Posted On 20 May 2019
System Restore is the go-to recovery system in Windows when problems persist that standard troubleshooting can’t sort out. It’s very useful for undoing damaging changes to your computer, for example when new software or drivers somehow start crashing the system. System Restore sets up “restore points” at set intervals, which effectively represent a snapshot of your system at that point in time, or at least certain parts of your settings.
You can manually create a restore point whenever you like, but Windows does it for you automatically once a week. It also automatically sets them up when you install new apps or drivers and Windows updates. If there’s a problem with your system, you can simply go back to the earlier point where everything was working.
Windows advanced start-up options are very useful if Windows refuses to load in the normal way. These options will be offered automatically if Windows isn’t loading normally, but you can access them manually through Settings >Update & security >Recovery >Advanced Start-up >Restart now, or by holding down the shift key when clicking Restart in the Start menu. This will then you allow you to select a System Restore point and to undertake other maintenance.
There is an option within Windows to create a recovery drive giving you access to advanced start-up options so that you can access them even if Windows has completely crashed or you have to replace your hard drive. To do this, press Start, type in “recovery” and click on “Create a recovery drive”. Simply tell the resulting wizard where you want your recovery drive saved (CD/DVD burner or USB) and it will copy the vital information for you. Then if Windows ever refuses to load, you’ll be able to restart using this drive.
Finally, if all else fails, there is the nuclear option of resetting Windows. Effectively, this is the equivalent of reinstalling Windows, but you don’t need a Windows disc or USB drive. When you select this option, all Windows settings will revert to the way they were when you took the computer out of the box, and all your apps will be uninstalled.
However, there is still an option to retain your personal files, which saves you the trouble of backing them all up before resetting. This option also offers you the opportunity to securely erase the drive before reinstalling. This will take longer, but it will ensure that all your personal files and settings are overwritten, making it much more difficult for anyone who owns your computer subsequently to access them. You should always use this option before you sell, give away or recycle a PC.