How to Restore a PC Computer

Sometimes your PC computer can start to become quite problematic and seem to be unresponsive to tedious and in-depth troubleshooting. Sometimes a restoration just may be the best solution. How to restore a PC is what we’re going to cover in this article, and how to complete it.

Depending on the type of restoration you’re doing, it can be quite an involved process. So it helps that you’re prepared and have everything you need before you get started.

We’re going to get into the steps to complete the different types of restoration, the process, and what to look out for.

So let’s get started on restoring that PC of yours!

Understanding the Need for Restoration

As technology continues to advance, our reliance on computers for work, communication, entertainment, and more has become increasingly significant.

Over time, our PCs can become sluggish and prone to errors due to everyday wear and tear, the accumulation of temporary files, outdated software, and other issues that affect performance. As a result, a need for computer optimization and troubleshooting is needed.

Which is why there’s always a need for IT services.

Sometimes our computers will get so slow that basic troubleshooting alone is insufficient to improve or solve that problem. Sometimes, we need another tool to get the job done, and that’s where system restore comes into play. Learning how to restore a PC, in my opinion, is a good computer skill to learn, in the event you’re left with no other choice. It can save you a lot of time, and money.

Before I go any further, I want to make a distinction between doing a system restore and doing a system image recovery or a clean install. One is a lot more in-depth than the other, but the terms can sometimes be confused and thought to mean the same thing.

A system restore is a built-in Windows tool that can help you revert your computer to an earlier time when your computer was not giving problems. A system image recovery on the other hand is essentially re-intalling the entire Operating System, bringing things back to factory settings.

I’ll talk more about system image recovery in a bit, but first, let’s get started on a basic system restore.

Creating Restore Points

This is where the process begins, creating restore points.

Windows should automatically create them for you, but it doesn’t always create restore points, so many times you would need to go in and create them manually. However, having them created on your computer will help you set up the foundation for effectively performing a system restoration in the event you should ever need it.

Restore points act as a safety net, allowing you to revert to a previous state in case something goes wrong with your system. Which, let’s be honest is going to happen at some point. Anyone can do this. You don’t have to be tech-savvy to pull this off, it’s quite simple!

Here are the steps to creating restore points.

  • Click on the Start button and search for Create a Restore point in the search bar.
  • Click on the result that pops up, and a System Properties window will appear.
  • Creating a restore point - How to restore a PC Computer
  • In this window, with the Windows C drive selected, click on the Create button.
  • You will then be asked to describe the restore point you are going to create, as shown below.
  • Creating a restore point step 2 - How to restore a PC computer
  • Once you have given it a name, click on the Create button again and Windows will create the restore point for you.
  • Creating a restore point step 3 - How to restore a PC computer

Congratulations! You’ve successfully created a restore point for your PC computer. As I said, Windows should create these automatically, but it doesn’t hurt to create a few yourself manually. That way if anything should go wrong and you need to restore your computer, and the automatic creation tool hasn’t created any, your manually created restore point will be there.

I’d recommend creating a few at different times when your computer is running with no issues. Particularly after an update has been installed or you have installed something new on your computer. That way you have a few dates to choose from in the event you need to do a restore.

Backup Your Data

It’s always a good idea to back up your data when it comes to computers and computer troubleshooting. I wanted to add this into the mix of restoring your PC computer, because most of what we do today on our computers is tied in some shape or form to our data. That’s both personal and professional.

Although restoring your computer to an earlier time doesn’t interfere much with the data that you have on your computer, there’s still a possibility that it could. I haven’t seen it myself from the many times I’ve done a system restore on several different PC computers. 

However, I still like to have a backup in place just in case.

You can have your backups done via a third party in the cloud (which is what I would recommend), or you can do it locally on either a NAS (Network Attached Storage) or an external hard drive. Many external hard drives today come with backup software of some kind that’ll help you automate the backup process onto that drive.

Restore a PC Computer by Doing A Clean Install

I want to get into restoring your computer from the aspect of doing a clean install of the operating system. This is another aspect of restoring your PC computer.

This approach can be a daunting process but can be very rewarding if done properly.

By wiping out all existing data and installing a fresh copy of the OS, you can eliminate any potential issues or bugs that may have been causing your computer to run slowly or malfunction in any way.

But to help you with this process, I’ll provide you with some steps on how to do a clean system restore on your PC computer.

Backup your data

This cannot be emphasized enough. Even if you’re doing a basic system restore to an earlier time, ensure that you have some sort of backup in place. I’ve provided you with some different options that you can implement. Choose one that suits you best and go from there.

Take inventory of software installed

Ensure that you know all the applications that are installed on your computer before you decide to wipe everything clean. Pay close attention to the applications that are most important to you, that you use on a daily basis. Figure out where you can get the installation media to reinstall that application once the restore is complete.

This is also an opportunity for you to look at all the other applications that you don’t need and to make a note of not installing them once restoration is complete.

Additionally, make sure to update all drivers and software after restoring your PC to ensure optimal performance and security.

Installation media for OS

For PC-based computers, the primary OS that’s installed is Windows. Ensure that you have a good copy of Microsoft Windows to do a clean installation with. Brand name manufacturer such as Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc., usually has the installation media on a CD or DVD to reinstall the OS. Other times they’ll include it on the hard drive on a partition. To get to that media, you’d need to input some key combination on your keyboard when booting up like the Tab key, or tapping F8 several times to get into the BIOS.

If you’re upgrading to a newer version of Windows and you want to do a clean install, then you would need a copy of the installation media for that version of Windows. Microsoft is now making its OS free to download and install off its website.

Just follow the instructions on how to download and install Windows.

Perform the restoration process

The process is a relatively straightforward process that can breathe new life into your device. First, make sure you have a valid Windows installation disk or USB drive ready. Insert it into your computer and restart the system, entering the BIOS setup to select the installation media to boot from.

Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the process.

Here’s a short video on how to install Windows 11, upgrading from Windows 10.


Install drivers and Software

Ensure you install all the needed drivers for any devices that are connected to your computer, along with all the other software that you took inventory of before you started the restoration process. Once you have completed this process then the restoration process of a clean install is complete.

Final Thoughts

Restoring a PC computer can be a straightforward process with the right tools and knowledge.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively troubleshoot and fix common issues that may be affecting your computer’s performance. Remember to back up your important data before proceeding with any restoration method to prevent any potential data loss.

It’s a good idea to manually create restore points on your computer, in the event you need to restore your PC to an earlier time before the problematic issue started. Although Windows does create them automatically, it’s still a good idea to create them manually.

Another type of PC restoration is doing a clean install of Microsoft Windows, which does take much longer to undergo.


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