How to Restore a Computer with No Restore Points Available

By TS Jordan

Recovery points are points "saved" into the hard drive, allowing for a rollback to be performed when a subsequent upgrade unbalances the computer. The number of recovery points saved is dependent upon your system settings---recovery points can be saved daily or not at all. Where no recovery points are available, you can still restore your computer through the use of the built-in repair function in Windows.

Restart your computer and press the designated key as the computer reboots to enter into BIOS. With most computers, the key will either be the Esc key or one of the function keys, but this can vary substantially, so keep your eyes open. Read the startup messages (which should appear automatically when the computer boots up) to determine which key to press and hit it as soon as possible. This will avoid bringing your computer into Windows, placing it into the BIOS system instead, which is the most basic operating system on your PC.

Navigate to the boot menu with the left and right arrow keys, moving through the various submenus present in BIOS. Once there, scroll down to the "first boot device" option using the up and down arrow keys. Press Enter when the "first boot device" option is highlighted. This will bring up a small window listing the various options (hard drive, CD-ROM, floppy drive). Change the "first boot device" to read "CD-ROM." Exit BIOS by pressing the Esc key, and press "y" to save changes on your way out.

Insert the Windows installation disk into the computer as it loads. While loading, the computer will display the message "Press any key to boot from CD." Press any key, and the computer will take you into the Windows installation screens. Once there, navigate through the screens (following the on-screen instructions) until you find the option to "repair existing installation." Select this option using either the "'r" key as a shortcut or by highlighting your hard drive in the menu using the arrow keys and pressing Enter. The computer will then go through your hard drive and repair all of the Windows files on your computer, essentially restoring the machine without the need for a restore point. The process itself will take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, so be prepared to spend some time at the computer.