How to fix system restore not working in Windows XP

by Rohit Khurana on March 16, 2008

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Trouble:

We just received a mail for one our readers Ravi, saying: “system restore is not working”

 

What is System Restore?

 

System Restore is a component of Microsoft’s, Windows XP systems which allows the roll back of system files, registry keys, installed programs, etc., to a previous state in the event of a system failure. It is a type systemic implementation of personal computer backup.

system restore window

Normally, system restore is enabled in all the windows XP system, it is disabled mostly by some viruses which make some registry changes to disable system restore.

 

What would happen when system restore is disabled?

 

 

 

 

 

1. In System Properties, System Restore tab is not present at all.

2. In Services, the System Restore service is stopped.

When you try to start the system restore service you may receive the following error:

“FOLDER IS NOT EMPTY”

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Let’s see how can we resolve this trouble

 

Fix:

To resolve this issue, you need to rename the System Volume Information folder, and then restart your computer.

 

Note: To do this, you must use an account with administrator permissions, if you don’t have administrative privileges, get to know how you can promote your account with admin rights here

 

You need to rename “system volume information” folder in each of your system drive like in C: ,D: ,E: etc except your CD/DVD drive, follow the steps given below with one hard disk drive at a time.

 

Follow the steps given below:

  1. Open My computer, go to Tools >> Folder options.
  2. Click on View tab, Under Advanced settings, Check Show hidden files and folders and Uncheck Hide protected operating system files, this will give a warning “You have chosen to display operating system files. Are you sure you want to display these” click Yes and click OK on folder options window.
  3. If you have problem in configuring show hidden files and folders, then read this post on how to show hidden files and folders. else skip to step 4
  4. Now, right click on System Volume Information folder, and select Rename and give the new name as System Volume Information2.
  5. Restart your computer, check if system restore now works, if still it doesn’t work skip to step 6
  6. Repeat steps from 2-5 on your next drive of the hard disk in reverse alphabetical order by drive letter (For Example: First  F: ,then D: ,E: and so on).

We hope this helps to fix the trouble.

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

LARRY March 18, 2008 at 7:01 pm

I HAD A PROBLEM WITH MY BOOTING UP. I SENT ALL THE THINGS THAT WAS GOING ON. I DID EVERYTHING THAT WAS SAID TO DO AND NOW EVERYTHING IS FINE AGAIN. JUST WANTED TO SAY THANKS.

Michelle November 23, 2008 at 8:16 am

Okay this program file refuses to be renamed it says “Acess Denied” So would you kindly e-mail me so i can get this fixed V___V

<___<

The only thing wrong with it , is the fact it says its being used . or it simply cant do it .
So is there another Volume information somewhere i dont know about O-o

thank you,
Michelle

Michelle November 23, 2008 at 8:18 am

Also is this from a stand point of an account with adminship or just a regular user account

Jeff December 24, 2008 at 5:55 am

This would be great if I knew where the System Volume Information folder is?

Jigga December 27, 2008 at 5:00 pm

Can someone help me i tried everything still no help.

Matt March 7, 2009 at 3:15 pm

I’m having the same problem as Michelle. I’m logged in as a computer administrator though, what’s up?

Andre April 24, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Same deal as Matt, admin and no system restore window, please email me!

Bill May 31, 2009 at 9:59 am

Hi, Need help with System Restore, tryed opening files, and still will not let me change the name! Says Access Denied

David Johnson June 2, 2009 at 1:46 am

Greetings,
Using Winsows XP Home, after selecting restore point,..when I click the word, next,….the computer does nothing. Seems like a virous has my pc locked up. Any ideas? I paid 50 bucks to REGCire.com and that seemed to work for awhile but it kept MORE virous’s making my computer slower.
Hope you can help.
Thanks,
dj
< = /\

keith August 12, 2009 at 11:44 am

the tab is missing the account says that the user needs admin rank and the account is admin rank i did go onto the admin acount (not to be confused with the user account) and it said i needed to have admin rank and it is the computers admin account. how do i fix this problem? i need to know today because i have more work to do.

thanks keith

Wally Webster September 19, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Keep up the great work, you folks are great. It’s not easy keeping a computer running smoothly for extended periods of time in this day and age. The world is going to HELL because of corporations (psychopaths). Good non greedy people like you guys are in short supply.
Cheer up !, we all be dead soon.

Saurabh Sharma September 30, 2009 at 10:55 pm

Hi Dear
I have windows 7.
some time network icon show limited & some time connected

Manimea November 28, 2009 at 1:58 am

After reinstalled XP Pro SP 2, no System Restore.
Reinstalled System Restore. Got the System Restore Service running.

But when go to System Tools, click on System Restore, Nothing Happens! The System Restore window did not open .

I got 20Gb on my C drive. Enough disk space.

MOe November 28, 2009 at 11:10 am

Probably obvious,

But one must Turn Off System Restore
before able to change the Sys Info File.

Not tried to do a restore yet..

And be sure to LOG in as ADMIN.

Had never used before… barely recalled PW.

And helps to VIEW files in Detail.

Tom November 29, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Hi, I just got that awful Advanced Virus Remover out of my computer. I can get to my System restore, but it deleted all the points from before the infection. Any way to reverse that? Thanks.

Abhishek December 1, 2009 at 12:17 am

@Tom – You cannot restore the deleted system restore points.

sujeet kumar December 9, 2009 at 3:43 am

hello

In my office my administrator lock and i have personal log on my system so that i have access pen dirve also have access copy from pen dirve but i have promble with copy data from system to pen dirve because of i have cannot authority of this service so how can i solve my problem.

Ruth December 31, 2009 at 5:12 am

all of a sudden, our desk top is hanging when in IE 6 while traversing web sites (yea, I know, IE6; old habits die hard)
The whole system locks up, can’t get to task manager or anything; have to reboot manually. It’s a windows XP SP2. The only thing I can see remotely related to the time the system started experiencing problems is there were automatic MS updates on 12/9. Other system functionality seems to be fine (so far). I see a few other hokey things happening as well.
When I google a topic and select the hyper link, it takes me to a totally unrelated subject matter; another issue is that I tried to go to a restore point prior to 12/9, but the restore fails (error message about failure, no specifics). I did notice an error message about mcsysmon.exe, but I’m not sure it’s related. In the mean time, I’m stuck right-click copy the properties of the links to get anywhere; forget about trying to use facebook.
I have the McAfee updated to the latest available from comcast and have run regular scans – nothing found.
HELP

Vanette January 21, 2010 at 9:12 am

Trying to use System Restore to remove corrupted hal,dll files, daughter followed all instructions, but inadvertantly left HP Home Edition CD in drive…computer booted up from the CD…now all programs and files are missing !! Any way to get them back ??

Rohit January 21, 2010 at 1:26 pm

@Vanette I am sorry to say, but your data seems to have been lost because your computer has been restored to the factory settings from HP installer CD.

Ken February 14, 2010 at 4:45 pm

I have never been able to use system restore with XP. I have tried on a couple of different computers but it has never ever worked. I’ve followed all of the instructions from MS and it still doesn’t work. I have Norton security installed. I’ve removed the tamper production protection and SR still won’t work. Does anyone have any ideas what the problem is?

Gary February 16, 2010 at 6:58 am

Hi, same problem as Michelle, Matt, Andre and Bill.

sharon June 21, 2010 at 10:26 am

I am getting a message while taking system restore option from system tools.”System restore is disabled” Turn on system restore Yes or No Option.I click Yes nothing happens.
I take System properties>System restore tab
I found system restore is turned off on all my drives including system drive(C)>what to do?
Help.

Sandra July 13, 2010 at 8:48 am

My system goes thru the restore process, but tell me it can’t restore to that point. What the?

pat July 13, 2010 at 7:04 pm

step 4 should be to access whatever drive you are tasrgeting, and then right click system volume information.

Dan January 31, 2011 at 9:27 pm

You must give yourself full rights to the System Volume Information folder, you will then be able to rename it. If you right click on the folder and select properties, then select the secutity tab and add administrator. Once you add administrator you must select the Full Control option on the bottom, then click OK.

Rajeev February 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm

I have tried the abovesaid method but failed to change the name of System Volume Information folder. And thus failed to open the system restore. Then i searched on Google and find the solution.Here it is:-

Go to C:\WINDOWS\INF\sr.inf and right click it. Select “Install.” That usually fixes things with SR

“You will need the Windows XP CD to select the sr.sys file while installing.”

Bettom March 4, 2011 at 5:24 am

I am running XP home with SP2. Browser is IE7. I use various cleaners (Advanced System Care, Easy Cleaner) a couple of spyware and malware killers (SuperAntispyWare Free. Spybot Search and Destroy) and AVAST anti-virus. These are run at least every week. My System Restore stopped working a couple of months ago! It goes through the entire procedure and when it comes back up it says “Your computer cannot be restored to ______” I have tried as many as 8 or 9 different dates. Anybody have any ideas??

ted April 24, 2011 at 9:29 pm

get message from system restore can not protect your computer, restart & try again, did that & the same thing, try to debug got message error javascript error line 59 char:2. ok how do I go about repairing this.

Dawn May 10, 2011 at 1:45 am

Someone or something has gotten into my system. They have set up nd administrative account I can not access. they have taken over everything in my computer. I can not use anything, and I am trying to restore it to when I first bought it. I have windows xp professional HELP!

aaron May 22, 2011 at 12:39 am

Ok so actually i have a virus that deleted/hid all of my system restore checkpoints, but its still allowing me to virus scan. So what do i do?/is there anyway to regain the restore checkpoints? Thanks.

Ganesh June 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Hi All,

I need help . My laptop Dekstop files are not shows including My computer and all. And Programs also empty. Mouse Right also not working in dekstop. I tried system restore is can’t open this error shows. “System Restore is not able to access your computer. Please restart your compute
Please help some knows about this problem.

kishore June 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Hai any one can help?

My laptop is not woking due to tried to copy, copy protected cd

Pls Help….

S.Kishore

Fairplay August 10, 2011 at 5:15 am

Get a MAC.

John September 10, 2011 at 11:50 am

SR is not present since I ran a windows repair from the windows CD.
Have tried to run SR.inf and it ask for the sp3 cd but will can not find sr.sys on it. enabled it in gredit.msc with no luck.

So I still have no system restore, and no tab for it in properties of any drive.

Can anyone tell me how to get system restore to be showing (installed?) again?
Very much appreciate any assistance.
John

DEAD MAN December 15, 2011 at 3:51 am

ganesh i advise u that u must reinstall your operating system in c: so for doing that just follow give down steps:-
1.insert ur operating system cd on ur dvd\cd drive
2. press F1 to F11 because operating system loading from cd \dvd varies from Different BIOS stetting. 1st pls try F8 its hope work on all latest version Windows then press F8 after that press eneter then partition comes just select the c: (DRIVE) and press ‘D’ for delete and ‘C’ for create if you dnt get this code then follow the option given below on Partiton step just format the c drive and press ENTER after that ur Operating system will Install after that u have to wait after installation just restart ur laptop\pc, then download all necessary drive from ur laptop manufacturing website. my frnd pls dnt give administrative right to others it may become a dangers for u and ur PC in future

Mjoy80 May 14, 2012 at 6:52 pm

these are the problem of my pc after virus scan, chkdsk and defragment: services has been disabled without me doing anything and when i try to enable it, error occurs, so many application doesn’t load including anti-virus and lan so i cannot connect to other pc. cant see my task bar on start up, i cant move icons on desktop, i cant install apps.. It seems that i cant solve it so i decided to do a system restore using recovery console but nothing happens.. no changes… pc still the same after the system restore… hope someone can help me… thanks………….

loga December 6, 2012 at 11:02 am

As mentioned above of renaming the System Volume Information2 acsess denied pop up message displays
give me a solution for this restore problem

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