Restore/Back-Up Feature

Is there an easy way to automatically have a restore point set on a Dell Dimension computer using Windows XP Media Center?  Can I count on the restore point working?  I recently had to wipe my machine and reload all my programs which is not a pleasant experience.

Thanks,

BirdShooter
BirdShooter94Asked:
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zephyr_hex (Megan)DeveloperCommented:
do not count on restore points.  they only restore certain items, and they are not reliable.
restore points will occur anytime you install or uninstall a program. they will also occur periodically on their own ( i think about every 24hrs the computer is powered on).  you can manually request a restore point if you'd like.
What's Restored and What's Not
Restored

    * Registry
    * Profiles (local only—roaming user profiles not impacted by restore)
    * COM+ DB
    * WFP.dll cache
    * WMI DB
    * IIS Metabase
    * Files with extensions listed in the <include> portion of the Monitored File Extensions list in the System Restore section of the Platform SDK

Not Restored

    * DRM settings
    * SAM hives (does not restore passwords)
    * WPA settings (Windows authentication information is not restored)
    * Specific directories/files listed in the Monitored File Extensions list in the System Restore section of the Platform SDK
    * Any file with an extension not listed as <included> in the Monitored File Extensions list in the System Restore section of the Platform SDK
    * Items listed in both Filesnottobackup and KeysnottoRestore (hklm->system->controlset001->control->backuprestore->filesnottobackup and keysnottorestore)
    * User-created data stored in the user profile
    * Contents of redirected folders

here is a detailed article about system restore: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnwxp/html/windowsxpsystemrestore.asp

system restore is more of a troubleshooting tool if you are having a problem... use it to try to correct the problem.
for securing your data, you should be backing up.  windows has a backup feature that will copy certain folders to another location (for example, external drive).  if you had some sort of serious error with the drive or OS, your data would be safe, but you will still have to reload your OS and programs.
if you want the best solution for backing up, it would be to clone or image your hard drive.  this takes a snapshot of your hard drive.  if something bad happened to your drive or OS, you could restore using the image, and you would be back up and running without having to reinstall OS or programs or tranfer data from your external drive.  everything would be as it was at the time you made your drive image.  Norton Ghost will do this.  there are other products, too.

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BirdShooter94Author Commented:
Thanks.  I'll get Norton Ghost and be done with it.
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