Many of us have at one point or another installed a program or made some change that was harmful to our computer. Problems can occur when you are installing drivers for network devices (and other hardware) or another user installs a program or component that is harmful to the computer.

Thankfully, Vista includes a program called System Restore that addresses this issue. For example, if a user accidentally deletes a program file, the computer can be restored without having to reinstall Vista or losing any of the user’s personal data.

System Restore provides a way to undo certain changes without affecting personal files such as e-mail, documents, and photos. With this in mind, remember that System Restore is not intended as a replacement for performing regular backups. System Restore cannot help you recover a personal file that has been deleted or damaged so its important that you continue to regularly back up your important files.

System Restore is enabled by default in Vista. You can disable it; however, doing so is not advised because it will prevent you from being able to rollback changes.

To restore your system using System Restore:

  1. Click Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and click System Restore.
  2. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. Vista will suggest the most recent restore point. Click Next to start the restoration.