How to Run a System Restore in CMD

By Craig Witt

Included in the Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems, the System Restore utility helps users recover from serious computer problems. Enabled by default, the tool periodically creates restore points that include copies of critical system files and settings. If the operating system fails to work as expected, users can select a restore point using System Restore and reboot their computer to a previously functional configuration. Once you understand the proper steps, restoring your Windows computer from the command prompt becomes a quick task.

Step 1

Turn on your computer and immediately begin pressing the "F8" key repeatedly. The Advanced Boot Options screen appears within a few seconds.

Step 2

Press the down-arrow key and highlight the "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" option.

Step 3

Press the "Enter" key to select the option and load the command prompt.

Step 4

Type "%systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe" (without quotation marks) if you use Windows XP. If you use Windows Vista or Windows 7, simply type "rstrui.exe" (without quotation marks).

Step 5

Press the "Enter" key to run the command and launch System Restore. Depending on your system configuration, you might be prompted to confirm your choice, or provide your administrator user name and password.

Step 6

Select "Restore my computer to an earlier time" if you use Windows XP. If you use Windows Vista or Windows 7, select the "Recommended restore" or "Choose a different restore point" option, depending on your preference.

Step 7

Click "Next." Follow the prompts on the resulting screens to select your preferred restore point and complete the System Restore process.