Saving Systems, Making Points
System Restore keeps "restore points" that hold information from the "good old days" of that PC's configuration. There's an on-screen calendar, in which you can choose any date that has a restore point and roll back to it (as shown in Figure 1). Dates that contain restore points have bold print.
Figure 1 Choose a date that contains one or more restore points from the calendarthose dates will be in bold print. Then choose a restore point from the list to the right.
Restore points are created in several ways and at several times:
When you start Windows XP for the first time
Every 24 hours (according to the Help file)
When Windows recognizes a program installation using an up-to-date installer, such as a recent version of InstallShield
Whenever you allow a Windows Update to install (not just download)
When System Restore restores to a prior system state
When you create a manual restore point using the System Restore Wizard
It's a good idea to create a manual restore point when you've just installed or "perfected" a clean system, or when you're about to make a change. See the next section for details.