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Troubleshoot System Restore “Restore Point Failures” in Windows XP


At any point during this troubleshoot procedure you feel uncomfortable, help is a click away at the

AumHa System Restore Forum for support


For systems that have Norton 2006 - 2007 applications installed click HERE.

bulletThere are several application that will interfere with with System Restore in Normal or Protected Mode causing a restoration to fail. First try Running System Restore in Safe Mode. This may overcome the interference and allow the restoration to complete successfully. Note: An UNDO restore point will not be automatically created when System Restore is run in Safe Mode. To have a current restore point to fall back on, create a manual restore point in normal mode before entering Safe Mode.
bulletIf Real Player is installed on the system click HERE and update to the latest version.
bullet IBM Rescue and Recovery with Rapid Restore - Microsoft System Restore "Restore Points" are not preserved or System Restore errors are logged in Event Viewer.
System Restore's Restore Points are not saved in IBM Rapid Restore Ultra's backup. When restoring using Rapid Restore Ultra, System Restore will log an error message in the Windows Event Viewer and if you start System Restore, any prior System Restore Points are not available.
bullet ZoneAlarm has been known to interfere with the restore process. If restoring in Safe Mode doesn’t work, then you will want to consider uninstalling ZoneAlarm as a troubleshooting step.
bullet Zone Alarm version 6.5 has a bug that creates very large .rdb files within the system. These .rdb files are monitored by System Restore and thus end up in the restore points located in the System Volume Information folder, along with other locations on the system. The best advise is to revert to an earlier version of Zone Alarm. Then disable System Restore which will purge all existing restore points, then turn it back on. For more information on this subject please visit the Zone Labs User Forum.
bulletIf Microsoft Update is being used rather than Windows Update, go back to using Windows Update. Run Windows Update and let it complete. Reboot the system and retry System Restore. I have only seen this issue mentioned once in the public newsgroups. It was on a new HP system and was accompanied by this error message.
bulletFor Systems shipped with a Recovery Partition, such as HP, Compaq and Dell, to name a few, DO NOT let system restore monitor these partitions. See Disable Monitored Drives.
bullet Scan for Virus and Spyware infection.
bulletIf the system will not boot, here’s a list of Disaster Recovery Tools within WindowsXP.
bulletMake note of any error messages produced by System Restore or any low Free Disk space warnings, exactly as they appear.
bulletUse the Event Viewer to investigate System Restore service errors. To do this, follow these steps:
bulletGo to Start - Run and type eventvwr.msc and press enter.
bulletIn the left pane click on System.
bulletClick the gray title “Source” at the top of the source name column in the right pane to sort by source name, look for "sr" and "srservice." Double-click each of these services, and evaluate the event description for any indication of the cause of the problem. Make note of the Description, EventID and Source of these Event Properties that show an Error or Warning.
bulletIf you would like assistance in examining the "sr" and "srservice" events, double click on each event then, click on the button below the two arrows in the upper right corner. This will copy the event information to the clipboard. Paste the information for each event to a post at AumHa System Restore Forum along with any other error messages received. Please use a appropriate subject line (including “System Restore”) when creating the post.
bulletInstall the latest Service Pack (SP) for WindowsXP. SP1 (fixes the locked files issue) and SP2 include bug fixes for System Restore that may fix the problem.
bullet From Windows Update
bullet Order WindowsXP Service Pack 2 on CD
bullet Download Service Pack 2 (SP2) from Microsoft - 266mb’s
bulletConfirm that the “Task Scheduler”, “System Restore Service” and “Remote Procedure Call (RPC)” are running:
bulletClick Start, click Run, and then type cmd /k net start then press enter. Check to make sure that the Task Scheduler, System Restore Services and Remote Procedure Call (RPC) are running.
bulletTo start the “Task Scheduler” Service.
bulletGo to Start - Run and type Services.msc then press enter.
bulletDouble click on “Task Scheduler”.
bulletSet ‘Startup type’ to Automatic then press Start and Wait for the Service Control progress indicator to close.
bulletDo the same if the “System Restore Service” was missing. Close the Services window.
bulletConfirm and make note of the amount of the Free Disk Space on all of the drives System Restore is monitoring.
bulletTo check for Free Disk Space go to Start - Run and type diskmgmt.msc then press enter. Look at each drive System Restore is monitoring for free space.
bulletIf the free space on any partition system restore is monitoring falls below 50MB, System Restore will SUSPEND & PURGE all restore points to free up disk space. You should have already receive a low free disk space message by now. System Restore will resume monitoring when free disk space reaches 200MB’s.
bulletIn most cases it is not necessary to have System Restore monitor Partitions/drives other than the one Windows is installed on. System Restore does not monitor data files. Monitored File Extensions.
bullet How to disable a monitored drive in System Restore.
bullet Adjust the Disk Space Used by System Restore. By default System Restore will use 12% disk space for most size drives. With larger drives the data store can get quite large, which has been know to cause problems in System Restore. Setting the data store to just under 1GB should be adequate. Click HERE for more System Restore Health tips. Note: Reducing the data store size will purge the oldest restore points on a FIFO (first in first out) bases and leave as many recent restore points as the new size will allow.
bulletTest System Restore to confirm it is functioning correctly.
bulletCreate a new restore point named TEST.
bulletCreate a new folder on the desktop an name it TEST.
bulletNow restore to the Test restore point.
bulletYou will receive a message if the restore was successful, and the Test folder on the desktop will be gone.
bulletThe above test can also be performed in Safe Mode.
bulletIf this fails, that would indicate there is a corrupt restore point and all restore points should be purged.
bulletHow to purge the System Restore Store.
bulletTo do so Turn off System Restore follow these steps:
bulletClick Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
bulletClick the System Restore tab.
bulletPut a check next to ‘Turn off System Restore on all drives’, then click OK.
bulletClick Yes when you receive the prompt to the turn off System Restore.
bulletReboot the system.
bulletTurn System Restore back on by following the previous steps and uncheck ‘Turn off System Restore on all drives’. A new restore point will be automatically created at that time.
bulletAs suggested earlier it is not necessary to have System Restore monitor Partitions/drives that Windows is not installed on.
bulletTest System Restore as previously described.
bulletIf System Restore fails at this point, reinstall System Restore.
bulletIf all else fails perform a Repair Install.



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Revised: 08/04/17