Restoring computer to earlier time

11th July 2008, 09:41
I have Windows XP & on a number of occasions in the past, I have found it necessary to restore the computer to an earlier time because of messed up settings. When I tried it recently, it simply will no longer perform this function. As I have done it easily enough in the past, it is unlikely I am doing anything wrong. Any ideas please.

ian d.cameron
11th July 2008, 10:16
Hi Bob if you have Norton anti virus or similar. Turn off it off, restore your computer then turn the anti virus back on.
if it is Norton then.
Open the main Norton window. Click on the anti virus or Norton Internet Security tab and click on the settings bar. Under basic security left click on Auto-Protect and then configure. In the left hand pane click miscellaneous.
In the right hand panel click in the box labelled: Turn on protection for my Symantec product so that the tick disappears. Click on OK to close window and save settings.
Run system restore to make a restore point of the computer and then repeat the steps above to turn the protection back on. You must be an administrator to do this.


11th July 2008, 11:02
Hello again Ian,
Thanks for reply. I have just disabled the Norton & tried again, but same as before - nothing happened. I discovered this a couple of weeks ago. The computer began to behave oddly & I tried to restore it, but it would not. The day after, everything was back to normal except the ability to restore. Although I dont actually need to restore at the moment, I am sure a time will come when I do need it & am trying to sort it out before that happens.

11th July 2008, 11:10
It might be worth checking that restore hasn't been disabled, perhaps accidentally.
Go to Settings/Control Panel/System. Select the "system restore" tab and make sure that the "turn off system restore" box isn't ticked and that there is enough disk space allocated for storing the system restore data. I just have mine set at the maximum, which is 12% of the disk capacity.

Frank P
11th July 2008, 11:19
Bob, have you run Disk Cleanup recently? if you have, could you have accidently ticked the box to remove all but the last restore point?
Cheers Frank

11th July 2008, 12:56
Hi Jeff,
I checked as you said & there is no tick in the box, so that is OK.
The last restore point is late last month, so I may well have done that. I will try adding restore points every day for a few days & see what happens then

Frank P
11th July 2008, 18:53
I don't know what size your hard dive is, but if you add too many restore points you will filling up your hard drive unnecessarily and that may slow down the computer, you should really only add restore points before you add drivers or other programs which may adversely affect the computer.
Wishing you the best of luck.

11th July 2008, 19:16
Hi Frank,
Thanks for further advice. There is about 50Gb left on hard drive at the moment. I never even used to create restore points, it seemed to do it itself, but now, it only seems to add about one a month & even they don't work! Tomorrow, I will see if I can restore it to today.

11th July 2008, 21:07
I've been looking on my PC and it has system restores available going back to mid April, with nearly every day available. So I must have about 60 to choose from! I haven't set up any manual restore points so it looks like they are being created automatically pretty much every day that the PC is on. I haven't been able to find any way of altering how often they are done, so I assume that my machine is running with the Windows default settings (I am on XP). I can't think why you have so few, it seems that you've plenty of disk space available. Maybe it's time to search via Google or something? I'm sure there's lots of knowledge out there somewhere!

12th July 2008, 01:06
you may have exhausted all your restore points , why not try formatting your hard disc and reloading your Xp, that is if you have the disc of course

12th July 2008, 02:20
Way back with the PC I had first, I found much the same problem ... I discovered, after a lot of digging, that a virus had settled on my PC, and infiltrated the registry and when the Anti Virus did its stuff, another copy was left in the restore system and that prevented restore. In the end, I wheedled the thing out "by hand", sorted out every Registry entry, and copied every thing important off the drive, deleted all the restore files and re-installed windows. That was a good many years ago, but maybe the same tacker is still around? Whether or not that is the case, I suggest you do just that, copy the important stuff, and clear out everything, and re-install.

Re-formatting will erase the CAB files which contain Windows, as far as I know that is the only back-up of Windows there is, or else you will have to buy a fresh licenced copy. Best of Luck, Raymond

12th July 2008, 08:17
Thanks for all the replies. It may well be a virus. I seem to recall that it all went wrong a couple of months ago when someone placed a strange comment on my website that messed up all the settings. I reset it to an earlier time, but that didn't make any difference. Then I ran scandisk which after an hour deleted a "faulty sector" and the computer started working again. Maybe the "faulty sector" was the bit that dealt with restore. I do have the original disks, but while it is working OK I am reluctant to go through the whole lengthy performance of re-installing. In any case, I do have another computer that has never been connected to the interenet and that is where I do most of my work these days - safest method, I guess.
Best wishes