[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More


Running System Restore from "Safemode with Command Prompt"

Published on
8,841 Points
Last Modified:
If you cannot boot to windows normally due to a virus/malware corruption, or due to a faulty windows or driver update, you may try to restore your computer to a point or time before the incident occurred. But how can you run system restore if you can’t boot to windows?  If you can boot your computer into "Safemode with Command Prompt" then you can run the restore command. To run system restore in "Safemode with Command Prompt", follow these steps:

1.      Restart your computer in safe mode by tapping the F8 key as your computer boots up, before you see the windows logo. If you see the windows logo you waited too late to start tapping the F8 key. When you get a selection of safe mode options select “Safe Mode with Command Prompt”

2.      You may get a popup to select your operating system just press ENTER.  You may or may not be prompted to choose an administrator account and may also be asked for the password, just click on the administrator account and type in the administrator password if required.

3.      Your computer will then boot to a command prompt (dos window). C:\....... you want to note what comes after the c:\ because you may need to change the default directory. Change the directory based on the type of operating system you are using.

cd c:\windows\system32\restore\   Then press the Enter key.   (Windows xp)
cd C:\Windows\System32\ Then press the Enter key.   (Windows Vista and 7)

4.      Type:   rstrui.exe
5.      You will now get the system restore screen where you will restore your computer to an earlier time. Press the “Next” button on the restore window.
6.      Now you will choose a restore point. You may see a calendar any date that is bold blue text is a restore point you can choose, (Note it has to be bold blue writing). Each restore point when you click on it will tell you a little about this restore point, ie Software Distribution Service (which may be a software update). You want to choose a restore time before this problem occurred. Once a restore point is selected click the “Next” button. (Note the restore point will not cause you to lose data, pictures or documents you have recently created, but you may need to reinstall software you have installed after this restore point (date).

It is important to note that if you run system restore when the computer is in safe mode, you will not undo the restore option, but you can choose a different restore point if this did not solve your problem.

Featured Post

Become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert

This course teaches how to install and configure Windows Server 2012 R2.  It is the first step on your path to becoming a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).

Windows 8 comes with a dramatically different user interface known as Metro. Notably missing from the new interface is a Start button and Start Menu. Many users do not like it, much preferring the interface of earlier versions — Windows 7, Windows X…
Windows 8 came with a dramatically different user interface known as Metro. Notably missing from that interface was a Start button and Start Menu. Microsoft responded to negative user feedback of the Metro interface, bringing back the Start button a…

Keep in touch with Experts Exchange

Tech news and trends delivered to your inbox every month