Tech Strategy Trends

Sep 22 2009   10:15PM GMT

System Restore With a View

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

I am a fan of System Restore. You know when you call tech support and they ask silly questions like ‘are you sure the device is plugged in?’ or ‘have you rebooted it?’? Well- ‘have you restored your system to a point in time before the problem started occurring?’ is on my short list of questions when troubleshooting a problem (OK- I admit that ‘have you rebooted?’ is still the number one troubleshooting step).

One thing that has been an issue with System Restore in previous Windows operating systems is that you were flying blind. In other words- say your system started acting wonky yesterday. After putting up with it for a while (and trying a reboot), you decide to do a System Restore. You find a restore point from 3 days ago, but you aren’t really sure what programs or drivers you may have installed since that time.

Left with few options you take your chances and go through the System Restore anyway, but then you have to sort of stumble along to try and identify what might have changed from your little time travel trick. Not so in Windows 7.

With Windows 7 Microsoft added a button labeled Scan for affected programs. Select a restore point and click on Scan for affected programs to display a listing of programs and drivers that will be deleted by restoring to this restore point, and programs and drivers that might be restored as a result of restoring to this restore point.

Good, bad, or indiffferent, you at least know what you’re getting involved in before you click Next and kick off the restore.

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