How to Restore from Windows Vista’s Complete PC Backup - dummies

How to Restore from Windows Vista’s Complete PC Backup

By Dan Gookin

Suppose you lose everything on your Windows Vista computer. If you were wise, you used the Complete PC Backup. Now all you have to do is restore. You return to the Backup Status and Configuration window where you created the backup, but there is no option to do a restore operation for Complete PC Backup. Instead, a Restore Computer button can be found in the Backup and Restore Center window.


Clicking this button is useless; a warning dialog box appears when you click it. The warning basically says:

Using the Complete PC Backup restore operation is designed only for disaster recovery. As such, it can be run only by starting your computer with a recovery disc or booting into a RECOVERY hard disk partition. Use the System Recovery Options menu to choose Windows Complete PC Restore, and then follow the directions on-screen.

  • The recovery option isn’t one to use casually. For example, you would be silly to run the Complete PC Backup restore procedure simply to recover a lost file. Instead, use the Backup program.

  • Recovering your hard drive with the Complete PC Backup program erases the computer’s hard drive and writes the stored image on to it.