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why can't I restore computer to earlier time

I am not able to restore my computer to an earlier time.
once completing the function it returns a message saying "No changes have been made try another time"
I have used many different restore points with same message.
I have turned off antivirus and firewall and removed any external drives etc.
I have shut down any browser or programs
I am using Windows XP Professional
Any ideas anyone?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Restore points may have been lost in normal operation over a long period of time, by cleaning up temporary files, and by registtry cleaner applicattions.  Once the restore points are gone, they are gone for good.

... Thinkpads_User
Try it from Safe Mode.

To start the System Restore tool from a Command Prompt.

Restart your computer, and then press F8 during the initial startup to start your computer in Safe Mode with a Command Prompt.

Log on to your computer with an administrator account or with an account that has administrator credentials.
 
Type the following command at a command prompt, and then press ENTER:

%systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe

Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to restore your computer to an earlier state.
Top Expert 2007
Commented:
What's your reason for restoring, may I ask? If it's due to viruses then try cleaning it.

Failed restoration can be due to many things e.g. corrupt restore points. Restore points can be corrupted if the resident antivirus or other security scanners had deleted any files from the C:\system volume information folder.
Make sure that the “Task Scheduler”, “System Restore Service” and “Remote Procedure Call (RPC)” are running.

Will it let you create any restore points?
You can test to make sure that System Restore is functioning properly:
 
Create a new restore point and named it "TEST" or whatever name you like.
then create a new folder on the desktop and name it whatever name you like.
Now try restoring the system to the "Test" restore point.
You should receive a message if the restore was successful, and the Test folder on the desktop will be gone.

If that fails, then that means there is a corrupt restore point and you should just purge all restore points.
Ian Bellretired

Author

Commented:
The method of restoring by dos as recommended by rrjmin0 failed
The creation of a new restore point as recommended by rpggamergirl succeeded
Seems like the "system checkpoint" restore points are not working even tho they appear every day
and created automatically.

Does that mean that I cannot restore at all.?? no other methods?

Reason for restoring is I have made some bad changes to a FoxPro program and cannot contact the
programmer who wrote it.

fingers crossed there is another solution out there
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
>>> Does that mean that I cannot restore at all.?? no other methods?

Windows makes its own restore points and if they are gone, there is not much (that I know) that will re-create them for you.   ..... Thinkpads_User
Top Expert 2007

Commented:
So, even when you turned off your resident antivirus you can't restore? what antivirus do you have?
What other security apps is installed? Their tamper protection might still be enabled.
Ian Bellretired

Author

Commented:
I am using Bit Defender and turned off the Anti Virus and the Firewall
No other security device that I am aware of.
I closed Skype and Gotomypc just in case.

It seems to be saving restore points on a daily basis
but not working
very strange and frustrating to say the least
Can you undo the changes that you made useing regedt32.

Weird the way system restore performs sometimes. You have tried several restore points I take it.
Ian Bellretired

Author

Commented:
I have managed to restore from the dos restore you outlined.
It worked successfully. But only the "test" point I created.
The other restore points did not work in either dos or windows.
Yes I have tried around 20 points and all failed
System Restore on my XP  uses 12% of disk space and I have 9 restore points to use going back to october. You must be using a bit of disk space with 20 restore points. You may want to consider shrinking some of that space.

The only suggestion I can think of atm is undoing your changes in the registry.
Ian Bellretired

Author

Commented:
Not sure how to undo registry changes could you elaborate please?
I'll try anything at the moment and would love someone to login thru
gotomypc to help out ...paid of course
bottom line is I copied a FoxPro program from a directory within documents and settings\admin\temp
and pasted into another directory. When I found it didn't work I deleted it expecting it to just automatically call the program in docs and settings admin temp folder.
returned an error message saying file is missing.
OK I don't think that is a registry problem if your missing a file. System Restore is used to get your computer back to a working state .

Have a look in the Recycle Bin your files may still be in there and you can restore them.
Top Expert 2007

Commented:
If the one you deleted was the copied one(the one you pasted into another directory), then the original should still work unless someone had used a temp folder cleaner which cleans all default temp folders, hence now you're getting the error message of "file missing".

If this is the case, it might still be retrievable since temp cleaners usually create backups of everything that's been deleted, or as already mentioned also try looking in the recyle bin if it was manually deleted.
No  enough free space to apply old point
Ian Bellretired

Author

Commented:
There is 165 GB of free space
The one I copied and pasted to a notepad and placed in another directory was later deleted and then restored from recycle bin but same problem
Sounds like Foxpro didn't run that file properly in the first place.

Check this link and follow the instructions for using Event Viewer to find out what is causing your problem with system restore.

http://bertk.mvps.org/html/srfail.html
Ian Bellretired

Author

Commented:
Sorry for the delay in responding been busy on a project.
rrjmin0 you say your restore point uses 12% of disk space.
My computer seems to automatically set a system checkpoint restore point every day
so I have restore points totalling anything  up to 60 in munmber.
Am I to understand each restore point is taking up space?
or is it only using space once the restore point is activated?
Will cancelling restore points help in solving the problem?
If so how do I do it?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Am I to understand each restore point is taking up space?   <--- Yes. Each (All) restore points take space and eventually that space runs out, causing restore points to be deleted.

There are other causes for deletions as I noted back earlier. .... Thinkpads_User
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Also see this Microsoft Article:  You cannot delete specific restore points.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-CA/windows7/Delete-a-restore-point

I hope that helps. .... Thinkpads_User
Top Expert 2007
Commented:
Those old restore points have been corrupted so there's not much you can do but flush those restore points.

Since you are able to create and roll back to the latest restore point that means System Restore is working fine, but you can't restore those older restore points because they have been corrupted.
So what you can do is flush all restore points except the latest one, or you can just turn off System Restore(that will delete all restore points) and then turn it back on again and create a new restore point or just let the system create its usual checkpoint.

One of the common reason for a corrupted restore points is when your resident antivirus or anti-malware scanner deletes any file from the system volume information. So whenever you noticed that your scanner deletes a file from there, you need to flush restore points there and then to keep your System restore in good working order.

Yes, all restore points takes up space and when the allocated space for System Restore has been reached, the old restore points will automatically deleted due to the available space constraint. Which also means that those(deleted restore points)won't show up as an option for you to restore.

Commented:
I would scan for spyware. I have had several infections root themselves inside the system restore function. I would use combofix, malewarebytes and tdsskiller.
Ian Bellretired

Author

Commented:
Thinkpads

I have 93GB free space from a total capacity of 467GB. If there are an estimated 60 or so checkpoint restore points could this be the reason why I cannot do a systems restore (not enough memory space?)
Business Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
No. System Restore is limited by the amount you have allocated, not how much free space you have. You can look in My Computer -> Properties and see how much was allocated.

However, I would like you to consider the point I made initially and has now been made by others: If somehow (overrun the space, cleaner tools, Disk Cleanup, and so on) the system restore points you want are gone, nothing will bring them back.

All you can do is clean them all out (reset System Restore space allocation), set the allocation to what you think is reasonable, and start again.

.... Thinkpads_User
By rule of thumb Windows likes to have at least 15%-17% free space on all drives for it to function properly. For some reason when a drive reaches 15% free space, windows considers it to be full.
If you are below this limit it is effecting the Operating Systems ability to function properly, try moving some of the files to a central repository {storage area} on the Network or to an External Hard Drive.

To remove Temporary files stored on your hard disk that you no longer use, follow these steps:

Press the WinKey + r and type in cleanmgr and press enter
select OK
Click the Disk Cleanup tab (if it is not already selected), click to select the check boxes next to the files that you want to remove, and then click OK.
Click More Options and under System Restore and Shadow Copies select Clean up. This will remove all but the most recent Restore Point.
Click Yes to the proceed with this action, and then click OK.
When you have moved all of your files and deleted all temp files Defragment your HDD
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Thank you. I was pleased to offer assistance and sorry that you could not restore as you wished.

... Thinkpads_User