My System Restore in Windows XP Home is not working



I cannot for the life of me get my computer to let me do a System Restore. It won’t work in Safe Mode either. I’ve tried and tried to restore my system to an earlier time when my computer functioned as it should.

Can someone please help me resolve this problem? Thank you very much.


For me system restore was very sensitive to fragmented hard drives, then the restore points wouldn’t work any more. I usually had to turn it completely off then turn it on again and it would work till the next time most of the restore points got fragmented again. There are other reason and maybe the fragmentation wasn’t the root cause but that’s what seemed to do it in and stopping and restarting the service seemed to clear it out and get it going again. I don’t use XP any more and so far in win7 the times I’ve needed to do a restore it has worked every time. I do know that 7 seems to have a auto defrag systen in place as I see it listed in the task manager when I’m checking on running programs and issues and every time I manually check the disks are not fragmented at all so it must be doing some house keeping on the fly when not busy. You might want to give that a shot and see what other answers you get but that’s been my experience with XP. You probably want to setup a better backup system then doing system restores if your having issues, I have used Ghost before and some others though I never really had to do a restore from them it’s nice to have redundant backups handy just in case.


Thanks Dratman, thankfully I do backups on a fairly regular basis…mostly to external HDD’s and only My Documents. But my computer has been acting very strange since I gave “Tuneup Utility 2011” a try…wish I hadn’t now. So I wanted to go back to a date when it wasn’t acting so strange. Ever heard of Tuneup Utilities? It had to be what messed my computer up…but the System Recovery hasn’t worked in a long, long time.

I got a message yestereday that said upon a restart from hibernation, “This system has recovered from a serious error”. Error Signature: BC Code: 77; BCP1: 00000001; BCP2: FFFFFFFF; BCP3: 00000000; BCP4: B798D960. OSVer: 5_1_2600; SP: 3.0 Product: 768-1.

Then I clicked on the “To view Technical Error Report” which gave me this: C:\Documement 1\Tom\locals 1\Temp\WER2fd0.dir oo\mini 032611-01.dmp

plus this: C:\Docume 1\Tom\locals 1\Temp\WER2fd0.dir00\sysdata.xml

Does this mean anything to you? I’ve NEVER had a message like this on any computer in my 10+ years of using one…this one for 4 years.


Those messages get saved in the documents temp folder or maybe one of the windows folders and if you know where to look you can read what’s in the file and then you might be able to figure out what’s going on.
My install of win7 does that from time to time when something acts up but I usually don’t get too worried about it as long as it isn’t happening on a consistent basis. I usually let it try to find a solution then let it go after reading the error box like you got in case it shows me something that may be a issue.
If you never get those your box and install must be doing great. Hopefully somebody else will jump in that might have some solutions for you to try and I would go find the tmp files and see if you can figure out what happened just in case it’s part of your problem or something new has popped up.


Thanks again Dartma, I hope someone who knows what these errors mean will jump in on this discussion. This is the first time EVER I’ve gotten messages. Maybe I’d best contact Tuneup Utilities 2011 and see if I can return everything that was changed back to it’s original settings.


Go to:
You’ll find there a cure for restoring missing/corrupted settings for your OS.
Also, you can try a system file check with this command line:
sfc /scannnow
You’ll need your windows cd for this.


The scannow command also works in win7 and they have a nice forum for it that runs through how to use it so I’d bet that XP link has the same info so I’d give it a shot, it can sometimes find issues and fix them automagicly for you.


Thanks Dartman, I sure do appreciate your help with this.


Fragmented drives or (far, FAR worse) corruption due to an aging HDD makes “System restore” useless.

you can TRY (I would try it) defragmenting the drive by connecting it to another computer as a secondary drive, then try system restore after returning it to it’s original machine.

I have a collection of OS Installation/re-installation discs and I’m not afraid to use them.

But if I’m reinstalling an OS for someone I’m installing it on a NEW HDD.
(Fool me once…)

Be prepared to have to start from scratch



Thanks for the input AD,

Could I pull the primary HDD from my computer and insert it in a USB dock and do the defrag externally? I realize it will be much, much slower but I can be sleeping when this is happening. Doing it this way would make it a tad easier to do.

[B]I too have the original Windows XP Home Edition disk[/B] that I bought when I assembled this computer.

How does an OS installation disc [B][U]differ[/U][/B] from a OS re-installation disc?
What do you mean by the statement “I’m not afraid to use them”.


Yes, that’s how I often do it myself

Even though actually I have IDE and SATA enclosures for notebook drives on my desk, I don’t even know where the covers because I’ve never used them they are always ready to accept a notebook drive that needs special attention.

For desktop SATA drives I have an Antec dock on my workbench computer
that allows me to work on them directly.

And I have an enclosure for IDE desktop drives.

I have a pair of Dell computers (older P4 machines) that are only used for running Defrag, Format or other “utility work” on loose drives.

It takes a while but I can leave it running in the background
while get other work done…

I still work on a lot of older stuff, so…



Sometimes if you Turn System Restore off and then on and make a new restore point it will fix things, this is not something that I read or was told to do, just something I tried and worked for me. It may or may not work for you.


[QUOTE=alan1476;2582716]Sometimes if you Turn System Restore off and then on and make a new restore point it will fix things, this is not something that I read or was told to do, just something I tried and worked for me. It may or may not work for you.[/QUOTE]

Turning off system restore destroys ALL the previous restore points.

Frankly I’ve never had much faith in system restore.
I tend to create a “clone” of the installed HDD, OS and all data after I’ve completed system setup.
the computer gets cloned again after a week of trouble free operation
after two weeks it is cloned again this time overiwriting the first clone
after a month the earliest clone is formatted and the latest clone “archived”

It’s kind of a brute force method, but it saves time, eliminates virtually all user frustration and keeps me from bouncing computers across the lake just to count the bounces

On my personal desktop I clone my OS drive weekly

as for when to “plow it under and replant”?

I tend to believe that major system corruption is often the result of a hard drive issue. even if hard drive errors are “soft” errors the damage they do to the data is cumulative and usually irreversable.
the drive itself may be mechanically fine, but…

Basically there is a time for wiping the chalk board with the eraser and there is time to get a bucket of water and give it a thorough cleaning

Frankly I’m a firm believer in simply setting the suspect drive & OS aside
and soing a system install on another (NEW) drive then doing data recovery on the old one while it still works.

In effect getitng another blackboard and copying the important details after You’ve done a clean write
on the new one

because IF the drive is the issue you could lose everything…

there are two kinds of hard drives, those that [I]have[/I] failed and those that [I]will[/I] fail

If I were you I would spend my time backing up anything that isn’t easily replaceable,Copy pictures, documents, music and video to backups.
then copy your browser favorites

Your drive might not be failing, if it isn’t you made some backups.
If it IS failing and you don’t…

In IT being paranoid about data preservation is a job requirement.
"“DATA” preservation includes the OS installations"

even if you are only doing IT work for yourself the rules of the game don’t change


[B]Dude[/B]… I have a computer that’s almost as old as I am (seriously, it came with a [I]Pentium I[/I]). It still has the original hard disk in it, and the disk work JUST FINE. Sure, every hard drive fails eventually, but so does everything else inside the computer. By your logic, maybe I should buy a new CPU next time I have issues. Or, maybe a new RAM stick. Or a new monitor. If I actually do have a hard drive failure, maybe I should just throw the whole computer away and start from scratch.

Personally, I never reformat unless I have no other choice. I’ve also seen a million other people who are so eager to reformat, because they don’t know of any other options to use (such as system restore). I always tell these people, it will be quicker, easier, and more to do this or that instead.

I’m not saying that using a bucket of water (or a whole new chalk board) is necessarily a bad thing. I will admit, sometimes it’s your only option. For instance, I’ve had problems with partitions that were no longer readable, and had to be reformatted. Or OEM operating systems that refuse to install without wiping everything. In fact, keeping backups of everything is a pretty smart move. But most of the time wiping everything you have is [B]major overkill[/B].

Burnselk, since you’re using XP, you can probably reinstall your OS without loosing anything, except any/all updates to your system. Just follow THESE steps.


When I had XP I used that guide and most times it will fix whatever issues you have. You might have to reinstall some stuff but it’s better then a complete redo if you have a lot of goodies going on and don’t want to start from scratch and then reinstall everything you’ve gotten setup just the way you like. It’s worth a shot if your still having issues and haven’t figured it out yet.


System restore fixes several forms of "Operator malfunction"
or software conflicts.

It doesn’t do spit for hardware problems.

I’ll freely admit that when you are a hammer all problems end to look like nails and I am a hardware/“system set-up” guy…



Well nowadays I usually get my newest bigger drive and do a fresh install on it and leave my old OS drive intact or do a clone of it to another drive that way I have all my old stuff available till I’m happy with my new install. Sometimes it takes a full burndown and fresh install but like I said if you have everything just the way you like it it’s hard to have to give up and start from scratch. I’m pretty stubborn and with enough searching I can usually find a way to get it going again just fine, but not always so it pays to have a backup or the old drive around just in case.


Personally I have had a lot of trouble with Windows XP restore points that the system makes itself.

But have had no trouble using the restore points that I create once a week, not sure way that happens but I have ran across that on lots of different machines.

I run a restore point every week on any machine that I want to keep up to date and actually have a good restore point to go back to.