Recover Computer Crash Using System Restore

Imagine a very nice evening, you are downloading and installing new game, application or a nice software and suddenly you realize that your computer is not performing as it was just 1 minute before or has crashed. So what is next? Call somebody to fix it. Wait… Here comes System Restore. (Available with Windows Me/XP/Vista and system restore is completely reversible)

What it can do for me

System Restore works like the Undo command in Microsoft Word. System Restore will remove any system changes that were made since the last time you remember your computer working correctly. The beauty of this is that it does not affect your personal data files such as Microsoft Word documents, browsing history, favorites, e–mail or My Documents so you won't lose changes made to these files.

How System Restore works

It does this by monitoring changes to your files and folders and taking a snapshot of your system at regular intervals. If a problem with your system is encountered, you can restore the system to a previous point and roll back your system files and registry to a point when the operating system was working. Let's look at how to configure your System Restore options and how to put the feature to work.

How to undo changes you have made to your computer

Save your work before you start System Restore console. Follow the steps below to start System Restore process

1. Log on to Windows as Administrator.

2. Click Start -> All Programs -> Accessories ->System Tools.

3. Click on System Restore and System Restore starts.

4. On the Welcome to System Restore page, click Restore my computer to an earlier time (if it is not already selected), and then click Next.

5. On the Select a Restore Point page, click the most recent system checkpoint in the On this list, click a restore point list, and then click Next. A System Restore message may appear that lists configuration changes that System Restore will make. Click OK.

6. On the Confirm Restore Point Selection page, click Next. System Restore restores the previous Windows XP configuration, and then restarts the computer.

7. Log on to the computer as Administrator. The System Restore Restoration Complete page appears.

8. Click OK. Note: If the System Restore fails, then try booting your computer in Safe Mode and try restore again. To boot in Safe Mode, press F8 when computer is restarting.

How to Undo the Restoration

You may inadvertently restore Windows XP to a previous configuration that you do not want. To undo the restoration

1. Log on to Windows as Administrator.

2. Click Start -> All Programs ->Accessories -> System Tools and then click System Restore. System Restore starts.

3. On the Welcome to System Restore page, click Undo my last restoration, and then click Next. A System Restore message may appear that lists configuration changes that System Restore will make. Click OK.

4. On the Confirm Restoration Undo page, click Next. System Restore restores the original Windows XP configuration, and then restarts the computer.

5. Log on to the computer as Administrator. The System Restore Undo Complete page appears.

6. Click OK.

More Reading: Maximizing ''System Restore'' In WinME and WinXP

Install Ontario Desktop Theme in Windows XP

This is another free desktop theme from Microsoft for Windows XP users. The Screenshot can be seen above. If you like the theme, you can install it for free. I will guide you where to download it from and how to install it in your computer.

1. Click here to download (Available to customers running genuine Microsoft Windows XP);

2. Click on Continue to start validating your windows XP;

3. After Validation is complete, Click on Download to start downloading the theme;

4. Download window will appear, Click on Run;

5. After download is complete, click on Run then installation Starts;

6. Select I accept the terms in the License Agreement;

7. Click Next and follow the installation screen instructions;

8. Click Finish;

9. Then it will take you to the Display Properties, Click OK to change the desktop theme. Be patient, it will take a while to switch the theme from existing one to Ontario;

10. Congratulations, you have successfully installed Ontario Desktop Theme in your computer.

Tips: It has four different themes you can choose from:

1. Ontario - Local Feed

2. Ontario - Nature - Animals

3. Ontario - Historical Monuments

4. Ontario - Nature

How To Hide Folders and Files in Windows

There are situations when you want to hide some of your folders or files in your computer from being seen by others. This applies specially when you share the user login in Windows XP. By default, every user's Desktop and My Document is not accessible to other users of the same computer. If a user account is set to lock the desktop after certain period of inactive time and have set a password, then you don't need to hide any files or folders as you are the only one who can unlock it using your user-name and password. Having said that, you can not protect the files from being seen by a person sitting next you and monitoring your screen. You need to hide the files/folders to avoid this kind of scenario.

What I am going to discuss here is a simple approach to hide folders & files in Windows XP without using any additional paid/free software. We will be using attribute of files/folder for this purpose. Using attribute, any file/folder can be set to hide and be unhidden. There are mainly two ways you can achieve this – [a]. by changing folder properties or [b]. using DOS Command "attrib" from Command prompt.

Before you go ahead and start working on to hide your files or folders, make sure that the default view of file or folders are set not to show hidden files or folder from Folder Options. Usually, this option is already set to hide the files and folders, but it's always better to check it to confirm. In order to do this: -

1. Click on My Computer from your desktop and then click on Tools -> Folder Options subsequently.

2. Click on View tab and under the Hidden Files and Folders, check the radio button that says “Do not show hidden files and folders”.

3. Click OK to save the changes.

Now, follow the steps below to hide folders or files:

[a]. By Changing Folder Properties:
1. Right click on Folder you want to hide and check the Hidden box under Attributes and click Apply.
2. Another window will pop up – asking if you want to “Apply changes to this folder, sub-folders and files”. Don’t change anything there and click OK.
It takes some time to change the attributes of the folder depending upon the size of the folder and then press OK. Now that folder is Hidden.
[b]. By using DOS Command – attrib:

1. Click on Start –> Run –> type cmd and hit enter.

For example, I have a directory called “Test” in root directory and I want to hide that directory with the help of attribute command. Change the directory one level back to the directory you want to hide.

2. Type attrib +h Test and hit Enter. That’s all, Test folder is hidden now.  (Type attrib –h Test to unhide the folder.)
Important advice: As this method is very simple and basic, any tech savvy or informed user can change the view option to show hidden files and folders from Folder options and your hidden file can be easily seen if you have hidden your file or folder at Desktop. Desktop is a very obvious place so what I suggest is that you should create or move the file or folder you are going to hide to somewhere deep inside directory. I strongly suggest not to hide your files or folder on the Desktop.

Related post: Create Secure and Locked Folder in Windows