System restore is a built in feature of Windows that is there to help restore your computer to the state it was in when it was working ok. System restore is not a back up, and it will not save ANY of your personal programs or files. It simply backs up the most important Windows files (i.e., registry, DLL's, etc.). System restore is definitely something I recommend using and make sure you create a restore point before adding new drivers, or programs, JUST IN CASE! System restore by default uses 12% of your hard drive space. This is way too much if you have a drive that is over 60gigs. What you want to do is go into the system restore settings, and slide the usage bar down to where it only uses 1 to 2 gigs of space. This will give you 1-2 weeks worth of restore points, and that is all that you will ever need. Also, while in the settings, be sure to turn OFF the system restore on all other drives that are not on your windows directory drive. It's not needed, doesn't benefit you any, and just wastes space.
To get to system restore settings: right click on "My Computer", select properties, then select system restore. You will see an icon to go into settings.