System Restore Is Your Friend

12 Oct, 2011 By: Robert Green

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Installing that new program probably won't create any major problems — but if it does, you'll be ready.

A few weeks ago I had to install an old Microsoft Office 2003 application on my Windows 7 64-bit workstation to work on a client project. Before installing the software, I made sure to create a restore point so I could return my workstation to an uninstalled state later — a much easier process than manually uninstalling.

It was a good thing that I did so, because the 2003 application installed some FrontPage-compatible features that royally messed up all the Microsoft Office tools as well as the Windows Installer system. The only reason I didn't have a major disaster on my hands was because I could restore my machine back to its prior state. Here, I'll explain how you can do the same.

The restore process outlined:

  1. Create a restore point of your machine in its current operational state. Here's a fantastic writeup on creating your own restore points from How-To Geek that will take you thru every step of the process. 
  2. Now install the application in question. If everything works, great! You can go on with your life.
  3. If the worst happens (as it did in my case), you can restore using the System Restore console, which you will find under the System and Security tab in the Control Panel.

Restoring your system will require some processing time and a full reboot, but it's a small price to pay for getting your system back! If you get into the habit of creating restore points before you install new software, you may save yourself a lot of headaches. I know the System Restore function has saved me on a number of occasions, and I'm sure it can work for you too!

Hint: This also works great in training lab environments where you want to put the machines back the way you found them prior to training.

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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