System Restore has improved over time and become a reliable path to recovery.
Complete Guide to System Restore
by Jim Hillier for Daves Computer Tips
This guide relates to Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1, access is slightly different but the procedures from there on are identical.
System Restore was first introduced in Windows ME as a solution for otherwise unresolvable system malfunctions or other issues per medium of restoring a snapshot (sort of) from a previously known good condition. However, in those early years it was not terribly reliable, even in XP it was still pretty much a hit and miss proposition. Microsoft has subsequently improved the feature with each new version of Windows until System Restore has now become a very reliable method of recovery.
System Restore points are automatically created with each new Windows Update, and prior to some software installations, where supported. In earlier versions, system restore points were also automatically created each 24 hours (provided none had been created in the interim), but in the most recent versions of Windows this time frame has now been increased to one week.
I have always maintained that it’s a good idea to manually create restore points prior to any significant system changes, such as installing new software, or running cleaning/tweaking/optimization type software. It’s a bit like when the police are heading into a risky situation, what do they do? Call for backup. Perhaps not such a good analogy, but you know what I mean.
These excerpts are shared with permission from davescomputertips.com.