How to do a System restore in Windows Vista and Windows 7

Starting with Windows Vista there is a big leap in doing a system restore or recovery. Windows 7 also has the same options. In case your system is not displaying any GUI or there is crash more often , just follow these

  • Press F8 when your computer starts.
  • Choose System Recovery which should be the first option
  • You will be prompted for user name password which should be an administrator account.
  • Next you will get 5 ways of making  a restore : Startup repair, System Restore, Windows complete pc restore, Windows Memory Diagnostic tool and Command prompt
System Recovery tools in Windows Vista and Windows 7

System Recovery tools in Windows Vista and Windows 7

Out of the 5 options,

  • Windows Complete PC restore is used when you have backup of your pc or at least of the drive where you had installed windows.
  • Command prompt recovery mode is only for advanced users
  • Memory Diagnostic tool is only used when windows gives notification to you and asks you to run it. Else it is not required to run it.
  • Startup Repair is used to fix programs which prevent windows from starting.
  • And System Restore will take your Windows machine back to a point where it was working good. Below I have explained how to use System Restore in details.

Second Procedure : ( Only System restore )

If your Windows Machine boots up normally and you can reach your Windows Desktop, follow the steps below to restore your computer.

  • Type System Restore in Windows Start Menu or go to Control Panel > Action Center > Restore your computer to an earlier time
  • Click to launch.
  • The System restore windows will display list of restore points which was already created by the computer itself or if you have done it before.
  • Select a restore point which suits best. In case your system stopped working because of software installation choose restore point just close to it.

System Restore Point

  • If you want to find more hidden restore point, check on the option which says show me more restore points.
  • And use the Scan for affected programs to find how many of your existing programs might get impacted because of this system restore. This is useful if you want to save back those data and files.
  • Select the restore point and follow the wizard. Once restore is complete your system will be rebooted and hopefully your computer will be in working condition.

About Ashish Mohta

A Professional Tech blogger, Editor and Writer who talks about solving day to day problems of people who use computer. His expertise are in Windows 7, Microsoft Office, Software, Mobile Apps and Video Posts.


  1. This advice fails. Pressing F8 does nothing.

  2. There are many more steps than this now. The version I’m working with is Windows 7, RC7 build 7100.

    Press F8 during startup.
    Select ‘Repair Your Computer’ at CLI prompt that appears.
    Select a User at the ‘System Recovery Options’ GUI dialog box.
    Enter User’s password.
    Select the appropriate of the five options that appear at the ‘System Recovery Options’ GUI dialog box.

  3. This advice FAILS… When i press F8 it brings up the “Restart windows in the (mode you wish)” option. As in if i wanted to start in safe mode…Safe mode networking/command… Last known working normal windows or a few other options. NOTHING that this says it brings up. Im assuming that the key to press relies on your Mobo? Because i dont get anything that remotely resembles Repair Windows or any other system restorative options.

  4. This needs to be done int he upgraded version of Winodws 7, it also doesnt always work unless you are already having problems booting up.

  5. This do not work as identified. This is not a recovery issue. I need someone with more experience with Windw 7 internet connection.

  6. Any luckwith the research on window 7 internet connection apart form what was prescribe?

  7. This does work as listed. If you keep pressing F8 when the computer is first booting up you get the right menu. It looks like it’s just the old Safe Mode screen, but there are more options if you read the descriptions at the bottom of the screen. This worked for me just fine.

  8. use Start-all programs-accessories-system tools- system restore

  9. Any1 know the service name for the system restore?
    I want to disable it , bt it doesnt show under system protection, so i have to stop it via cmd
    net stop “???”

    help please

  10. ooh and its win 7

  11. I agree with Bobby, on my Compaq desk top, pressing F8 on my does nothing, and unfortunately, my computer didn’t come with a restore disk. But it did have a file titled factory image/recovery but this file is now empty, any suggestions?

  12. The virus i had would not let me do a system restore while it was running but if you shut down your computer and then start it up, when the first screen( i have a Compaq) so when the first screen that says Compaq comes up hit F11 and the rest is easy just read and choose what you want to do.

  13. “Harvey said:
    I agree with Bobby, on my Compaq desk top, pressing F8 on my does nothing, and unfortunately, my computer didn’t come with a restore disk. But it did have a file titled factory image/recovery but this file is now empty, any suggestions?”

    Harvey, the factory image/recovery you’re looking at is only your laptop’s system can see it and it will activate once you have a problem and needed to restore your system.

    It’s not empty, but if you check the properties of that image, you’ll se how much it has.

  14. Suman Chakraborty

    There is a diff between system restore and pc restore( pc restore is available only for dell laptops where it brings the system back to factory seetings), however in system restore you can bring the system back to few days, ( the date when the system was working fine) and the way to do system restore is
    Start, all programmes, accessories, system tools, system restore…
    This will not delete your personal data….

    Hope this help

  15. Doesn’t help me at all. I have a Gateway. F8 doesn’t work and it just flicks back and forth. I tried system restore to factory settings where it saves my doc to a back up file. The process finished and restarted and nothing changed. I don’t want to do a full restore because if nothing changes I’ve erased everything for nothing. Any suggestions?

  16. I just turned on my other computer (Windows 7) and it said it was unable to start. A window popped up just like the one on top of this page (System Recovery Options), I clicked on “Startup Repair” and then didn’t know which option to choose afterwards! Please anybody help!!!

  17. Thanks a lot ……………

  18. Regarding Windows 7. I am attempting to do a system restore (recover PC to factory condition).
    I do not have the recovery discs and I did do the “F8” at the beginning as I booted up the PC.
    This did nothing as I recall. I also recall pressing button “F11” as this command prompt works for my Windows Vista in performing a complete recovery of my Vista PC. I am left to contact the business who installed the PC at the home and ask for the recovery discs. I feel the “complete system restore/ recovery to factory condition” is necessary to start my PC from scratch. Please bring any comments or answers to our attention, we’d be very grateful-MIGUEL

  19. i cant do a system restore. it wants me to uninstall my viris protection

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