Using System Restore to Recover a Windows 7 PC

When using your new Windows 7 machine there might be times when something goes wrong with a driver or an app and Windows becomes unstable. Today we’ll show a complete System Restore process on a Windows 7 computer where the Office 2010 Uninstall went awry.

We recently had one of our computers in the lab take a turn for the worse after trying to do a complete uninstall of Office 2010 beta. It didn’t go the way we had hoped and experienced a hard time getting 2010 or 2007 reinstalled. It also caused some other apps that are associated with Office to error out and act unstable. Rather than spend hours researching Knowledgebase articles and tinkering with the Registry, we turned to restoring the system back to an earlier state with System Restore. In this article we thought we’d remind you about the importance of System Restore, and walk you through the restore process in Windows 7.

Recover from a Restore Point

First type system restore into the search box in the Start menu and hit Enter.

 

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That opens the System Restore wizard and from here you can choose the recommended restore point,which is the most recent one…Or you can choose a different restore point, which for our situation we need to do. Select the radio button next to Choose a different restore point then click Next.

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Now you get a list of different restore points and the description of what was taking place when it was created. We tried several attempts to install / uninstall Office 2010 Beta on this machine so there are several of those points listed as you can see. We need something later, so in this instance we want to click on the box next to Show more restore points.

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Now scroll through and determine which restore point you want. For example, we know our system started being unstable at the time of trying to get rid of Office 2010…so we’ll pick a restore point that is a couple days before that when everything was working successfully.

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When you pick a restore point, another thing you should do is click the button to Scan for affected programs.

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The scan will kick off and determine what will be affected by the restore point you choose.

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Then it brings up the results. It shows which programs and drivers that will be deleted…And what programs will be restored (though they may not work correctly and need to be reinstalled). This is goo information to know when selecting a point to recover. If some important drivers or programs would be deleted, you might want to try another restore point. Although, you may not always that luxury and will have to go with the one that works.

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Confirm the restore pint and click Finish.

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Click Yes to the message saying that it can’t be undone until it has completed, or cannot be undone if running it from Safe Mode.

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The System Restore process begins…

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You’ll see a series of messages display while the process completes and different things are being restored. The amount of time it takes to complete will vary between computers.

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After returning from the restart, you’ll have a message advising it was completed successfully and the time and date it was restored to.

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Now, your system should be functioning exactly how it was during the time it was restored to. You’ll still have all of your documents, but might be missing a couple of programs that you’ll just need to reinstall again.

Conclusion

Although often overlooked, it’s very important to create and maintain System Restore Points for the overall health of your system. It can make life much easier if something bad happens and you need a quick way to get your machine working again. A lot of times some programs and some Windows Updates will create a Restore Point for you automatically but not always.

Auto Mount ISO files in Windows 7MC

Do you have a hard drive full of ripped movies in ISO file format? Are you looking for an easy way to play them in Windows Media Center? Today we show you how to configure Windows Media Center so you can automatically view those ISOs directly from the Movie Library.

First, download and install Virtual Clone Drive. It’s a free application that allows you to mount an ISO file so that it appears as a CD/DVD drive. The install process is very simple and you can just take the defaults.

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Next, download and install Mikinho Mount Image. This add-in allows for the ISO image files to be displayed and mounted automatically in Windows Media Center. This is also a very basic install and is available in 32 & 64 bit versions.

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If you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to either copy your ISO files into your Media Center Movie Library, or add the folder containing your ISOs to the Movie Library.

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When you are ready to watch a movie, simply browse to the Movie Library and click on the ISO you wish to view.

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When you open an ISO file, you are presented with a “Please wait while mounting disc image…” message. The process will take several seconds. It may take a bit longer if another ISO file needs to be unmounted before mounting the new one.

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After the ISO is mounted, your movie will begin to play. Now just relax and enjoy the movie.

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When the movie is over you can eject the ISO image (which actually unmounts it from the virtual drive) just as you would with an actual physical DVD. You don’t have to, but it makes mounting the next ISO you want to watch load faster.

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These two apps work behind the scenes and it feels like the feature was built into Windows Media Center to begin with. There is nothing you need to setup or tweak, just install the two programs and you’re done. Of course with Virtual CloneDrive, you’ll get the extra benefit of having a virtual disc drive on your system for running other disc images.

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If you are looking for a simple, no hassle way to enjoy those ISOs in Windows 7 Media Center, then these simple apps will be a welcome addition to your Media Center setup.

Download Mikinho Mount Image

Download Virtual Clone Drive