Tuesday, 8 May 2018

System Restore functionality in Windows 10 - How it works

Windows 10 features various inbuilt features for system recovery. In the event of system malfunction, these tools allow users to revert the configuration to a previous point when it was working perfectly.



System Restore and Recovery options in Windows 10

Following system restore and recovery options can help if you’re facing issues with your Windows 10 PC:

  • System Restore: This option is most suitable for times when your PC begins to showcase defects after installing a new application, driver, or update. Running system restore will take the PC back to a previous configuration. Once enabled, System Restore automatically creates restore points when there is a major change in the configuration like installation of a new driver, application, or OS update. Also, users can manually create a restore point to capture their desired configuration.
    System Restore cannot protect against malware, viruses, or other malicious elements. Neither can it be used to recover lost or deleted files. It only allows you to take the system back to an earlier configuration as captured by the restore point when the system was working fine. 
  • Reset your PC: This option is advised if the issue persists even after running system restore. Essentially, Reset allows a user to decide if you wish to keep your files or delete them, and then reinstalls Windows. A user can accomplish this in three ways:
    1. Keep my files: This option re-installs Windows 10 while keeping personal files saved. It removes installed apps and drivers as well as changes made to System Settings by the user. 
    2. Remove Everything: This re-installs Windows 10 and deletes all personal files. It also deletes all apps, drivers, and anything installed by the user.
    3. Restore Factory Settings: This option is not available for all PCs. If it is available on your system, then it can be used to re-install the version of Windows that the PC originally came with. This is usually Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. It re-installs any program installed by the PC’s manufacturer. However, it does delete all the apps and drivers installed by the users as well as changes made to the system settings.
  • Go back to the previous version of Windows: This option can be accessed within 10 days of the upgrade. It allows users to return to the version of Windows they were using before upgrading to Windows 10. Personal files will be left intact but all apps and drivers installed after the upgrade will be removed. Changes to system settings will also be undone.


How to create a Restore Point manually in Windows 10

  • In addition to the restore points automatically created by the system, users can also save their desired configuration by manually creating one or more Restore Points. To do so, the following steps need to be taken:
  • Open Start menu and type Create a Restore Point in the search field.
  • Search and open System Properties from the results. Select the System Protection tab and click the Create button.
  • The System Protection dialog box appears. Enter a name for the Restore Point. (You can use the date or the name of a program you are about to install or anything that makes it easy for you to recall later.) Click Create.
  • A progress window is displayed. When the restore point is created, a message saying so will confirm the same. Close the message box and then the System Properties window to exit.

The Restore Point has now been created. If needed, a user can restore the machine’s configuration to this point. Before creating a Restore Point, it is essential to ensure that the system is functioning at its best. If the system is infected by any form of malware at the time of creating the Restore Point, then the device will continue to malfunction due to the malware even after System Restore.


How to perform System Restore in Windows 10

If a PC is grappling with an issue and a System Restore needs to be performed, the following steps need to be followed:

Open the System Properties window and select System Protection tab using the steps mentioned earlier.
Click the System Restore button on the System Protection tab.
Click Next on the System Restore window named Restore system files and settings.
A list of Restore Points is shown. Select the desired one.
Click Next.
Click Finish to confirm the restore point that you want to use on the window named Confirm your restore point.
A question mentioning System Restore process cannot be interrupted once started and do you want to continue? will appear. Click Yes.
System Restore will begin to revert the system to the selected Restore Point. This process will take about 15 minutes. 
Wait until the PC restarts. Sign in to your Windows profile.
On the Desktop, System Restore completed successfully message box will appear. Click the Close button.
System Restore is now complete. Check if the issue in question has been resolved.

Windows 10 comes with an effective tool in the form of System Restore that helps to fix computers and return them to a workable state. However, the process is quite complicated and time-consuming. On the contrary, technologies like Reboot to Restore offer an alternative to System Restore by troubleshooting system issues with a single reboot. Software such as Faronics’ Deep Freeze harness Reboot to Restore technology to revert systems to a desired clean configuration with exceptional ease. It tends to be far more user-friendly than the inbuilt programs of Windows 10. With a Reboot to Restore solution at their disposal, all that a user has to do is to restart the machine. This makes it an excellent tool for mission-critical systems that cannot afford to suffer any downtime whatsoever. It also significantly lowers the need for IT intervention, especially in multi-user computing environments due to its simple process.