Why can I not restore Windows XP using system restore?

Bernard Copland April 13, 2011

Windows XP system restore goes through the motions and then returns “computer cannot be restored”.

  1. Bernardcopland
    April 14, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Thanks a bunch.....I used the "Safe Mode" method.....Success!!! After months of disappointment.

    • Tina
      April 14, 2011 at 3:49 pm

      Thanks a lot for the feedback, Bernard!

    April 14, 2011 at 3:15 am

    Hello, I would say your system restore may have become corrupted. One of the ways of fixing this would be to disable system restore and then enable it again. I know it does not serve your purpose because once you disable system restore, you would loose all your restore points. I do not know what operating system you are running, here is the Microsoft link for xp:
    [Broken Link Removed]

    This link will show you how to enable/disable system restore:
    [Broken Link Removed]

    Also, I would suggest that you scan your computer with antivirus/antimalware.

  3. Anonymous
    April 13, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Try going into safe mode and restore from there

    Here are some troubleshooting tips for System Restore in Windows XP.

    Go to Start - Run and type eventvwr.msc and press enter.
    Click on System in the left pane.
    Click the gray title "Source" at the top of the source name column in
    the right pane to sort by source name, look for "sr" and "srservice".
    Double click on each of these events, then click on the button below
    the two arrows in the upper right corner. This will copy the event
    information to the clipboard. Paste the information for each of the
    two event here. This will help us in diagnosing the problem.
    [Broken Link Removed]

    a. If there is less than 200 MB of free space available on the computer free up some space on the hard drive by deleting unused files or images. Check the link mentioned below.

    Description of the Disk Cleanup Tool in Windows XP


    After rebooting the system choose an earlier restore point and try again.

    b. Restoration was denied due to non-administrator status?

    Log out and then back in as an administrator.

    c. Check whether the system restore service is running or not.

    i. Open Administrative Tools,

    ii. Click Computer Management, and then click Services and Applications.

    iii. Click Services, and double-click System Restore Services from the list. Verify the service is started and running. If not, under

    iv. Service Status, click Start and change the startup type to Automatic"

    How to view and manage event logs in Event Viewer in Windows XP


  4. Mike
    April 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    First you should make sure that no third party AntiVirus or Protection Software is running. They may cause System Restore to fail because it's trying to modify existing System files.

    Other possible fixes can be found in the Microsoft KB:
    [Broken Link Removed]