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HP Notebook PCs - Using Microsoft System Restore

This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Windows System Restore creates a snapshot of the system files and computer settings, called restore points , that you to reset the computer to the operating conditions that existed at an earlier point in time. Selecting a Restore Point enables you to resolve most operational problems by resetting the computer to restore point that was created prior to the start of the problem.

To use the Microsoft Windows System Restore the first time, you must manually:

  • Turn on the System Protection feature.

  • Select a location for storing the system restore point.

  • Create an initial system restore point.

Once the System Protection is turn on, the computer creates a new restore point every day and just before significant events such as the installation of new software. You can also create a restore point manually at any time.

Differences between Windows System Restore and HP Recovery Manager

Windows System Restore is sometimes confused with HP Recovery Manager.
  • Windows System Restore enables you to return the computer to a previous restore point, which resets all of the settings for the operating system to those settings that existed at the time that the restore point was created. None of your personal data files, such as email, documents, or pictures are lost.

  • HP Recovery Manager enables you to return the computer to its original factory condition. It reinstalled the original operating systems and deletes all programs and personal data files.

If the computer suddenly develops a problem, you should perform a System Restore to try to resolve the issue before you perform a complete recovery with the HP Recovery Manager.

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Enable System Restore

To verify that System Restore is enabled, and select a location for storing the restore points, follow the steps below.

  1. Click Start , enter system into the search field, and then select System Restore from the list to open the System Restore wizard.

  2. View the message that displays.

    If the message that displays is:

    • System Protection is turned off.

      System Restore is disabled . Continue to next step and turn on the System Protection.

    • System Restore can help fix problems that might be making your computer run slowly or stop responding.

      System Restore is enabled . Go to Create a restore point .

  3. On the System Protection tab, select a drive location to store the restore points. The Create option is inactive until you choose either the primary hard drive (C:) or an external hard drive.

    NOTE: Never select the Recovery (D:) drive as a storage location. The Recovery drive is a small partition dedicated to the HP Recovery Manager.
  4. After selecting the location for storing the restore point , the Create option becomes active.

Now that the System Restore is enabled, and a storage location is select, you can Create a restore point .

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Create a restore point

The computer creates a new restore point every day and just before significant events such as the installation of new software. To create a restore point manually at any time, follow the steps below.

  1. Click Start , enter system into the search field, and then select System Restore from the list to open the System Restore wizard.

  2. Click open System Protection to open the System Properties window.

  3. Verify that a file storage location is selected, and then click Create .

  4. When prompted, enter text to describe the time or the reason for creating this restore point, and then click Create .

  5. When prompted to confirm the description of the restore point, click Finish to continue.

    NOTE: Be sure to save all open files and close all programs because the computer will restart by itself during this process.

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Returning the computer to a previous restore point

There are different ways to launch the Windows System Restore, including:

Some security and antivirus programs may prevent you from returning the computer to an previous restore point. They treat System Restore as if it is a virus making an unauthorized change. In this case, you can open the control and temporarily disable the antivirus program. Remember to re-enable the protection as soon as practicable.

Using the System Restore wizard to return the computer to a previous restore point

If the computer can boot to the Windows desktop, use the System Restore wizard to return the computer to a previous restore point, follow the steps below.

  1. Click Start , enter system into the search field, and then select System Restore from the list.

  2. Click Next to open a list of available restore points.

  3. Select a restore point that was created at a time before you noticed the problem, and then click Next . The status of the restore points that are available for System Restore is displayed.

  4. Click Next to continue.

    NOTE: If an error message appears indicating that the computer cannot be restored to the point you selected, try a different restore point.
  5. When prompted to confirm the restore point, click Finish .

  6. When prompted that the operation must not be interrupted, click Yes to perform the System Restore.

  7. When System Restore completes, click Restart to restart the computer. If Recovery Manager displays when the computer restarts, click Cancel and allow the computer to restart in Windows.

The computer will restart and be returned operating condition.

Using f11 during startup to return the computer to a previous restore point

If the computer cannot boot to the Windows desktop, you can press the f11 key during startup to return the computer to a previous restore point.

NOTE: Using f11 during startup to return the computer to a previous restore point cannot be undone.
  1. Press the power button to turn on the computer.

  2. When the HP or Compaq logo displays, press f11 to launch HP Recovery Manager.

  3. In the Recovery Manager window, click Advanced options .

  4. Select Microsoft System Restore and then click Next .

    A message indicating that Microsoft System Restore requires you to leave the Recovery Manager displays, click Next to close Recovery Manager and open System Restore.

  5. When prompted, click Next to start the restore process.

  6. Select a restore point that was created before the problem occurred from the list and then click Next . The status of the restore points that are available for System Restore displays.

  7. Click Next to continue.

  8. When prompted to confirm the restore point, click Finish .

  9. When prompted that the operation must not be interrupted, click Yes to perform the System Restore.

  10. When System Restore completes, click Restart to restart the computer. If Recovery Manager displays when the computer restarts, click Cancel and allow the computer to restart in Windows.

You have now returned the computer to a previous restore point using f11 on startup.

Using Safe Mode at startup

To use Safe Mode with Command Prompt to return the computer to a previous restore point, follow the steps below.

NOTE: Using System Restore in Safe Mode to return the computer to a previous restore point cannot be undone. System Restore is not available in Safe Mode with Networking.
  1. Press the power button to turn on the computer.

  2. At the first screen, press the f8 key repeatedly every half of a second until the Windows Advanced Boot Options screen displays.

  3. Press the down arrow key until Safe Mode with Command Prompt is selected, and then press enter . Wait while Windows loads system files. The Windows log on screen appears.

  4. At the command prompt, enter rstrui.exe , and then press enter . Wait a few moments for the System Restore window to open.

  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to perform a system restore.

You have now returned the computer to a previous restore point using Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

Using the last known good configuration in the Advanced Boot Options menu to return the computer to a previous restore point

If the computer does not boot to the Windows desktop and Safe Mode with Command Prompt is not available, use the last known configuration in the Advanced Boot Options menu to return the computer to a previous restore point.

To use the last known good configuration in the Advanced Boot Options menu to return the computer to a previous restore point, follow the steps below.

  1. Remove all CDs and DVDs from your computer, and then restart the computer.

  2. At the first screen, press the f8 key repeatedly every half of a second until the Windows Advanced Boot Options screen displays.

  3. Press the down arrow key until Last Known Good Configuration (advanced) is selected, and then press enter .

You have now returned the computer to a previous restore point using the last known good configuration.

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Undoing the last system restore

If you select a restore point to correct a problem but the problem is not corrected, you can return the computer to the state it was in before the unsuccessful system restore, assuming you have performed a system restore at least twice.

To undo the last system restore, follow the steps below.

  1. Click Start , enter system into the search field, and then select System Restore from the list. Grant permission to continue, if prompted. The Restore system files and settings window opens.

  2. Select the restore operation that you want to undo, click Next , and then Finish .

  3. Click Yes to confirm that you want to continue the operation, and then wait while Windows removes the last system restore point, and then restarts.

You have now undone the last system restore and the previous configuration is restored.

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