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windows 7 restoration options

i have windows 7 machine
i have two questions -
1. what should i do to restore my machine to a previous or the last working state so that if i have any virus or something wrong on my machine i can bring it back to the last successful state

2. sometimes at my work, after the systems/security group does some patches, and i guess they do a kind of restart on our machines, and after logging in(after the patches are applied  or the next day)   , some of the applications like googlechrome, internet explorer, windows-word etc gets opened up automatically, how is that happening... what is it called


thanks a lot...
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at999
Asked:
at999
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2 Solutions
 
John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The only real option for what you have described is System Restore (Action Center, Backup and Restore) and see if Restore Works.

The second question is that Automatic Updates are working (could be Windows Update Server at your work), but a number of these updates require restarts. It is all just Automatic Updates.

.... Thinkpads_User
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rindiCommented:
Are both Questions for your work environment, are also for private PC's?

For a work environment you should call your IT blokes for help when you need to restore / recover something. They usually have the necessary guidelines and tools for at hand for your company, and most of the time standard users can't do any changes themselves anyway.

If you are asking for a private environment, there are different options. As mentioned by thinkpads, you could use System Restore. Another option would be to use the builtin back software of Windows 7 to restore from backups you have made. You could also install a 3rd party backup utility. If there are bigger problems, like bootup issues etc., Windows 7 also has repair options like bootup repair which you can access when booting the system.

Also as most private PC's usually don't have OS DVD delivered with them and have the OS already factory installed, there is a hidden partition on the HD that can be used to restore the PC back to the state it was in when it left the factory. On those PC's there is also a utility included so you can create one set of recovery media (to DVD's or USB sticks). That should always be done right after the system has been unpacked and setup the first time. Otherwise if the HD breaks you are left with no OS and either have to order recovery media from the manufacturer, or buy a new retail Windows License. Normally there should be a reminder of sorts that is shown to have that done. Details on these things are also available in the manual or homepage of the PC / it's manufacturer.
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at999Author Commented:
how do i create a system restore point and what does that mean? all applications installed at that time will be available?thanks
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Restore Points are created automatically as your computer updates things.

You can go to Advanced System Properties (Computer, Right Click, Properties, then Advanced System Settings and select the System Protection Tab. From there (down at the bottom) you can make a new restore point.

.... Thinkpads_User
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rindiCommented:
Yes, all applications that were there when the restore point was created and all your data are kept. Only applications and system settings you made between the restore point and now are removed.

In the Control Panel select "System", then "System Protection". There at the bottom of the display you can create a restore point.

Many software installations and Windows Updates will automatically create a restore point before they install.
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Also remember that System Restore points go away after a while. In the System Protection Tab I referenced above, there is also a Configure Button. In there, you set an allowance. Mine is set at 18Gb (which is not overly large). As I do updates, defrags and general stuff, the Allowance gets used up. Older stuff (older restore points) get kicked out.

So overall System Restore is generally for recent stuff.  ... Thinkpads_User
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at999Author Commented:
i found how to create restore point.. using
Control Panel-- >"System", then "System Protection". There at the bottom of the display you can create a restore point.


now how do i restore if my machine crashes, like do i have to do it during startup etc?

thanks
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
One of the options in Back and Restore is to restore from a prior point. That will often work.

However, be aware that the state of a machine after a hard crash may prevent stuff from working, There is no guarantee with System Restore. An number of people (sadly) have found there was not a restore point when they needed it most.

To do what you want, get Ghost (Symantec) or Acronis, a USB Hard Drive and make an image of your system. That will be much more reliable than System Restore.

.... Thinkpad_User
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at999Author Commented:
what steps should i follow to restore?
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Go to Action Items, Backup and Restore (or Control Panel, Backup and Restore) Then in the middle there is a link Recover System Settings or your Computer. Go there. Then you see a button for System Restore and go there. Work through the Wizard to select your restore point and do it.  

I don't advise doing this unless and until you need to.

... Thinkpads_User
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at999Author Commented:
you said - -

"To do what you want, get Ghost (Symantec) or Acronis, a USB Hard Drive and make an image of your system.
That will be much more reliable than System Restore. "

How to make image of a system and how to restore it back from system.... ?is it through booting from image?

thanks
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rindiCommented:
Windows 7 has a builtin backup utility that creates an image. It does that while windows is running. To restore it you can use the Windows installation DVD, or if the OS was factory preinstalled as I mentioned earlier which don't come with installation media, there is an image recovery option within the boot menu, where you select bootup repair etc.

Other tools like paragon backup (better than the others mentioned and there is a free version for personal use) can be installed and the image backup run from within the OS, but there is also a booting CD which you can create that is used for restoring the image (you can also run the backup from that CD):

http://www.paragon-software.com/index.html
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at999Author Commented:
ok thanks i am reading on it
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
How to make image of a system and how to restore it back from system.... ?is it through booting from image?

Ghost for certain has an option to make an image bootable (and it works). I expect Acronis does the same thing. Paragon may also, but I have not used it.

I hope we have answered your questions. ... Thinkpads_User
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