System restore won't run - rstrui.exe fails in mshtml.dll (?)

The system appears to still be making restore points, daily and every time I make a change - But I can't run the System Restore interface.

When I click on it from Start/All Programs/Accessories/Sytem Tools/System Restore, I get the hourglass briefly & then nothing, not even an error.
The menu shortcut points to %SystemRoot%\System32\restore\rstrui.exe
Start In directory is %HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH%

I've tried running it directly from the restore directory - no change; Tried copying it to System32; no change

If I try to run the (identical) copy in dllcache, it draws the box for the wizard then fails, generating an error report and duplicating the error in Event Viewer. The brief description is:
Faulting application rstrui.exe, version 5.1.2600.1106, faulting module mshtml.dll, version 6.0.2800.1276, fault address 0x000a72cb.

If necessary, I can post the contents of the Appcompat.txt file

I've tried searching EE, the MSKB & Google & I can't find anyone with the same problem;  It sounds similar to but I can't run rstrui.exe from anywhere.

If I recall correctly, I first saw the problem a few weeks ago after a system crash that corrupted display drivers/settings; At the time, I could run the version in the LastGood directory & restored OK - ish. Now the version in the LastGood directory has disappeared. I can't remember if it was actually a different version.
Tried sfc /scannow - Made no difference; Incidentally, sfc implies that patched files will be overwritten with the originals from the CD - fortunately it doesn't!

Around the same time, I set Netscape to be my default browser, wasn't happy with what it did to the system & changed it back to IE - I mention this because of the mshtml.dll reference in the error log; There are several copies of mshtml.dll on the disk, v1276 in system32 & dllcache, v1126 in LastGood\system32 & LastGood\system32\dllcache + v1106 in ServicePackFiles\i386
Tried the process in;en-us;313853&Product=winxp - No change

Windows XP Home edition Version 2002 with Service Pack 1 and all the current critical patches
Up-to-date Norton Antivirus & Zonealarm firewall
If you want the hardware specs, I'll post them; Incidentally, I've had several crashes with "unsigned driver" errors, but hopefully the latest drivers from NVidia will have sorted that now (fingers crossed)

If you've followed all this, I guess the questions are:
1) Why won't rstrui.exe run from the restore or system32 directories?
2) Why does it crash when run from dllcache?
3) Are the crashes/driver/Netscape issue relevant?  I'll post extra points for good info about those, even if they're red herrings

Pretty please?
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Have you tried this

start > run SFC /purgecache
sfc /scannow
tfewsterAuthor Commented:
Hi Sunray - I've seen that guide & checked space & that the system restore "service" is running, i.e. it's creating the restore points; I didn't see anything else that might be relevant in that troubleshooting doc - There are no errors in the event viewer\System section, just the \Application section when trying to run the Restore interface.

I'll try running it in safe mode + try CrazyOnes purgecache & report back shortly - Thanks for the quick responses, folks!

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Create a reliable backup. Make sure you always have dependable copies of your data so you can restore your entire system or individual files.

tfewsterAuthor Commented:
Rebooted into safe mode, logged in as Administrator, accepted the option to run restore - But it just dropped me straight into "normal" safe mode,  and I couldn't start rstrui.exe manually either.  Incidentally, my normal login has admin rights; I know, it's bad practice - I'm just trying to show it's not a permissions issue.

scf /purgecache then sfc /scannow didn't appear to do anything - rstrui.exe still won't run :(    All copies of rstrui.exe & mshtml.dll + their  versions are as they were before.  Searching for "rstrui.exe" now shows some "pf" files in \Windows\Prefetch; Are these something do to with sfc?    
>>>"pf" files in \Windows\Prefetch; Are these something do to with sfc?

No just about any program you run will add itself to the Prefetch folder. Supposedly this is suppose to speed up lauching a program listed in that folder next time it is used, personally I haven't seen that it does anything other than taking up space on the hard disk. You can delete every thing in that folder. I don't allow anything other than the NTOSBOOT-BlahBlah and the Layout.ini to occupy any space in there.
try a repair Of IE



You can make system restore run with these steps:

1. Click Start->Run->C:\windows\inf

2. Look for SR.INF and RightClick on it

3. LeftClick Install

Follow the prompts, Reboot and System Restore will be ready to use.

This cud have caused by system Restore application or interface being corrupt. The above steps will reinstall system restore

If none worked.

Perform a Repair install of windows XP

I recommend you to follow the steps below to repair Windows
onto itself to resolve this issue. It will reinstall all system files with this
method. You may need to reinstall some applications to upgrade some files to a
higher version, because they may be replaced during the installation of Windows.

The steps below will not damage your documents and registry. However, it is always
recommended to backup your important information and files to other partitions or
other disks.

1.  First, disable any Anti-Virus program and BIOS-level Anti-Virus protection.

2.  Make sure you have set your CD-ROM as the first priority boot device. You may
refer to your computer manual for information on how to do this.

3.  Insert the Windows XP CD into your CD-ROM and reboot your computer.

4.  When you see "Press any key to boot from CD" on the screen, press a key to let
your computer boot from the Windows XP CD.

5.  When the computer boots from the CD-ROM, it checks your hardware and then
prompts you with the following options.

*To set up Windows XP now, press Enter.

*To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

*To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.

6.  Please press ENTER.

7.  Press the F8 key to agree to the Licensing Agreement.

8.  You will see your current Windows XP installation is listed in a box and get
the following options:

*To repair the selected Windows XP installation, press R.

*To continue installing a fresh copy of Windows XP without repairing, press ESC.

9.  Please press "R".

10.  Then the setup program will repair Windows XP automatically.

All the best


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tfewsterAuthor Commented:
I didn't get time to try these out yesterday, but I will as soon as possible;  stevenlewis, if you have a good link to save me searching EE for "Repair+Internet+Explorer", I'd be grateful - Is it just a matter of running the .inf ?

AlexJ, does a reinstall of XP blow away all the patches? And if so, do they disappear from the install history so they can be reapplied by Windows Update?
How to Reinstall or Repair Internet Explorer and Outlook Express in Windows XP;en-us;318378


Start > Run rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132 C:\windows\inf\ie.inf


Right click on C:\windows\inf\ie.inf and select Install

At first, Did u try reinstalling system restore as I suggested from SR.INF
The repair install option is there only if the first suggestion do not work.

Yes, repair install will remove ur updates and patched but U can reinstall them from windows update site. No problem. They will appear again for U.

tfewsterAuthor Commented:
Thank you Alex - reinstalling from SR.INF did the trick on its own, saving a lot of work.  Of course, now i search EE for "SR.INF" I see lots of relevant threads (Many answered by you ;-)  - I guess I just didn't see their relevance before, or didn't realise that individual programs could be reinstalled.

Thanks to all the other experts too, who spent time and provided useful tips; I'm giving you some of the points - Alex, if you feel I've cheated you, just say the word and I'll post some additional points to make it up to you.


I feel good when everybody gets points whom suggestions really matter.

No objections. Good Job!!!!



I was baffled by a problem with Win XP Pro not being able to run the System Restore function.   I was getting a rundll.exe and other similar errors.  Your answer give above fixed the problem:

Look for SR.INF and Rightclick on it
Left Click Install

The installation asked for the Windows SP 2 CD.  I only had the original Win XP Pro CD which I pointed the installation program to.  I said “No to All” when asked to replace a target file that was newer than the CD file.   When I finished and rebooted my computer everything was fixed !!!!

You don’t know how much I appreciated this solution.   It saved me untold hours of grief !!!!!

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