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What is System Restore, backing up,,,? Do I need to?

(Note: I am a high beginner/intermediate computer user, so not-too-complex responses would be appreciated!)

1) On my Windows XP Home computer, under System Properties, under the ?System Restore? tab it shows that system restore is not turned off and it is set to the ?max? level. I use my computer in what I?d call a moderate way ? internet browsing, e-mail, Word documents, and digital photo work. I do regular Disk Cleanups and Defragments and regular Anti-Virus and Spyware scans. I have not had any problems with this computer since I bought it two or so years ago. I recently read on the internet about ?restore points?. It seems like my computer is set to create these automatically for me (with the settings I described). So, I assume that I don?t really need to create any restore points (since Windows is doing this for me) and if I happen to run into a problem I would then simply chose a day (for example today?s date) to make a restore to; is this correct? And then my Windows files and such would pretty much be resorted to what they are today?

2) I?ve heard, but am not real clear on, ?backing up my computer?. It seems that this System Restore process is backing up my Windows system for me, so I don?t need to do a backup (except of my documents, Mp3s, photos); is this basically correct?

3) Final question: This restore, I assume, would not change in any way my documents, MP3s, photos ? they would remain as they were; is this correct?

Thank you in advance for any ideas and suggestions.

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Yes, Sys Restore is Backing Up SOME Items.....

In reply to: What is System Restore, backing up,,,? Do I need to?

but not all. Mostly registry & settings.
Since your machine is several years old you could have a lot of points stored. Vast majority of them useless at this point. You're unlikely to use a point from more than 2 months ago. Default is 12% of your hard drive.

IF MACHINE IS RUNNING FINE: I would suggest you go to system restore on left click Link for "settings" and click settings on new page. Move slider to left to 3 % of HD space. This will still leave you lots of points but free up additional 9% of HD. I would, on my machine, turn OFF & then turn ON system restore by using check mark on 1st settings page to erase all past points & then do space setting. Then collect critical updates. Some reports say using sys.restore goes back and you might lose Update patches since the new ones are not in registry before obtaining date. Then I would manually create points for the next week or so to give a good selection. I find Clear Descriptions for these points is helpful to know what you have to update again.

I basically create a restore point before & after installing/ un-installing any program just in case of problem. I also create 2 or 3 points per week based on definition update for various AV &
anti-Spyware programs. I would still have to re-update but only a few defs would be needed.

Restore is not really a replacement for System Backup as SB backs up much more. The important thing for system backup is to get that information OFF computer & onto some EXTERNAL storage media: CD R or RW/USB storage etc. Principle being that if your main drive(:C) should die, all backups ON that drive are gone!!! Your valuables certainly need to be off machine along with needed downloaded drivers etc.
Yes, as long as you have a full, usable OS disk, you could re-install the OS from it & then bring back all else from off machine storage.

I'm no expert on this so, hopefully, others may correct me &/or make other suggestions. Hope this helps some. Happy

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