When you get a new computer that has Microsoft Windows installed you can safely assume that previous features will be included with your current system. If you get a computer that has a newer version of the operating system on it such as Windows Vista you might wonder what has changed and what is still familiar to you.

Well I recently helped a client fix a problem with their computer that had nothing to do with Windows but we did try something that most people hear about but don’t know a lot about, and that is System Restore.

System Restore, for those of you who don’t know (or for you Mac users out there) is a system utility that Microsoft Windows comes with that can essentially take your computer back in time to fix certain problems that come up. Most people will tell you that if you have a problem that you can just use system restore to fix it but this isn’t the case.

You see when Windows performs an automatic update or you install a new program, Windows will make a System Restore point and save it to your hard drive, so long as System Restore is enabled. This can come in really handy if you install a new piece of hardware and the drivers cause your system to mess up. And if for some reason a Microsoft Windows update ruins your settings you can use System Restore to go back before the update and wait for a proper fix to come through.

But as great as System Restore sounds the problem lies in the actual programs you use on a daily basis. Windows System Restore only affects system files which means anything that Windows installs and uses can be turned back but if your resume or Quickbooks account files get messed up and corrupted, System Restore won’t fix them.

So let this be a warning to those of you who don’t back up your data. Windows System Restore will go back in time and make your computer work like it did a week ago but it won’t fix your personal files, so get yourself an external hard drives and back up your data yourself. This way if your file is corrupt you can grab the backup copy and only lose a few days of work instead of a years worth.

External Hard Drives are pretty cheap now-a-days and you can get them at any computer retailer or save yourself some money and buy one from Amazon.com

Remember backup early, backup often.

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