Top 4 Windows Restore Software to troubleshoot system issues easily

by Jose Richardson System Admin

Windows offers a suite of inbuilt tools for troubleshooting and system restoration. The functionality of each tool is described herein. Other than Windows embedded programs, Reboot to Restore software is also an efficient solution for maintaining and restoring the desired system state easily and quickly.

Computers in public computing environments are susceptible to malfunction and performance degradation due to extensive usage. Windows comes with a number of embedded programs that enable users to troubleshoot various system issues. The applicability of these inbuilt tools varies according to their functionality. Understanding how these useful Windows restore features are different is essential for users to use them appropriately. Besides, Restore on Reboot is another robust and efficient option to restore Windows when any kind of malfunction occurs.

Following is a detailed description of the top four Windows restore software that enables users to troubleshoot system issues easily:

1. Windows System Restore

System Restore feature rolls back Windows computer to an older configuration when executed. System Restore is one of the most widely used tools for resolving system issues. When basic troubleshooting steps like device restart or hard shutdown fail to resolve an issue, System Restore is often the first choice among the various inbuilt restoration options in the Windows OS. The issues that can be resolved using this tool range from performance lags to uneven system behavior. System restore is useful when a device starts to malfunction due to an update or installation of a software or modification of the system settings.


A Restore Point is the key element of System Restore functionality. It contains the information pertaining to system files, registry, system settings, and installed software at specific instances. It is created automatically in every seven days, and also when any system change occurs such as OS or driver update, installation, or uninstallation of an application, and so on. The number of Restore Points that System Restore can save depends upon the memory allocated for it. Typically, there are multiple Restore Points available at any given instance. When the allocated memory is fully occupied, System Restore deletes the older Restore Points to make room for the updated ones. The memory allocation is configurable. Users can increase the space to accommodate more Restore Points.

The scope of System Restore does not encompass personal files. Hence, all user documents, videos, photos, and other elements that are not related to system configuration are not affected by this tool.

When a user selects a Restore Point, System Restore uses it as a reference to reverse the configuration to the same state. Therefore, the applications and system settings that existed when the Restore Point was created are rolled back and all the changes made after the selected Restore Point are undone. As a result, updates and applications that were installed after the Restore Point are deleted and have to be reinstalled.

System Restore is not an anti-malware and may not be able to troubleshoot the issues inflicted by viruses and other malicious programs. Also, note that System Restore is not always enabled by default on every device. If it is not enabled, performing system restoration will not be possible.

2. Reset and Refresh

Reset feature was introduced with Windows 8 and has been available on all later versions of the operating system. However, its functionality is slightly different in Windows 10 and Windows 8 and 8.1.

Reset in Windows 10

In Windows 10, the inbuilt Reset program re-installs Windows afresh. However, it allows users to choose whether they want to retain their personal files or remove everything from the device. If users opt for the former, the Reset feature re-installs the operating system without deleting the personal files. Else, it wipes off all personal files, applications, drivers, and changes made to system settings and re-installs the OS. There is a third option that allows users to Restore Windows to factory settings which roll back the device to the OS version present originally when the device was shipped. For instance, if the device was shipped with Windows 8, the same OS version will be reinstalled after Reset completes. As a result, only the preinstalled applications and drivers remain available after the process, and the rest needs to be reinstalled. (Note: The third option may not be available on all the systems)

Reset in Windows 8 and 8.1

In Windows 8 and 8.1, the Reset feature wipes the system clean and re-installs Windows along with the preinstalled set of software which came with the PC. Hence, all user-generated files and settings, and installed applications are removed. Also, Reset rolls back the original version of the operating system. Hence, if it is executed on a device that has been upgraded to Windows 8.1, it will reinstall Windows 8 and users have to upgrade it to Windows 8.1 again.

Since the Reset option reinstalls OS (whether it is Windows 8, 8.1, or 10), it effectively resolves all kinds of system issues as long as they are not due to hardware malfunction.


Refresh is exclusive to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. This tool reinstalls Windows but retains users’ files and settings, and the applications installed from Windows Store. However, Refresh does not retain third-party applications which have to be reinstalled by users after the process completes. It creates a list of the apps on the desktop which were removed after refreshing the system. It is useful when device malfunctions but users do not intend to reset it to factory defaults. Refresh also rolls back the original OS version and not the upgraded one. Hence, executing Refresh on a Windows 8 PC that was upgraded from Windows 8 will reinstall Windows 8. This feature is not available separately in Windows 10. Instead, a similar functionality has been added to the Reset feature.

3. System Image Recovery

System Image Recovery is a restoration program available in Windows XP and all later versions. It uses images of the entire hard disk to restore a previous system configuration. This tool creates a snapshot of everything on the hard disk and restores the same when triggered by users. However, unlike Windows Restore, System Image Recovery does not function automatically. Users have to create images of the hard disk as a backup in order to use this program for troubleshooting. Since these images are an exhaustive backup of the entire system, they consume a lot of space. Hence, users need ample space in their internal disk or use an external drive if they want to save a number of images to use later for system restoration.


When System Image Recovery is executed, it overwrites the entire hard disk with the system image selected by a particular user. As a result, the entire configuration is reversed to how it was when the image was created. All user settings, personal files, and installed applications are completely discarded. Hence, it is advised that users should create a backup of their latest data before executing System Image Recovery.

4. Reboot to Restore

Reboot to Restore technology is compatible with Windows XP and all the later versions of the OS. This technology facilitates instant restoration and is especially useful for public-access computers. It eliminates all changes made by users and rolls back the desired state of a device on restart.


When a Reboot to Restore software solution is installed, it secures the system configuration at that point of time as the desired state of the device. It provides unrestricted system access to the users and let them work per their requirements. However, all the inputs and changes made on the system during the user-session are redirected to a temporary space. Similarly, all kinds of malware that enter the system online or through physical media are also redirected to the same location. Hence, the original admin-defined configuration remains unaltered irrespective of users’ activities. When the device is restarted, or shut down and switched on again, all the elements in the temporary space are completely erased and the secured system state is reloaded. Hence, the clean state of the device can be maintained and restored as many times as required in a day.

The technology also supports saving of user-made changes permanently without affecting the desired configuration. It allows system administrators to exclude specific hard disk partitions from the Reboot to Restore effect. Users can also create virtual memory spaces that are exempted from the purview of this technology. Hence, Reboot to Restore technology facilitates the unrestricted use of computers while constantly protecting system integrity from infiltrations and unauthorized changes. Reboot to Restore is a quick and user-friendly technology that empowers end-users to troubleshoot system issues by simply restarting the device.

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About Jose Richardson Advanced   System Admin

65 connections, 1 recommendations, 157 honor points.
Joined APSense since, October 27th, 2017, From Alabama, United States.

Created on Aug 31st 2018 04:40. Viewed 534 times.


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