PC Doctor July 6, 2011

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Dear PC Doctor,

I want to set up a system restore on my computer, but I'm just a little scared that I'll screw things up and not do it right. If I revert back to the restore point does it get rid of anything that I have on my computer after I make the save? Will it get rid of programs? Just how do I set up a system restore point?


Dear Jim,

As you have discovered in your research, a 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 or reason 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. 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 were creating the issue 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" before the virus happened.  As the installed virus is not a part of that "snapshot" it will be removed.

Here's how you set up a System Restore: Click Start. 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, and then click Next. From here running the System Restore is straight forward, just follow the prompts.  But remember that you will lose any new software programs you may have installed or downloaded after that restore date.

            PC Doctor

Dear PC Doctor,

I let my grandson play with my computer and he somehow screwed it up. Everything is turned sideways! I have no idea how he did it and he doesn't know how to fix it either. Any ideas on how to reverse it? I was able to turn my monitor a little bit so it's still useable but I don't like it.


Dear Jeremy,

There's a keyboard combination that rotates the screen in Windows XP. Your grandson may have accidentally hit the combination. But it's easily fixed through a similar key combination. CTRL+ALT + UP arrow is the key combo that restores your display to the default orientation. You can also rotate the screen display in any direction by substituting the corresponding arrow key in the key combination.

            PC Doctor


Until next time…happy computing!