Windows XP has several built-in features to help keep your computer running smoothly and at peak performance, including the System Restore tool. This feature can help you restore your system to an earlier state in case of accidental deletion or corruption of important files or system settings, such as those related to device drivers and the registry. Here’s how to launch System Restore from a command prompt in Windows XP when you need it most.
What is System Restore?
System Restore is a handy tool that comes bundled with the latest versions of Microsoft Windows. System Restore takes snapshots of your PC and stores them on the hard drive, so that you can go back in time and undo any damage done to your PC. For example, if you accidentally downloaded a piece of spyware or misconfigured something that’s now slowing down your computer or causing errors, you can restore it to its state prior to when the spyware was downloaded.
Can I use restore if I installed my software using CDs instead of the DVD?
Absolutely. Remember that the System Restore feature is more than just a way of reverting back to an earlier installation state. It’s also a utility for backing up your computer’s data.
How do I check the sizes of different restore points?
The Sizes of Restore Points lists the sizes of all restore points in your current System Restore set. You can use the Last Date column to find out the date and time for a particular point. You can also get information about that point by selecting it from the list, then clicking Copy To… and pasting it into another document. For example, if you want to see what files were included at this point in time, click on Select All Files at Point and then click View File List From Point.
How can I delete restore points?
The first thing you need to do is open the Command Prompt from the Start Menu or Windows Explorer. You then want to type cd %SystemRoot%/system32 into the command prompt and press Enter. This will bring you into a folder where there should be a file called rstrui.exe, which you can use for restoring your computer back to a previous state.
What’s different about system protection with system restore turned on versus off?
When you turn on system restore, your computer is protected with a snapshot of what it looked like the last time you used it. There are two ways that the operating system stores this information: backup copies of system files and transaction logs. System files are restored from a backup, while transaction logs are put back into their original location with data moved from before.
How can I change which drive or partition is protected with system restore?
To change the system restore data on your hard drive, go to System Restore and click Settings. Make sure you’re in the General tab, click Disk Space Usage and check one of the disks to make it your active disk.
How much disk space will this use up on my computer?
The space needed will depend on how many system restore points you want. With more restore points, more space will be needed.
How does it work with multiple user accounts on my computer?
If you have more than one user account on your computer, you will need to provide system information such as the name of the administrator and user accounts before you can launch system restore.
Will backing up my files also back up my system files?
Your backup will only work for files if the files and your system are on the same drive. If you backed up all of your files but didn’t back up system restore, you might have lost your changes that were made since your last system restore.
Can someone steal my personal data if they use my PC when I have system restore turned on?
The only way they could be able to steal your personal data is if they have access to the password of the administrator account. They would also need physical access to the PC you are using.
Is there any limit to how many restore points I can have?
Each restore point consumes between 250 and 280KB of disk space on your hard drive. The total disk space used by all restore points is capped at 40% of the capacity of your primary hard drive.