Windows XP is arguably the best PC operating system to ever come out of Microsoft’s product line. It is the most stable and the most user-friendly. It is no wonder that most business and personal systems still use it in spite of the newer Windows 7 that was launched a few months ago. While Windows 7 claims to be better than Windows XP in more ways than one, there is one feature that they both have that makes them that good. The system restore feature in both Windows XP and 7 enables a user to restore the system to a state previously saved in the past. This feature is quite useful when your system gets screwed up by a virus or by an accidental deletion of system files. Here are the steps to set your Windows XP right by restoring it to its factory settings or to a safe state.
Turn off the system. So, your PC has begun to screw up and you really don’t know why. You scanned the system with the latest anti-virus around and it still screws up. Frustration and anger will slowly creep up. Do not let it. Take a deep breath and keep calm. The first thing to do is reboot your system. After the reboot, if it still screws up, then turn the machine off and follow the succeeding steps.
Unplug all devices. Before turning your PC back on, it is important to remove and unplug any external devices connected to it. Printers, cameras, external hard drives, and any other device connected should be removed.
Turn on the system and back up your files. Power on your PC and insert a writable DVD or flash drive that will enable you to backup all your important files and programs. Regardless of the method, burn or transfer the files just in case the system crashes during the system restore procedure.
Restore your PC. Once all your important files are backed up and safe, you can now start the process of actually restoring your PC. Locate and click on the “Start” button on the lower left corner of your desktop. Clicking this will bring up the “Start” menu. On that popup menu, select “Accessories” from the applications listed on the “Program Files” menu. On the opened sub menu, choose and click “System tools” and select “System Restore” from the “System tools” sub menu. This should offer you a new menu where you will proceed to specifying the system restoration configuration. Bear in mind that the system restore feature of Windows XP is only usable if it was activated and running a few days prior to the day of actual restoration. In any case, once the new menu is proffered, click on the “Restore My Computer at an Earlier Time” link and click the “Next” button to proceed. In the new window, a calendar will be displayed with dates of each saved point. Select the date where you want your PC to revert to and click “Next”. Since you want to restore your PC to its factory settings, select the earliest save point or the one closest to the date when XP was installed. Confirm all the details on the next window and start the restoration.
The system restore feature should only take several minutes to complete. A fresh reboot of the system will be done automatically and as it boots up, the state of your PC should be the same state on the date and time you selected.