Windows 7 and Vista has a feature called System Restore that automatically backs up registry and system files whenever you install new software or drivers. This feature is useful when you install evil software that makes your computer run really slow. But don’t worry, System Restore won’t remove Windows Vista.
Using the System Restore in Windows
There are two places that you can use the system restore feature from. From within Windows, you may type restore into the Start menu search box, and you’ll immediately see System Restore at the top of the start menu:
Or type rstrui into the search box and hit enter.
A screen is displayed where you can choose to roll back the system to the last restore point. You can select “Recommended restore”, and click next, or you may choose a different restore point.
If you choose a different restore point, you will see a list of restore points that you can choose from.
Click one of them, and you may confirm and then restart your computer to roll the system back.
Note: For best results, run System Restore from safe mode.
If you receive an error while restoring, then use it from safe mode and it should work fine. To get into Safe mode, reboot and press the F8 key right before Windows starts up.
If the F8 key doesn’t work for you, you can force the system to go into safe mode by following instructions from my post:
How To Force The System Into Safe Mode
And If Your System Doesn't Boot
No need to panic! If you can’t even get into windows, you can boot off the installation dvd, and choose the “Repair your computer” option on the lower left hand side. If you don’t have an installation/repair disc, you can make one with these instructions.
1.Click next on the next screen, and then choose System Restore from the System Recovery dialog. It will take a few seconds to come up, and you will see the same screen that you would see in Windows:
2.Click next, and on the next screen select the drive that your copy of Windows 7 or Vista is installed on.
3.Click Finish, and Windows will roll back to the previous restore point. Really pretty simple stuff.
I’d highly recommend keeping the system restore feature always on in Windows 7 or Vista.