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Disable or enable Windows XP System Restore
System Restore, a Windows XP feature, is similar to the "Last Known Good Configuration" in Windows NT and Windows 2000. You can use System Restore to restore the computer to a previous state, using the backups that it makes of selected system files and program files. Unlike the "Last Known Good Configuration" feature, System Restore maintains multiple restore points. This gives you the choice of restoring your computer to any number of previously saved states.
While this is a desirable feature, in some cases it should be temporarily turned off. For example, if the computer is infected with a virus, then it is possible that the virus could be backed up by System Restore. By default, Windows prevents System Restore from being modified by outside programs. As a result, there is the possibility that you could restore a virus-infected file, or that the on-line scanners would detect the virus in that location.
Disabling System Restore does not delete or remove any of your personal data from your computer. The only files removed are those that System Restore created, the restore points. Using System Restore to revert to a previously saved restore point does not affect any of your personal data files or any items in your My Documents folder. For more information search the Microsoft Windows Help (Click Start > Help and Support) and search for "System Restore Overview" and "Understanding System Restore." These documents explain what System Restore is, how it works, and more information about the effects of turning it on or off.