How To Restore Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP, And Microsoft Windows 7

Microsoft Windows Vista, XP, and 7 Restore

All Microsoft Windows computers have recovery or System Restore centers (rstrui.exe) and Windows 8 also has refresh and reset options. Some manufactured computers whilst using Windows even have their own recovery center wizard for easy scheduling of backups, systems restores, and much more. For example, we have written a post about the Sony Vaio Recovery Center in a previous article.

Microsoft Windows System Restore Details

Window’s restore center will allow you to restore your computer to a previous date and time (restore point) recommended by Microsoft, which they call “Recommended restore”, as well as giving you the option to “choose a different restore point”.
Windows Recommended Restore And Choose A Restore Point

Window’s system restore automatically recommends the most recent restore point created before a significant change, such as installing a program. You can also choose from a list of restore points. Try using restore points created just before the date and time you started noticing problems. The descriptions of the restore points that are created automatically correspond with the name of an event, such as Windows Update installing an update. System Restore returns your computer to the state that it was in before the restore point that you chose.

  • Window’s System Restore uses restore points to return your Windows system files and settings to an earlier date and time without affecting personal files. Restore points are created automatically every week, and before significant system events, such as critical updates, new device or driver installs and updates, and much more.  Resotre points can also be manually created at any time.
  • Every time Windows System Restore is used, a restore point is automatically created so the Windows user can undo the changes if a restore does not fix the problem. If you use Windows System Restore when the computer is in safe mode or by using the System Recovery Options, you cannot undo the restore operation. However, you can run System Restore again and choose a different restore point, if one exists.
  • System Restore does not affect personal files, such as e-mail, documents, or photos, so it cannot help you restore a deleted file. If you have backups of your files, you can restore the files from a backup.
How does a System Restore remove infections (malware, viruses)?

A System Restore affects Windows system files, programs, and registry settings. A restore can also make changes to scripts, batch files, and other types of executable files which may have been placed on the system or changed by a third party without user consent.

Windows Restore File Location
  • Win XP: C:\windows\system32\restore\rstrui.exe
  • Win Vista/Seven: C:\windows\system32\rstrui.exe

How To Restore A Microsoft Windows Computer

Below are 3 different options to restore Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows 7 operated computer. The first option is the fastest way to restore a Windows computer. The second option describes how to restore a Windows computer by simply navigating through the folders and programs pinned to the Start menu. The third option can be used if Window’s is malformed and the computer user can not reach the desktop (etc), and/or can not successfully reboot Windows.

Option 1: Windows Start Menu rstrui.exe Restore

1. Access Windows Start menu
2. Type rstrui.exe into the search field and press Enter
3. Follow instructions in Window’s Restore Wizard

Option 2: Windows Start Menu Restore

Start Menu System RestoreStandard directions to quickly access Window’s System Restore Wizard.

1. Access windows Start menu and click All Programs.
2. Click and open Accessories, click System Tools, and then click System Restore.‌
If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
3. Restore your computer to a date and time before infection.

Option 3: Windows Safe Mode With Command Prompt Restore

During instances where the computer user can not access Windows desktop and the computer has become infected with malware, viruses, or other conflicts and malfunctions, entering Windows utilizing sage mode with command prompt is the suggested step to access Window’s restore center. If it is difficult to start windows in safe mode or if Windows’s brings up a black screen, with “safe mode” in the four corners – Don’t panic. Move your cursor to the lower left corner, where the Search box is usually visible in Windows Start Menu and it will come up, including the “Run” box.

1. Restart/reboot your computer. Unplug if necessary.
2. Enter Windows in “safe mode with command prompt”. To properly enter safe mode, repeatedly press F8 upon the opening of the boot menu.

Safe mode with command prompt

3. Once the Command Prompt appears type “explorer” and hit Enter. Sometimes during infections of malware and viruses you only have the opportunity to do this within 2-3 seconds. In some cases if this is not performed during the allotted seconds, viruses such as the FBI MoneyPak ransomware virus will not allow you to type “explorer” anymore.

Comand Prompt Type Explorer

4. Once Windows Explorer shows up browse to:

  • Win XP: C:\windows\system32\restore\rstrui.exe and press Enter
  • Win Vista/Seven: C:\windows\system32\rstrui.exe and press Enter

System32 rstrui
5. Follow all steps to restore or recover your computer system to an earlier time and date, before infection to complete Windows restore.
Restore system files and settings

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