The following steps are for in the event that you need to revert your Windows 7 computer back to the previous configuration state of saved restore point. To understand more about restore points and how to create them in the first place, see tutorial on creating restore points.
To revert Windows 7 back to a saved restore point…
1. Go to Control Panel …
2. Click on “System and Security” …
3. Click on “System” …
4. Click on “System protection” link
5. In the “System Properties” dialog, click the “System Restore” button …
6. A dialog will come up saying that the restore may have the possibility of uninstalling some software and drivers. But it will not affect your documents and personal files. In other words, deleted files will not get restored. Restore points are not for data backups. In the same token, newly created files will not disappear either after a restore. Restoring from a restore point should not alter any user data files or documents. Only system settings will revert back to the restore point state. Click “Next” to continue.
7. The next dialog will list your possible restore points with the time and date of each restore point. Checkmark “Show more restore points” in order to see more.
As you can see, some restore points were automatically created by Windows 7 upon major events such as system updates. Windows 7 will usually will create a restore point prior to installation of most software (but not all software installation will trigger a creation of a restore point). A restore point is also automatically created by Windows 7 prior to doing a restore. Hence it is possible to “undo” a restore. Except when you are doing a restore during “safe mode” or using the System Recovery Option — then there is no undo for the restore.
Note that when the System Restore disk space fills up, old restore points are deleted as new restore points are created.
8. To see what might be affected by the restore, you can click the “Scan for affected programs” button which will give you a dialog listing any programs and/or drivers that might be deleted or restored during the process.
9. Click the “Next” button to proceed with the restore.
10. Confirm your restore point by clicking “Finish” button …
Windows 7 will have to restart in order to complete the restore process. So save any files and close any programs before doing this.
11. Once the restore process starts, it can not be interrupted. So one final dialog, ask if you want to continue …
12. After an automatic system restart, you should see a dialog confirming that the restore was successful
13. Since we had just done a restore, if you go back to the System Restore dialog, you will see an option to undo this restore.
This undo will not be possible if you had done the restore while in Safe Mode or under System Recovery options.
14. And if you go back to look at the list of restore points now after the restore, you will see an extra restore point that Window 7 created for you just prior to the restore. This restore point is used for the undo function.
This extra restore point will not be present if you had done the restore while in Safe Mode or under System Recovery options.
Windows 7 will often automatically create a restore point just prior to a software installation. But there might be a possibility that it might not do so for all software installations. Below, we see that it had automatically created an restore point prior to installation of Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta, Java, and OpenOffice.org
Note: The screen-shots use are taken on a Sony Vaio VPC-CW21FX laptop with Windows 7.
For more information on creating restore points, see …
- page 234 of Windows 7 for Dummies
- page 831 to 833 of Windows 7: The Definitive Guide