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Document ID:2001111912274039
Last Modified:08/11/2003



How to turn off or turn on Windows XP System Restore

Situation:
You want to know how to turn off or turn on the Windows XP System Restore feature.

Solution:
System Restore, a Windows XP feature, is similar to the "Last Known Good Configuration" in Windows NT and Windows 2000. You can use System Restore to restore the computer to a previous state, using the backups that it makes of selected system files and program files. However, "Last Known Good Configuration" restores the computer back to the last state that Windows determines might work, whereas System Restore gives you a choice of previous states to restore the computer to. That is, System Restore maintains multiple restore points instead of one last restore point.

While this is a desirable feature, in some cases it should be temporarily turned off. For example, if the computer is infected with a virus, then it is possible that the virus could be backed up by System Restore. By default, Windows prevents System Restore from being modified by outside programs. As a result, there is the possibility that you could restore a virus-infected file, or that the on-line scanners would detect the virus in that location.


Notes:



To turn off Windows XP System Restore:


Note: These instructions assume that you are using the default Windows XP Start Menu and have not changed to the Classic Start menu. To re-enable the default menu, right-click Start, click Properties, click Start menu (not Classic) and then click OK.


  1. Click Start.
  2. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the System Restore tab.
  4. Select "Turn off System Restore" or "Turn off System Restore on all drives" check box as shown in this illustration:

  5. Click Apply. The following message appears:

  6. As noted in the message, this will delete all existing restore points. Click Yes to do this.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Proceed with what you need to do. For example, removing viruses. Restart the computer and follow the instructions in the next section to turn on System Restore.


To turn on Windows XP System Restore:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the System Restore tab.
  4. Clear the "Turn off System Restore" or "Turn off System Restore on all drives" check box.
  5. Click Apply, and then click OK.