where they are helpful.

Various System Restore Options in Windows 7 & How They Work

Startup Repair: This recovery tool is used to scan the entire system that helps Windows 7 users to identify and resolve certain system issues. For example, Startup Repair can help end-users fix some damaged or missing system files that were probably preventing the computer from starting properly.

This tool can also resolve system issues arising due to users accidentally modifying critical system files, or installing an application that led to unexpected changes in a system file affecting the overall functionality of the OS.

System Image Recovery: A system image is a customizable backup of the partition that includes Windows, along with certain key programs and user data, such as documents and images. Users need to create a system image beforehand for recovering the system. Running System Image Recovery will only recover the folders, applications, and files that were present when the system image was created. Any system changes performed after it will be completely lost.

System Restore: If a system running on Windows 7 OS is behaving sluggishly, end-users can revert it to a previous point in time when it was working fine, using the Windows system restore. It is important to note that Windows system restore does not affect user’s personal files.

To use Windows system restore effectively, at least one restore point needs to be created. This essentially is a snapshot of the computer’s settings, Windows Registry, and system files at a specific date and time. Once System Restore is enabled, Windows automatically starts creating restore points especially when the system undergoes major changes such as OS upgrades or any new software or driver installations. Restore points can also be created manually which helps end-users ensure that they have the copy of the best state of the PC prior to the changes being made. If a system error occurs, reverting to any Windows 7 restore point would actually provide users with the exact state of the operating system as it was before the changes were being made.

Steps to Create a Restore Point Manually

In order to create a restore point in Windows 7, users can perform the following steps:

  1. Select ‘Control Panel’ from the ‘Start Menu’ and choose ‘System & Security’. When the dialog box appears, click on ‘System’.
  2. Click the ‘System Protection’ link which will appear on the left panel.
  3. From the following dialog box of ‘System Properties,’ choose the ‘System Protection’ tab.
  4. The tab will show an option to create new restore points. Click on the “Create” button, following which the dialog box named “Create a Restore Point” will appear on the screen.
  5. Users can then add a description which helps in identifying the restore point. When it is done, click on the “Create” button on the dialog box.
  6. Windows alert will pop-up when the restore point is successfully created. Clicking on the “Close” button will complete the process.

Steps to Perform System Restore in Windows 7

In order to run Windows system restore on any computer, users need to do the following:

  1. Go to Start > All Programs > Accessories, and select the ‘System Tools’ program.
  2. Select the program icon called ‘System Restore’ from the ‘System Tools’ program. A window named 'Restore system files and settings' will appear.
  3. Click on the ‘Next’ button that will open up the list of all automatically and manually created restore points. Users need to choose any one of them.
  4. Click on ‘Next’, once the desired restore point has been chosen.
  5. Select the ‘Finish’ button when ‘Confirm your Restore Point’ window appears on the screen. This will begin the Windows system restore process.
  6. A box with the message “Once started, System Restore cannot be interrupted. Do you want to continue?” will appear on the screen. To proceed, click on “Yes”.

Note: The system restore functionality will now restore the Windows 7 operating system to the chosen restore point. This process might take 10-30 minutes. With the completion of the process, the computer will reboot.

7.   After logging into Windows, when the reboot process is complete, a dialog box will appear on screen with the message “System Restore completed successfully.” Users then need to click the ‘Close’ button to finish the process.

Note: if the system error persists even after running Windows system restore, users can try restoring their system again by choosing a different restore point.

Advantages of Reboot to Restore Technology over Windows System Restore Functionality

Windows system restore is generally a time-consuming process. Besides, executing few of the recovery tools in Windows 7 may also require a bit of technical knowledge. Effective software solutions based on the reboot to restore technology can help Windows users preserve and protect a baseline configuration of the system as desired by them. After every reboot, such solutions can restore any Windows 7 system to that pre-defined state, thus ensuring 100% system availability at all times. Instead of going through complicated system recovery steps as found in Windows system restore, end-users simply restart the machine to restore its original configuration. In addition, all user-made changes are wiped clean with each reboot. The PC is in a clean state at all times.

Solutions empowered by the reboot to restore technology take only a fraction of the memory space when compared to similar solutions in the market. The technology has been gaining momentum owing to its ability to preserve the original configuration of systems and make it tamperproof. As a result, recurring system issues like configuration drifts, accidental malware downloads, and more can be effectively addressed with a push of the restart button. Thus, the solution offers immense convenience and help yield the desired results much more effectively than the inbuilt system restore tools of Windows 7.

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