Turn back the hands of time with System Restore

image American R&B singer Tyrone Davis, in Turn Back the Hands of Time, asks a lover he jilted to take him back, and wistfully wishes: “If I could turn back the hands of time.” My advice to Mr. Davis: Use System Restore, which is improved in Windows 7. It bailed me out the other day. Here’s my story.

Unlike Tyrone Davis, the object of my concern was not a lover (I’m a geek after all). Instead, it was a desktop that I recently upgraded from XP to Windows 7 (that upgrade is another story). After a reasonably successful upgrade, I decided not to leave well enough alone. Instead, I futzed around with Outlook. All of a sudden I couldn’t open Outlook at all. Instead, I got the dreaded message: “Cannot open your default email folders. The information store could not be opened." Google that error message; you’ll see I’m in good company.

I tried everything. Uninstalling and reinstalling. Deleting and recreating profiles. Sacrificing a goat to the gods. Nada. (Just kidding about the goat, PETA).

Then I remembered Tyrone Davis and his song. More usefully, I implemented the advice in How to use Windows 7 System Restore. I chose a restore point just before my disastrous tinkering with Outlook. Mission accomplished!

One note. If you need to go back, do so sooner than later. Only so many restore points will be saved. After all, each restore point takes up space on your hard drive.

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