Lately, I have been installing and testing several software products and my laptop is starting to get flaky. It has slowed down and no longer goes into standby when closing the lid. In my experience, the easiest fix for this type of problem is to use Microsoft's System Restore. Simply pick a restore point from before the testing and let System Restore do it's magic.
I started System Restore, picked a restore point and sent it off to work – or so I thought. System Restore ran as it should, restarted the computer, but then displayed a dialog box explaining that System Restore did not finish what it set out to do. Amongst the rather not so helpful text in the dialog box, it said, “an unspecified error occurred during System Restore (0x80071a90).” Humm…I guess this means that System Restore did not work. The message goes on the further suggest that I try other restore points - which I did. Lamentably, trying other restore points proved futile. I was soon to discovered that broken restore points were not the issue.
System Restore can fail because some software on your computer doesn't understand or respect System Restore. Common culprits are virus and malware protection products and other programs that are typically loaded to provide some type of background service.
If there is any good news here it is that getting around these problems with System Restore is rather easy. Following, I offer 2 approaches that may help. Neither of these will destroy data that is on your computer. However, it goes without saying that you should always make a backup of your important data before you work on your computer.
Run System Restore in Safe Mode
Start Windows in safe mode. To run Windows in safe mode, turn on or restart your computer. When the splash screen from the PC’s manufacturer is displayed, hold down the F8 key. You will see a text based screen with several options appear that will look a lot like Figure 1 below. Using the up and down arrow keys, select the option “Safe Mode”, then hit the enter key on your keyboard. The computer will start Windows in safe mode which is Windows with a limited set of files and drivers. If Windows loads normally, try repeating the instructions above.
Next start System Restore. You can access System Restore from the System Tools menu in the Accessories group. Select the restore point that you want and follow the onscreen instructions. Your computer will restart, Windows will load and present a dialog box telling you whether or not System Restore was successful. If System Restore was not successful, try the next approach.
Run System Restore in a Clean Boot Environment
Start Windows by performing a clean boot. Below, there are links to instructions for different versions of Windows:
Windows Vista or Windows 7:
Next start System Restore. You can access System Restore from the System Tools menu in the Accessories group. Select the restore point that you want and follow the onscreen instructions. Your computer will restart, Windows will load and present a dialog box telling you whether or not System Restore was successful. Hopefully, System Restore worked and you are now happy. However, if you're unhappy and are still not able to get System Restore to work, it may be time for more drastic action like backing up your data, formatting your hard drive, and reinstalling Windows. If you don't know how to do this, I suggest that you contact a local PC support company to assist you.
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