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HP PCs - Using Microsoft System Restore (Windows 10,8)

This document applies to HP and Compaq computers with Windows 10 an 8.
This document explains how to use and troubleshoot the System Restore feature in Windows 10 and Windows 8.
About System Restore
System Restore is a software program available in all versions of Windows 10 and Windows 8. System Restore automatically creates restore points, a memory of the system files and settings on the computer at a particular point in time. You can also create a restore point yourself. Then, when you use System Restore to restore your computer to a point in time before an issue began, System Restore returns your computer to the files and settings from the restore point. Your personal files and documents are not affected.
You can also undo a System Restore if the restore does not resolve the issue or if the issue becomes worse.
 note:
Depending on your version of Windows, some graphics and information in this document and the linked videos might vary slightly.
Differences between System Restore and HP Recovery Manager
Microsoft's System Restore is sometimes confused with HP's Recovery Manager software.
  • System Restore enables you to change a collection of Microsoft Windows system files to a configuration that existed at a particular point in time. No personal data files, such as email, documents, or pictures, are lost or changed.
  • HP Recovery Manager enables you to restore the computer's entire software configuration to its original factory condition. It reinstalls the original operating system (such as Windows) and removes all other software and personal data files. When recovery is complete, only the software that originally came with your computer will be available. You will need to reinstall additional software and any of your personal files that were backed up.
Whenever the computer suddenly develops a problem, you should first perform a System Restore to try to resolve the issue before performing a complete recovery using HP Recovery Manager.
Enable System Restore
Microsoft System Restore is enabled by default on most, if not all, HP computers that come with Windows. However, Microsoft System Restore can be disabled and can cause problems if you try to restore from a previous point. To make sure System Restore is enabled, complete the steps below.
Show me how
  1. Save any open files and close all open programs.
  2. In Windows, search for restore, and then open Create a restore point from the results list.
  3. On the System Properties window, select your hard drive, and then click Configure.
    Figure : System Properties
     System Properties window
    The System Protection for Local Disk window opens.
  4. Click Turn on system protection, and then click OK.
    Figure : System Protection for Disk
    The System Protection from Local Disk window, with Turn on system protection selected, and OK highlighted
Create a restore point
Windows automatically creates restore points at regularly scheduled intervals and before many software installations. If you would like to create a restore point manually, use the steps below.
Show me how
  1. Save any open files and close all open programs.
  2. In Windows, search for restore, and then open Create a restore point from the results list.
  3. On the System Properties window, click Create.
    Figure : System Properties
    System Properties window
    The System Protection window opens.
  4. In the text field in the System Protection window, type a descriptive name for the restore point that will help you remember when you created the restore point. Then click Create.
    Figure : Create a restore point
    The System Protection Create a restore point window
    The computer creates the restore point.
    Figure : Creating system restore point
    The System Protection window, displaying a restore point creation progress bar
  5. When the window appears stating that the restore point was created successfully, click Close.
    Figure : Success message
    The success message on the System Protection window
Restore your computer when Windows starts normally
If the computer stops working correctly, you can restore it to a previous point in time when it was working. Use the following steps to restore your computer’s configuration.
  1. Save any open files and close all open programs.
  2. In Windows, search for restore, and then open Create a restore point from the results list.
  3. Click System Restore.
    Figure : System Properties
    System Properties window
    The System Restore window opens.
  4. Click Next.
    Figure : System Restore
    The System Restore window, with Next circled in red
  5. Click the restore point that you want to use, then click Next.
    The window to confirm your restore point opens.
  6. Click Finish to restore your computer to a previous point.
    Figure : Confirm your restore point
    The Confirm your restore point System Properties window, with Finish selected
  7. Do not interrupt System Restore when it starts. This can corrupt your hard drive and create more problems. Click Yes in the warning that appears.
    Figure : Do not interrupt warning
    The warning that appears before beginning a System Restore
  8. System Restore returns the computer configuration to a previous point in time and restarts.
Restore your computer when Windows cannot start normally
Use the following steps to restore your computer when Windows does not open normally.
  1. Turn off the computer and wait at least 5 seconds with the computer in a full off state.
  2. Turn on the computer and repeatedly press the F11 key, about once every second, until you see the Windows loading screen.
  3. If a language selection screen opens, select the language you want to use to continue.
  4. On the Choose your keyboard layout screen, select the keyboard layout that matches your keyboard type.
    Figure : Choose your keyboard layout
    Choose your keyboard layout screen
  5. On the Choose an option screen, click Troubleshoot.
    Figure : Choose an option
    Choose an option screen, with Troubleshoot selected
  6. On the Troubleshoot screen, click Advanced Options.
    Figure : Troubleshoot
    Troubleshoot screen, with Advanced options selected
  7. On the Advanced options screen, click System Restore.
    Figure : Advanced options
    Advanced options screen, with System Restore selected
  8. Click Windows 8, click Windows 8.1, or click Windows 10 as the target operating system.
    Figure : System Restore
    System Restore screen, with a target operating system selected
    The System Restore window opens.
  9. Click Next.
    Figure : System Restore window
    System Restore window, with Next encircled in red
  10. Click the restore point that you want to use, and then click Next.
    The Confirm Restore Point window opens.
  11. Click Finish to restore your computer to a previous point.
    Figure : Confirm your restore point
    Confirm your restore point screen, with Finish circled in red
  12. Do not interrupt System Restore when it starts. Doing so can corrupt your hard drive and create more problems. Click Yes in the warning that appears.
    Figure : Do not interrupt warning
    Warning that appears before beginning a System Restore
  13. System Restore returns the computer configuration to a previous point in time and restarts.
Undo a restore
Follow these steps to undo the restore and put the files and programs on your computer back to the way they were before you used System Restore.
Show me how
  1. Save any open files and close all open programs.
  2. In Windows, search for restore, and then open Create a restore point from the results list.
  3. Click System Restore.
    Figure : System Properties
    System Properties window
    The System Restore window opens.
  4. Select Undo System Restore, and then click Next.
    Figure : Undo System Restore
    The screen to undo System Restore, with Next selected
  5. Confirm that the date and time are correct, and then click Finish.
    Figure : Confirm the restore to undo
    Confirm your restore point screen, with Finish selected
  6. Do not interrupt System Restore when it starts. This can corrupt your hard drive and create more problems. Click Yes in the warning that appears.
    Figure : Do not interrupt warning
    Warning that appears before beginning a System Restore
  7. System Restore undoes the restore and restarts.
Deleting restore points
You can delete system restore points to temporarily create more space on your computer. You can only delete either all restore points or all but the most recent restore point. You cannot delete all but a specific restore point beyond the most recent. The free disk space is used again when the computer creates new restore points.
 note:
When you delete restore points, the computer also deletes previous versions of files.
Deleting all restore points
Follow these steps to delete all system restore points on your computer.
  1. In the task bar on the desktop screen, right-click File Explorer.
    Figure : File Explorer
    File Explorer
  2. In the left-hand column, right-click This PC, and then click Properties.
    Figure : Right-click This PC
    Right-click This PC and Properties selected
  3. Click System Protection.
    Figure : Click System protection
    Click System protection
  4. Under the System Protection tab, click System Restore to view all the current restore points, and then click Next.
    Figure : Click System Restore
    Click System Restore
    A list of all current restore points displays.
    Figure : A list of current restore points
    List of current restore points
  5. Click Cancel to close the window.
  6. In the System Properties window, click Configure.
  7. In the System Protection window, click Delete next to Delete all restore points for this drive.
    Figure : Delete all restore points for this drive
    Delete all restore points for this drive
  8. When prompted, click Continue.
     note:
    Once you have deleted the restore points, you cannot restore them.
    Figure : Continue
    Continue
Deleting all but the most recent restore point
Follow these steps to delete all but the most recent restore point.
  1. On the desktop screen, click the File Explorer icon.
  2. Right-click C: drive, and then select Properties.
    Figure : View C: Drive properties
    View C: Drive properties
  3. In the Properties window, click Disk Cleanup.
    Figure : Click Disk Cleanup
    Progenies with  Disk Cleanup selected
  4. Click Clean up system files.
    The Disk Cleanup window displays and calculates how much space you can free on C: drive.
    Figure : Click Clean up system files
    Disk Cleanup with Clean up system files selected
  5. In the Disk Cleanup for Windows window, click the More Options tab, and then click Clean up under the System Restore and Shadow Copies section.
    Figure : Click Clean up
    More Options with Clean up selected
  6. When prompted, click Delete.
     note:
    Once you have deleted the restore points, you cannot restore them.
    Figure : Click Delete
    Are you sure you want to deleted with Delete selected
What to do when System Restore fails
Use the following steps if System Restore fails to create a restore point or fails to restore.
Step one: Disable virus scanning protection
Malware scanning software can have built-in protection systems that prevent other software programs from altering their structure - including System Restore. When System Restore is unable to use the files of the scanning software, System Restore fails and the following message appears:
Figure : Error: System Restore did not complete successfully
System Restore error message
To successfully restore your system, temporarily disable virus scanning and the built-in protection. To do this follow the instructions below.
Show me how
Most antivirus applications have a system tray icon. If so, switch to the desktop view and right-click the system tray icon for your antivirus application to find options that allow you to temporarily disable scanning or virus protection. It is a good idea to unplug any network cables and disconnect from the Internet while your virus protection is disabled.
Step two: Enable System Restore
If System Restore does not work, use the following steps to make sure System Restore is enabled and active.
  1. Save any open files and close all open programs.
  2. In Windows, search for restore, and then open Create a restore point from the results list.
  3. On the System Properties window, select your hard drive, and then click Configure.
    Figure : System Properties
    System Properties window with Configure selected
    The System Protection for Local Disk window opens.
  4. Click Turn on system protection, and then click OK.
    Figure : System Protection for OS
    System Protection from Local Disk window, with Turn on system protection and OK selected
Step three: Create a restore point
If no restore point exists on your computer, System Restore cannot complete. The No restore points have been created on your computer's system drive error appears.
Figure : Error: No restore points have been created
Error message when no restore points have been created on the computer
This message also indicates that there is no data from which to restore and you cannot restore to a previous point in time. However, it may be possible to create a restore point from the current system and restore with the system files currently on the computer. Doing so can resolve a variety of problems by rebuilding the file structure. Follow the instructions in the Create a restore point section to create a restore point.
Step four: Start System Restore from the startup screen
Use the instructions in the Restore your computer when Windows cannot start normally section to restore your computer outside of the normal Windows operating system environment.

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