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Using Microsoft System Restore (Windows XP and ME)

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This document applies to HP and Compaq desktop computers with Windows XP or Me.
This document explains how to use and troubleshoot the Microsoft System Restore feature.
NOTE: Microsoft's System Restore program is not the same program as the HP or Compaq System Recovery process. The HP System Recovery restores your computer to its original state with its original software.

About System Restore

System Restore is Windows software that creates restore points, a "memory" of the system files and settings on the computer at a particular point in time. System Restore creates restore points automatically and you can create a restore point as needed.
When System Restore is used to restore the system, it replaces currently used files and settings with files and settings from another time. For example, after a new computer is started for the first time, a restore point is created. Two days later, several system files are accidentally removed causing Internet Explorer to stop working. With System Restore, you can restore the system back to the first day, fixing the problem.
If the problems do not go away or become worse after performing a system restore, you can use System Restore again to go back.

Creating a restore point

A restore point represents the computer’s configuration at a given moment in time. Making a restore point allows you to reset the computer back to this same configuration at some time in the future. Use the following steps to create a restore point:
  1. Click Start , Programs or All Programs , Accessories , System Tools , and then System Restore . The Welcome to System Restore window appears.
  2. Select Create a Restore Point , and click Next .
    Figure 1: Create a restore point
  3. In the Restore point description field, type anything you want that describes the current computer configuration change. What you type here will help identify the restore point later. For example, "installed racing game", or "added a new video card".
  4. Click Create .
    Figure 2: Restore point description
    A new screen opens stating that a new restore point has been successfully created. The name of the restore point, the time, and the date appear in red.
    Figure 3: Restore point created
  5. Click Close to exit or click Home to return to the main System Restore window.

Restoring Windows to a previous point

If your computer stops working correctly, you can restore it to a previous point in time. Use the following steps to restore your computer’s configuration:
  1. Click Start , Programs or All Programs , Accessories , System Tools , and then System Restore . The Welcome to System Restore window opens.
  2. Select Restore my computer to an earlier time , and click Next . The Select a Restore Point window opens.
  3. Select a bolded date and a restore point, and then click Next .
    Figure 4: Selecting a restore point
  4. Click OK if a pop-up window about closing programs appears. The Confirm Restore Point Selection window opens.
  5. Click Next . The computer should shut down and turn back on automatically after the restoration completes. The Restoration Complete window appears.
  6. Click OK . The computer has now been restored to a previous time when it worked correctly.
    If an error message appears saying that the computer cannot be restored to the point you selected, try a different restore point
  7. After the System Restore is complete, and the computer starts successfully, update the computer software as follows:
    1. Update the system virus definitions. For more information, go to the Resolving and Preventing Viruses on Your Computer page.
    2. Get the latest critical system updates using Microsoft's Windows update. For more information, go to the Updating Drivers and Software with Windows Update page.
    3. Update the software on the computer from the HP Website. For more information, go to the Obtaining Software and Drivers page.

Restoring when Windows XP cannot start normally

Use one of the two sections that follow to restore Windows XP to a previous time when you are unable to get to the Windows XP desktop:

Open restore from command prompt

Use the following steps to try to start XP in command prompt mode:
  1. Turn on the computer.
  2. At the first screen press the F8 key repeatedly , every half of a second, until a Windows Advanced Options menu opens.
  3. Press the DOWN ARROW key until Safe mode-Command Prompt Only is highlighted.
  4. Press Enter and continue through any informational screens that pop-up.
  5. When the command window opens, type: c: .
  6. From the prompt, type: %systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe .
  7. Press Enter. Use System Restore as normal to return the system to a previous restore point.
    If system restore does not start continue to next step "Use last known good configuration".

Use last known good configuration

Use the following steps if you are unable to start in command prompt mode or if you want to revert to the last previous restore point:
  1. Turn on the computer, and press the F8 key repeatedly when the first blue screen appears. The Windows Advanced Options menu appears.
  2. Use the ARROW keys to select Last Known Good Configuration , and then press Enter .
  3. Use the ARROW keys to select Microsoft Windows XP , and then press Enter .
    Windows XP starts the computer using the last known good configuration.

Restore points are missing in Windows XP

If restore points are missing, verify there is enough space reserved on the hard drive for System Restore.
  1. Click Start , and then right-click the My Computer icon.
  2. Click Properties , and then click the System Restore tab.
  3. Under Disk space to use , move the slide bar to the right. This increases the amount of disk space reserved for System Restore and decreases the amount for other programs.

System Restore fails in Windows XP

If System Restore does not work in Windows XP, use the following steps to ensure System Restore is enabled and active:

Step 1: Disable Virus Scanning protection

Malware scanning software can have built-in protection systems that prevent other software programs from altering their structure - including Windows System Restore. When System Restore is unable to use the files of the scanning software, System Restore fails and gives the following message:
Restoration Incomplete. Your computer cannot be restored ...
To successfully restore your system, temporarily disable virus scanning and the built-in protection. As an example, many HP and Compaq desktop computers come with Symantec Norton software. If your computer has Norton Internet Security, you can use the steps that follow to temporarily disable its built-in protection.
  1. Open Norton Internet Security.
  2. Click the Settings page to open and view the settings.
  3. Click Virus and Spyware Protection options under the Additional Options section.
  4. Remove the selection from Turn on protection for my Symantec product .
    Figure 5: Selection "Turn on protection for my Symantec product"
  5. After you have successfully completed a System Restore, repeat this procedure, selecting Turn on protection for my Symantec product to make sure Norton is protected against threats.

Step 2: Verify System Restore is enabled

Verify System Restore is turned on, using the steps below:
  1. Click Start , and then right-click My Computer .
  2. Click Properties and then click the System Restore tab.
  3. Verify Turn off System Restore is not selected.
    • If there is a check mark next to Turn off System Restore , click inside the box to remove the check mark.
  4. Click Apply and then OK .
  5. If Windows prompts to restart the computer, click Yes .
    If Windows does not prompt you to restart the computer, close all windows and restart the computer.
  6. After the computer restarts, open System Restore. If System Restore is not working, continue with Step 3 below.

Step 3: Verify System Restore is active

Verify System Restore is active using the steps below:
  1. Click Start , Control Panel , and then double-click the Administrative Tools icon.
  2. Double-click the Computer Management icon. The Computer Management window opens.
  3. Click the plus (+ ) next to Services and Applications in the left window, and then click Services .
  4. Double-click System Restore Services in the right window. The System Restore Service Properties window opens.
  5. Verify Startup type is set to Automatic and that Service status is started.
    • If Startup type is not set to Automatic, click the down arrow and select Automatic .
  6. Click Apply and then OK .
  7. If Windows prompts you to restart the computer, click Yes .

Step 4: Using System Restore from Safe Mode

Use the following steps to open and use System Restore in Windows XP safe mode:
  1. Turn on the computer and immediately press the F8 key repeatedly until a startup menu opens.
  2. From the Windows Advanced Options Menu select Safe Mode and press Enter .
  3. When a login screen appears click Administrator and enter the password. If you have not created a login, press Enter .
  4. Once the Windows desktop opens, open System Restore from the Start menu.

System Restore fails in Windows Me

If System Restore is not working, you need to verify that the Statemgr and PCHealth programs are starting with Windows Me. Use the following steps to verify that these programs open:

Step 1: Verifying PCHealth and *StateMgr are active

  1. Click Start , and then Run .
  2. In the Open field, type: msconfig .
  3. Click OK . The System Configuration Utility window appears.
  4. Click the Startup tab.
  5. Verify that both PCHealth and *StateMgr have check marks next to them.
    • If either program does not have a check mark, click inside the box to place a check mark in it.
  6. If any changes were made in Msconfig, click OK . If no changes were made, click Cancel and go to the next Step.
    1. If you made changes, Windows may prompt you to restart the computer. Click Yes .
    2. After the computer restarts, open System Restore.
  7. If System Restore is still not working after completing Step 1, continue with Step 2 below.

Step 2: Enabling System Restore

Use the steps below to enable System Restore:
  1. Click Start , Settings , Control Panel .
  2. Double-click the System icon. The System Properties window opens.
  3. Click the Performance tab, and then the File System button.
  4. Click the Troubleshooting tab.
  5. Verify Disable System Restore is not selected.
    • If there is a check mark next to Disable System Restore , click the check mark to remove it.
  6. Click Apply and then OK .
  7. On the System Properties window, click OK .
  8. If Windows prompts to restart the computer, click Yes .
NOTE:One or more of the links above will take you outside the Hewlett-Packard Web site. HP does not control and is not responsible for information outside the HP Web site.
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