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Restoring Your System

If your system stops running correctly or becomes persistently unstable—thanks to an incompatible program, faulty driver, or bad system setting, or for no apparent reason—use System Restore to return your computer’s configuration to its previous, working state without risk to personal documents, email, cookies, and Favorites. System Restore protects only Windows system files and settings; use Backup (described later in this chapter) to protect your personal data files and documents.

System Restore runs invisibly in the background, monitoring and taking snapshots of critical system files and registry entries. These snapshots, called restore points, are created the first time that you boot XP and daily thereafter; every time that you install a program through Windows Installer or InstallShield; or whenever Windows Update or Automatic Updates runs. Before you make a major change to your system or its settings, you can create a restore point manually.


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