System Restore in Safe mode can help you restore your computer to a working state when Windows won't start normally. Sometimes your computer suddenly finds itself in a state that Windows doesn't like.
This can happen for a number of reasons. It can be a new device driver that doesn't behave the way Windows wants it to behave, it can be a corrupt system file, or it can be something else.
Bottom line is, if Windows dislikes the situation enough to decide it won't come up, you end up with a computer that doesn't start. You have learned that Windows XP System Restore can help getting your computer back into shape, but what good is System Restore if you can't even get into Windows ?
No need to throw the towel in the ring yet. No need to re-install Windows from scratch or let a techie come over and do it for you. First check if System Restore in Safe mode can reanimate your computer.
When you power-on your pc it performs a number of self-tests. During the POST (Power On Self Test) you usually see your computer counting its memory and displaying hard disk information. As soon as you see the hard disk detection phase on the screen, press and hold the F8 key.
Hold the F8 key until you see the "Windows Advanced Options menu". Use your keyboard up and down arrow keys to select Windows Safe mode. Windows now tries to start with a minimal set of drivers and functionality. All the fun things are left out, but this basic, strapped-down mode may be the only access path to your Windows desktop.
Once you get in, you will notice that Windows is now running in safe mode, because "safe mode" is displayed in the four corners of your screen. You will also notice it by the reduced functionality and display settings.
Do not worry, if everything goes according to plan, this is only temporary. Now that you are in Windows, you can use System Restore to flash your computer back to when it was still working.
Click Start->All Programs->Accessories->System Tools->System Restore.
In the System Restore wizard, check the option to "Restore my computer to an earlier time" and click next.
In the calendar that appears, choose a good restore point and click next. When the operation is complete, your computer will restart and it will tell you that the system was restored.