PC Doctor October 24, 2011

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Dear PC Doctor:

What is the purpose of system restore and how can I use it to my advantage? Based on my reading and research, I have discovered that system restore can be used to get a computer back to a previous state of operation. What is the exact purpose of system restore? Will it get rid of programs? Where can I find it on my computer?


Hey Sonny,

As you have discovered in your research, system restore is used to bring a computer back to a previous state of operation (or configuration.) What System Restore does is take a daily "snapshot" of your computer's settings, installed programs, and current configuration. It will then save these "snapshots" for potential future use. The exact purpose behind utilizing one of these "snapshots," is in case something goes wrong with your current configuration. You then have the ability to revert back to one of your snapshots (an old configuration), where everything was fine and working properly. You will lose any changes you made after you took that "snapshot," including new programs you have installed, computer updates, or computer settings. The changes to the configuration that caused the problem will also be gone. However personal data, such as documents, pictures, emails, and etc. will NOT be removed.

Here's an example. Say a virus has been installed on your computer, and you can't get rid of it. You can use System Restore to revert back to exactly how your computer was configured in one of your "snapshots." The installed virus not being part of that "snapshot," will be removed. Be sure to run a virus scan on your computer.

Here's how you can utilize System Restore: click Star and select: All Programs > Accessories > System Tools // Click System Restore // Choose "Restore my computer to an earlier time" then click Next //.  Select a day on the calendar, a restore point description, then click Next. From here running the System Restore is simple and easy, just follow the prompts.

            PC Doctor

Dear PC Doctor,

How can I turn my Word document into a PDF? I need to submit my resume in a PDF format instead of a Word document but I can't figure out how to save it as a PDF.


Dear Mike,

That's one of the biggest downfalls of versions of Microsoft Word earlier than 2007, in my opinion. Not being to save as a PDF is a serious pain! PDF's are so much more versatile compared to Word documents.

One of my favorite pieces of open-source software (meaning free) is the Open Office suite. It includes a word processing program called Open Office Writer that is very similar to Microsoft Word. I'm actually using it right now to write this column. One of the best features is that allows you to save in a variety of formats... including PDF's! Check it out and download it at www.download.openoffice.org

I understand if you don't want to make the switch to a new piece of software especially if you're comfortable with Microsoft Word so as an alternative you can check out www.docupub.com/pdfconvert. Be sure to have your Word document somewhere easily accessible on your computer. (Tip: That's what your desktop is for!). To get started, visit the DocuPub website. Don't change the conversion settings in Step 1. In Step 2, click on “Choose File” and navigate to the location of your file and select it. In Step 3, leave the default setting to “Wait for conversion in browser” and then click “Upload & Convert”.  Depending on the size of your document it might take a few minutes for it to be converted. When it finishes, right-click on the link to the newly converted PDF and select “Save target as” or “Save link as...” and save the file to your computer.


            PC Doctor

Until next time... happy computing!