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XP System Restore loses restore capability

Discussion in 'Software' started by Wiseloki, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. Wiseloki

    Wiseloki Private E-2

    I have a concern with XP restore

    Machine details:

    Dell C840 laptop, 1.8 MHz, 1GB ram (recently upgraded from 512 MB) 40 GB HDD. XP Pro SP2 with latest updates, ZAP firewall, Norton 2004 antivirus, sync to iPAQ 1945 using ActiveSync 3.8. I run SpywareGuard, SpywareBlaster, SpyBot S&D and Ad-Aware SE - full scans for viruses and spyware weekly. I have used Wintasks and SpyBot utilities to selectively limit the startup list (maximise resources and minimise startup, which takes about 3 min). Broadband internet via BT and an Intel AnyPoint DSL modem. Lots of software loaded (MS Office, MS Project, Lotus SmartSuite, Paintshop Pro, Adobe Acrobat, etc, etc.). I use Firefox 1.5 rather than IE6, except when I have no choice.

    I have run SpeedUpMyPC and Registry Mechanic to keep load times down and registry clean.

    Problem is that System Restore occasionally loses the ability to restore back to a previous restore point - switching Restore off and then on again on fixes this (which I check by creating a restore point then going back to it 10 mins later, then undoing that restore) but then it seems to fail a few days/weeks later.

    It's a concern as I can't rely on being able to restore my way out of any problems I might get.

    Anyone any idea what could be corrupting the restore files? I have heard that the restore files are cumulative, and that if one old file gets corrupted, none of the restore points will work.

    I tried MS Knowledgebase, but with no joy.

    Advice/fix welcome.
  2. Runner789

    Runner789 Private E-2

    I don't think this is it, but how much space is allocated to saving restore points?
  3. Wiseloki

    Wiseloki Private E-2

    The setting is for restore to occupy the max allowed - 4575 MB. Anyway, if it's losing space, I just thought it dumped the oldest files. It's usually files a few days old I can't restore to when it goes wrong.
  4. How big is your harddrive and how much free space do you have on it? One reason for this could be a lack of hard drive space.
    -the new tech guy
  5. Oops sorry did not notice that you posted your hd size on another post. How much free space do you have on it. If you do have alot of programs like you say your hd is a bit small so i am not surprised if there is not alot of free space on it.
    -the new tech guy
  6. Wiseloki

    Wiseloki Private E-2

    Nope, the software itself doesn't take a lot of the drive, and I don't have many large picture or video files stored. The drive has 25GB available.

    The only thing I found browsing through the MS knowledgebase again was a comment that an incorrect shutdown can mean that Restore cannot access the earlier files. I have had a few "hangs" where I've had to force the laptop to close by holding the power switch down. Any idea if this could be the problem?

    When I've got the problem, Restore "sees" the restore points on the calendar, but trying to restore back to any of them results in a "restore failed" message.
  7. Ok Do you have a windows xp cd for your computer?
    -the new tech guy
  8. Wiseloki

    Wiseloki Private E-2

    I have the disks that came with the laptop, which is the Dell-flavoured XP Reinstallation CD, and the Dell "drivers and utilities" CD. I don't have a shiny new Microsoft disk set of the OS. I have got SP2 on MS CD, but not SP1.

    Oh, and no offence over the wrist-slap for adding to the confusion of Maggie. I guess I like to try to give back to the site, as well as take. Perhaps I should leave it to the grown-ups.
  9. Its no problem we dont have any problem with you trying to help people! Everyone was just saying what I have already stated in so many different ways that it was beginning to get confusing. I do not mind help though. Anyway, concering this issue, i want you to take that dell xp cd with the operating system on it and run this command with the disk in the drive just type it into the run box. "sfc /scannow" (no quotes) and let that run and once that is done a scandisk may help as well. Once you have completed both those things come back and tell us how things are running.
    -the new tech guy
  10. Wiseloki

    Wiseloki Private E-2

    Just so I'm clear, the run command doesn't need to identify the CD drive letter and the command I should type has a space before the slash; sfc<space><forward slash>scannow<enter> - am I right?

    I've got meetings tomorrow, so I probably won't be able to do this and get back to you for 24hrs.

    Thanks for the help so far

  11. Yes you are correct all there is to do is put the cd in, if there is any crap that comes up when its inserted you can go ahead and close it then run the sfc /scannow command just as you said with the space.
    -the new tech guy
  12. Wiseloki

    Wiseloki Private E-2


    Sorry about the delay - the meetings turned into some work.

    I've runsfc /scannow and quite soon into the scan I got a message that said:

    "Files that are required for Windows to run properly must be copied to the DLL Cache. Insert your Windows XP Professional CD-ROM now."

    And offered three buttons, "Retry", "More Information" and "Cancel"

    I chose retry, as cancelling did not seem to be the thing to do. This proceedure repeated itself about 12 times during the scan.

    I haven't rebooted yet, so I'll post how the machine behaves later. I think I'll go to Windows Update now, in case any of the old files I may have replaced require updating.
  13. Wiseloki

    Wiseloki Private E-2

    OK, no updates required from the Windows site.

    Bye the way, I don't think there's any problem with the hard disk itself, as I ran Spinrite 6 from Gibson Research on a level 3 scan about 2 months ago (I was concerned that the long boot and black screen was a sign that the disk might be failing) and the entire disk got a 100% clean bill of health.
  14. Wiseloki

    Wiseloki Private E-2

    OK, final post on the results.

    Machine booted fine, maybe a little slower than usual, but I've noticed that XP sometimes has to settle down after you've messed with its innards.

    Still got a black screen for 12 or so secs between the XP splash and the user logon screen (I'm not sure if this is a problem and I've posted a separate thread on it, but I was kinda hoping that you might have fixed this as a by-product).

    Boot subjectively seemed more robust, as I didn't get a "loading, please wait" window from ZAP, it just loaded quietly in the background (but I'd need to see a few boots to confirm this, as it seems to come and go).

    All usual programs opened up OK.
  15. Ok to fix the boot problems you will need to go to the recovery console and run these commands: "fixmbr" and "fixboot". (no quotes for both) And you go to the recovery console from the windows cd. Run those fixes and come back and tell me how things are running.
    -the new tech guy
  16. Wiseloki

    Wiseloki Private E-2


    I reset the BIOS to boot off the CD and ran the Recovery Console.

    When I tried FIXMBR I got this message:

    "This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master boot record.

    FIXMBR may damage your partition tables if you proceed.

    This could cause all the partitions on the current hard disk to become inaccessible.

    If you are not having problems accessing your drive, do not continue.

    Are you sure you want to write a new MBR?"

    At this point, having read the portent of doom, I chickened out, thought I'd better check first, and typed "n".

    Before I exited I tried FIXBOOT, but at the question asking if I really wanted to do this, I thought about the above warning and chickened again, as my machine starts every time at the moment.

    So I thought I'd check with you first. To my knowledge, the hard drive in my laptop only has the one partition, C:
  17. That is fine that is just a warning telling you the risk. That fix will get out of bios and starting windows faster. Just run both fixes and come back and tell me how things are running.
    -the new tech guy
  18. Wiseloki

    Wiseloki Private E-2

    Call me chicken, but after looking at other posts and considering the fact that my machine boots OK every time so far and the portents of doom I saw in the Recovery Console, I've decided not to FIXMBR or FIXBOOT at this time. If the situation changes, they'll be my first action.

    Thanks for the help and sorry if you think I wasted your time.

    Happy New Year.
  19. Alrighty but just telling you that that will speed up the black screen. But that is fine. And it is no problem for you asking for assistance.
    -the new tech guy

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