It has happened to all of us, you start-up your computer only to find that the operating system isn’t working properly or the new program you installed has caused all sorts of system problems and this is the last thing you want to deal with. These problems are inevitable and even the best computer technicians run into an error from time to time and have to restore their system. Knowing how to restore your computer correctly will get you back up and running in no time at all.
Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this tutorial, its important to understand that not all computer glitches are created equal. For instance, a slow or sluggish system probably does not need a full restore to fix, a simple and free computer clean up utility will probably fix your problems. On the other hand, how do you know if you do in fact need to restore the computer to an earlier state? If you have tried running an antivirus program and a spyware cleaner, you have used one of our recommended free registry cleaner programs and you still don’t see any improvements you essentially have two options. Your first option is to take the computer to a repair shop and your second option is to just restore the system to a point when it was running well and forget all of this ever happened.
Assuming that you don’t want to shell out the money to have your computer repaired, let’s get on with how to restore your computer and get it working like new.
How to Restore Your Computer with the Windows Restore Feature
Before performing any restoration, it is very important to backup all of your files and programs to an external hard drive. When you restore Windows you will lose any and all data that was created or installed after the date that you are restoring back to, which means that if you do not back up your settings and files, they will be lost. Once you have everything backed up you can then proceed with the tutorial. You can pick up external hard drives online for fairly cheap at online stores like Newegg.com.
Every version of the Windows operating system is different, however they all have the a Windows restoration feature that will allow you to restore your system to an earlier date. You should be able to go to “Start -> Control Panel -> System and Security” to find the link that say something like “Restore your computer to an earlier time”. If you are unable to find the restore utility, simply System Restore into the Windows search bar and it should come up in the listings. Once you are in the restore utility, follow the prompts to restore your system.It will ask you what date you would like to restore your system back to, make sure to choose a date far enough back to get rid of any problems you have been experiencing. If you are not sure when the problems began, simply restore the system back to the earliest restore point just to be safe.
After the system has been restored, your computer will reboot and you should notice the changes.
Restoring Your Computer Back to Factory Settings
These days, most computers do not ship with the windows installation disk. Instead, many manufacturers will ship the computer with their recovery solution or a separate recovery partition. If you have the Windows installation disk you can put the disk in the drive and follow the prompts to reinstall your Windows operating system. Again, make sure that all of your files and data has been backed up to an external hard drive, reinstalling Windows will completely reformat your hard drive to a “new” state, which means all of your stuff will be removed.
If you do not have the Windows installation disk, you will need to use your computers recovery feature. You should be able to run this program from inside your computer, unless you are unable to get into Windows at all. If you can access your Windows operating system and use your computer, click on the Start button at the lower left hand side of your screen and search your system for “recovery”. The recovery program is often named your computer brand plus recovery. So look for something like Gateway Recovery or similar. Launch the program and again follow the prompts to restore your system.