I’ve been told that any time I make a major change in my computer—such as installing new software or new hardware— I should create a new System Restore point. But that function is buried under many layers, and so, when I’m busy, more often than not I fail to follow my own wise advice. Is there some easy way to launch it so I’d be more inclined to do it?
You were given good advice. It’s not uncommon for a change in your computer setup to trigger problems. The System Restore function is designed to save your computer’s settings to an earlier time when it was operating correctly, and then, when evoked, returns your computer’s settings to that earlier, healthy state. Although the restoration will revert your settings, turning the clock back will not cause you to lose any data—files or e-mail. Only the settings will revert.
Although a major systems change in your computer will automatically trigger the creation of a new restore point, called a system checkpoint, you also can initiate the action yourself, and, as you say, if you have the triggering mechanism handy, it’s more likely you’ll take advantage of it.
To create a shortcut, click on Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and right-click on System Restore. Then select Create shortcut and drag the shortcut onto your desktop. If you don’t want the shortcut on your desktop, you can put it in your Start menu instead (that’s where system icons appear stacked in a column when you click on your Start button). To put it there, instead of clicking on Create a shortcut, click on Pin to Start menu.
While you’re there, customize its settings so it meets your particular needs. When you first open the System Restore screen, you have the option to adjust its settings by clicking on System Restore Settings.
You also have the option of turning it off (not recommended) and selecting which drives you want monitored. Since I keep all my system files on the C: drive, using the G-Iomega drive for backup only, I only activate C:.
Click on the Settings button to bring up the Disk space usage screen, where you can adjust how much of the C: drive to reserve for restore point storage. I would suggest setting it to Max. Then click on OK.
Now create a system checkpoint. Return to the opening screen and click on Create a restore point.
Add a description for your checkpoint and click on Create at the bottom of the screen.
After a few seconds, when this screen appears (see screenshot below), the checkpoint has been recorded.