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Chapter 28. Getting a Good Night's Sleep... > Recovering from a Problem Using Syst... - Pg. 328

Getting a Good Night's Sleep: Preparing for Trouble 328 Recovering from a Problem Using System Restore One of the most frustrating of Windows experiences is to have your system sailing along without so much as an electronic hiccup, and then to have everything crash or become unstable after installing a program or a chunk of hardware. This all-too-common scenario means that some program com- ponent or device driver simply doesn't get along with Windows XP, and that the two are now at loggerheads. Uninstalling the program or device can often help, but that's not a foolproof solution. To help guard against software or hardware installations that bring down the system, Windows XP has a feature called System Restore. Its job is straightforward, yet clever: To take periodic snapshots --called restore points or checkpoints --of your system, each of which includes the current Windows XP configuration. The idea is that if a program or device installation causes problems on your sys- tem, you use System Restore to revert your system to the most recent restore point before the installation. System Restore creates checkpoints using the following methods: · Automatically every 24 hours if you keep your computer on full-time. If you turn your machine off periodically, Windows XP creates a restore point every 24 hours that the machine is running. · Automatically before installing an update via the Automatic Updates feature (discussed in Chapter 27, "Smooth System Sailing: Wielding the System Tools"). · Automatically before installing certain applications. Some newer applications--notably Office 2000--are aware of System Restore and ask it to create a restore point prior to installation. · Automatically when you attempt to install a device driver that is "unsigned" (meaning that it can't be verified that the driver will work properly with Windows XP). · Manually using the System Restore feature.