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Chapter twenty five. Troubleshooting Com... > Undoing Something Bad with System Re... - Pg. 355

Troubleshooting Common Problems 355 Other Startup Options When you press the F8 key when Windows is starting, Safe mode is just one of the options available on the Windows Startup menu. Here are some of the other options you may encounter: · Normal.This starts Windows in its normal mode--as if you hadn't pressed F8 to begin with. · Safe Mode.Starts Windows with a minimal number of device drivers loaded. · Safe Mode with Networking.A version of Safe mode that also loads key network drivers; you can still connect the ailing computer to your network. · Safe Mode with Command Prompt.Boots to the old DOS command prompt instead of to the Windows interface. · Enable Boot Logging.This logs all remaining startup operations to the BOOTLOG.TXT file. · Enable VGA Mode.Loads Windows as normal, but with a generic VGA video driver. (This is a good mode if you think you're having trouble with your video driver.) · Last Known Good Configuration.Uses the Windows Registry information and drivers that were saved the last time you shut down your system--presumably before your system got screwed up. Undoing Something Bad with System Restore Perhaps the best course of action when your system crashes is to use Microsoft's System Restore utility. This is a relatively new utility, first introduced in Windows Me, which can automatically restore your system to the state it was in before your problems cropped up. System Restore is probably the most useful utility for users who experience major system problems. (I'm almost ashamed to admit how many times I've used it to restore my system after botching some upgrade or another.) Prior to Windows Me, it wasn't uncommon to run into problems that required you to reinstall your entire operating system. With System Restore, reinstallations are a thing of the past--because it can automatically restore your system to a prior working state. Think of System Restore as a safety net for your essential system files. It isn't a backup program per se, because it doesn't make copies of your personal files. It simply keeps track of all the system- level changes that are made to your computer, and (when activated) reverses those changes. CAUTION Because System Restore only monitors system files and Registry settings, you cannot use it to restore changed or damaged data files. For complete protection, you'll still need to back up your important data files manually. Setting System Restore Points How does System Restore work? It's quite simple, actually. System Restore actively monitors your system and notes any changes that are made when you install new applications. Each time it notes a change, it automatically cre- ates what it calls a restore point. A restore point is a "snapshot" of the Windows Registry and selected system files just before the new application is installed. Just to be safe, System Restore also creates a new restore point after every 10 hours of system use. You also can choose to manually create a new restore point at any point in time. Which is a good idea whenever you make any major system change, such as installing a new peripheral or piece of hardware.