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XP System Restore not working

Windows XP Support


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  #1  
Old 27-07-2009
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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XP System Restore not working

I have a 5 year + old Dell with XP installed. I have recently tried several tweaks to the system as recommended from the book "Hacking Windows XP" and after changes to the Start Up and System Boot files, I not only lost, not only my DSL connection, but was unable to change the date on System Restore or change the month. Note: after disabling some of the unwanted boot files and then re-booting the PC, I found that all of the System Files were disabled......don't understand that.
This is my first time with making these types of modifications.....guess I'm in over my head. Can anyone help?

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  #2  
Old 27-07-2009
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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Re: XP System Restore not working

Can you please tell us in details what kind of hacks you have applied, you will need to give us some specific information. Also, you said that the system files were disabled, what does that means?
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  #3  
Old 27-07-2009
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Re: XP System Restore not working

First off.......Thank you for responding to my 'help' request. For clarification, this is a home computer with Verizon DSL internet service but does not have any network connections. I do have a laptop that feeds internet from a Verizon router.
Here's basically what I did in an attempt to speed up my computer:
I first modified the "boot.ini" file by typing "/noguiboot" after the words 'fastdetect' in the last line of the XP existing boot file instructions to eliminate the Windows XP start up screen. I also changed the "timeout" setting from 30 seconds to 3 seconds.
In a related action to the above.....I went to the system configuration settings and disabled (5)...and only (5) of the start up functions: dxdllreg, hkcmd, igfxtray, realsched, UMAX VistaAccess (for an old flatbed scanner I no longer have). I made the determination of which ones to disable by going to a website called 'answersthatwork.com for an evaluation of what each of these start-ups do before disableing them.
By the way, there are 24 start up functions on my computer as listed in the "Startup" tab of the System configuration Utility.....not to mention those listed under SYSTEM.INI, WIN.INI, BOOT.INI and Services. After making changes and rebooting my PC, every single one of the boxes under all these headings was 'blanked' out. (None of the boxes checked).

Next I went to the "services" screen by following the path Start, Run, and typing services.msc. In that utility I disabled Background Intelligent Transfer Services, Distributed Link Tracking Client, Error Reporting Servic, Fast User Switching Compatibility, Help and Support, Indexing Service, Messenger, Network Location Awareness, Portable Media Serial Number Service, SSDP Discovery Service, Terminal Services, Windows Image Acquistion, Wireless Zero Configuration, Windows Time, WebClient, & Task Scheduler. (this is what I meant by system files....probably wrong wording). With this screen as with the one mentioned above......after rebooting every single one of the services in the 'services.msc' screen had been disabled - and that's 88 in all! I re-set them after I saw what had happened, but frankly, I don't have a clue which ones were set on 'automatic', 'manual', or 'disabled'.

I had, a first, lost both my DSL connection and the System Restore function. I have since gone in and restored the above actions by restoring all of the functions that I disabled earlier (with the exception of changing the BOOT.INI wording -- I'd rather have a blank screen than watch the Windows XP screen -- and the changes to the "start up" screen in System Configuration). I did get back the DSL connection but nothing seems to help the "System Restore" to function properly. As stated earlier, it will come up.....I just can't change the day or month to restore to an earlier time. I was hoping that if I could restore the settings to an earlier date, it may change the settings to their originals, especially those in 'services msc'

Grateful for any assistance,
coyote
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  #4  
Old 27-07-2009
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Re: XP System Restore not working

Have you tried to do a System Restore and checked if that has worked for you? Also check that there are few third party programs like Norton and Kaspersky, that interfere with System Restore. You can check the below link for some information:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/304449

Also, you should be able to perform what is known as a manual system restore if you are unable to run the regular Windows System Restore:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545
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  #5  
Old 27-07-2009
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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Thanks for the input. Let me answer your first question about 'have I ever used the SR feature on this computer before'? Yes, over the past years I have accessed that feature a couple of times and it worked fine.
I read the "must read" link you provided and I was unsucessful in getting it to work. I tried everything that was suggested (it was a very informative article).
I have also tried System Restore in 'Safe Mode' several times (which I failed to mention in my initial problem description). Each time I go to Safe Mode my computer locks-up on the 'sign in' (password) screen.
The last suggestion you offered from Microsoft regarding "how to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting" did not seem to fit with my problem of being unable to start System Restore. My computer starts fine and I'm able to access every feature in XP, internet, and every other feature (I believe). In addition, that particular fix seemed pretty scary for an amateur like myself to be attempting.
Of course, I may be wrong and that may be the proper course to take. I would appreciate your re-evaluation before I take that step.

After visiting and trying the 'fixes' in the 'must read' link you sent. The last suggestion it gave was to re-install SR from (I presume) the installation disk. I tried that and was also unsuccessful, receiving the message that 'Windows XP could not be insalled on this computer because the version on the computer was newer than the disk version' (or something to that effect). It's the one that came with the computer when I purchased it new. Could that possibly be from downloading Microsofts' Service Packs? I think I have Version 3 installed now.

I appreciate your 'chiming in' with helpful information. Each person that responds reminds me that I failed to mention something of possible importance in my initial request for help. You mentioned that "When the SR calendar comes up, each day that has a RP available will be in a darker/bolder font and when you click it you will see a list of RPs to choose for that day."
That is what happens......it gives me a choice of bolder or highlighted days to choose from in the month of July, however when I click on any of those choices, nothing happens. I can also go to the "create a restore point" screen, type in the day/date and it seems to work. However, when I then click through the choices to the screen just before it begins the 'restore' process, today's day/date are listed first with the restore point listed below that. It will proceed to restore when you click on the restore button but only restore to todays (whatever day you happen to be doing this) date.
I have gone in to the "System Properties" screen to turn off the System Restore feature, re-booted, and then turned it back on again in an effort to eliminate previous restore points and tried it again, but with no luck.
I'm open to any other insights and suggestions you may have.
thanks again,
coyote

In response to your latest reply; I have tried to reach the System Restore in 'Safe Mode' (both regular Safe Mode and Safte Mode w/command prompt) several times. Each time I go to Safe Mode my computer locks-up on the 'sign in' (password) screen, so I've never been able to get as far as the SR area.
To clarify what I meant when I said 'nothing happens' when I select a RP: I can go to the System Restore screen and see the calendar with the bold dates for the month of July. (On my calendar screen the SR dates, or bold dates, are in dark blue and the dates that are unavailable are light gray in color, while 'todays' is a solid colored square with that date number in white...just so we're on the same page - figuratively speaking).
It's been a while since I used the SR feature but as I recall, when you clicked on one of the dates in bold, that date was changed so that it looked like todays date, i.e. the square became solid colored with numerals in white. And that's how SR recognized that you were selecting that particular RP. And for additional example when you selected the < (back) feature at the top of the calendar to go back a month, the calendar changed to the previous month.
When I click the < (back) feature, nothing happens....by that I mean that the calendar stays on July and does not change to June. When I click on one of the bold dates to select a RP....nothing happens. If I proceed to the final screen the date selected as a RP is today's date. I don't know if that clarifies what I mean by "nothing happens" or not but I don't know how to word it differently.
I have turned off the SR in System properties numerous times and rebooted to verify that the old SR points were removed....and indeed they were. Now let me explain that part. This may be a feature that I don't understand, because I've never used it before but, in SR opening (I believe) screen you are given a choice of proceeding to the calendar screen and selecting (by clicking on) a RP date or choosing the "create a restore point" option. If I click on the last option and type in a date, before today's date, it will not restore to a previous (to today's) date. I presume that option is only for securing 'today's date' and can't be used to go back to an earlier date. None-the-less, I've tried it both ways and neither feature works i.e. nothing happens.
I did try your suggestion to set a RP and use SR to see if it worked. The response I got after rebooting was something to the effect of 'Your computer could not be restored........did not work'.
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  #6  
Old 28-07-2009
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,357
Re: XP System Restore not working

You have not mentioned if you tried SR in Safe Mode with Command Prompt, try the below link again for some help:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/304449

If you have Norton or Kaspersky installed then you can also follow the below links:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545
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  #7  
Old 02-08-2009
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4
It is possible that system restore is working after all. When I first began to make some of the 'hacks' that were listed in the book "Hacking Windows XP" that I mentioned earlier, I felt confident that if I were unhappy with the way anything turned out, I would be able to use System Restore and return the system back to it's original configuration.
Also as mentioned earlier, it's been a long time since I used SR and was unfamiliar with the appearance of the calander, and since a few days have now passed since I realized that I needed to make those changes, I now see that the SR calander has made the past few calander days bolder than they were 3 or 4 days ago. For example: when I first started looking on the calander, I could see that the numerals for some of the 'older' days were gray in color and that the more recent days' numbers were blue in color. I thought that those more recent days were the ones that were available restore points. In the past few days I see that they are even bolder and are the actual available restore dates. When I ran a system restore today (Sat Aug 1), I was able to move the month back and restore to July 31 and the message was "System restore was successful".
What I don't understand is what I did to wipe out all available points prior to my 'hacking' session on or around July 26. The calander was not even available before July........meaning that I could not go back to June or any month before that.
(answering your questions in order)
I do not have Norton or Kapersky virus protection. The only AV I had installed was a free version of AVG. 2 days ago I deleted it thinking that it was interferring with the SR function. Now I cannot get it to reinstall. I get an error message on the AVG download page saying "AVG download failed" "Error code 0xE001C008". I have since loaded Zone Alarm as a firewall but do not have any virus protection.

You asked if I allow SR to monitor Dell's hidden Recovery Partition. I don't know or how to find that out. I was unable to locate a model # for my Dell only a service tag #6BXD941.

I also do not know how to tell how much free space is on the C: partition.

I have downloaded the Service Pack 3 onto this computer.

I have not ruled out any malware infection, however I don't believe one exists since, at least until a week ago, I was running regular virus scans.

I do not know how to run Repair or Clean Install. I do have the original XP installation disk from Dell, but can't use it since it does not have the SP3 upgrade and it gives me the message "Windows cannot install XP since the version on this computer is newer than the one on the disk".

I also do not know how to back up all my data to another disk. If you can give me a link that explains how to do that I would be very grateful.

Thanks for patience in helping me thus far.
coyote
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  #8  
Old 18-05-2011
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 234
You seem to have corrupted your Windows XP with your experiments. The only solution for your problem is to Either do a Windows Recovery by using the windows recovery disc and if that did not help you in any way then most probably you will have to format your system and then perform clean installation of Windows XP operating system in your Dell laptop. Once you have installed Windows XP in your laptop, also install all the necessary drivers in your laptop using the drivers CD.
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