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Tech Tip #41: Repair Your Computer With System Restore

tech tipsAs a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q:  I don’t know what I did, but my computer doesn’t run right anymore. What can I do?

A:  With access to the internet, computer malfunctions have become even more prevalent than ever. Sometimes you download a program–or your child mistakenly pushes a button that allows malware on your computer. Suddenly, through no fault of your own, things just aren’t working right anymore.

This is so common that Microsoft has a program called System Restore on every computer with Windows operating system. System Restore is a utility that allows users to restore their Windows configurations to a previous state. While System Restore is often associated with providing recovery when driver or software installations go awry, it can really shine when spyware or other malevolent software compromises user machines. In many situations, this handy utility can roll back afflicted machines to a completely uninfected state. Of course, System Restore can work only when it is turned on and cataloging system states, so make sure it’s enabled on all user machines.

Here’s what you do:

  • Type ‘system restore’ into the search bar at the bottom of the start menu
  • Select ‘system restore’ from the list
  • Follow the directions

That’s it. It’s painless. It doesn’t affect any data files created at any time, just system files that may have been corrupted or affected unintentionally by malware, spyware or their ilk.

Questions you want answered? Leave a comment here and I’ll answer it within the next thirty days.

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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