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Windows 7 tips and tweaks

Fix Windows using the System Recovery Options

A previous tip showed how to access the Windows repair utilities that are accessed though the Advanced Boot Options menu. You can read the article, but to cut a long story short, press F8 just before Windows loads, choose Repair Your Computer, log in and you'll end up at the System Recovery Options dialog. In this article, some of the other options in this dialog will be covered. They are really useful for repairing faults with Windows that prevent you from starting the computer normally.

The first option on the menu, Startup Repair, has already been explored, so let's take a look at the second. System Restore enables you to undo recent changes to Windows, such as the installation of drivers, certain types of software, configuration changes and so on. If you're computer has gone wrong, but last week it was working perfectly, you can restore the Windows setup that was in use last week.

Windows automatically makes backups of settings, the configuration and certain files and you don't need to do anything special. It's not a complete system backup though and it doesn't copy your files or software, for example. The aim is just to back up the files critical to the operation of Windows.

Repair Windows

Click System Restore in the System Recovery dialog and click Next on the first screen and you will then see a list of restore points. You may find that not all of them are displayed/ Click the option to show more restore points at the bottom. Select one of the restore points.

Repair Windows

System Restore turns back the clock, so although it may fix a problem, it could actually cause another problem. For example, if software has been installed recently then it could be partially uninstalled and it might not work afterwards. Click the button to Scan for affected programs. You'll then see a list of programs and drivers that will be deleted and also a list of programs and drivers that are affected by the restore and which might need to be renstalled afterwards. This is useful information and it's good to be aware of any potential problems that System Restore might cause.

Repair Windows

After selecting a restore point and checking for programs and drivers that might be affected, go ahead and click Next to perform the restore. It's straightforward and it should run smoothly. Once it has been completed, you can restart the computer and see if Windows boots up or whether the fault has been fixed.

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