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Can't Restore System Restore


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#1 midvale

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 01:07 PM

I'm running Windows XP SP2 and am having problems with System Restore. It had always worked perfectly, but after I had a bad freeze-up which necessitated me turning off the power to the computer, it stopped working. All my restore points are gone, and when I choose to manually create a restore point, it won't let me get my cursor on "Restore point description" and when I click on "create" anyway, it tells me I have to enter a description.

This is what I have done so far, none of which have worked:
  • Turned off System Restore, rebooted, then turned it back on
  • Located my sr.ini file, right-clicked, then clicked install. Windows wanted my Service Pack folder so I browsed my way to various folders but it couldn't find the file it wanted. My big mistake, I suppose, was I had deleted some of the SP2 folders since I didn't think I had any need to roll my system back to pre-SP2 days.
  • I tried copying some SP2 pack files from hubby's laptop and using these but it didn't work
  • I ordered a SP2 CD from Microsoft and tried to uninstall SP2 from my PC. I got the message that it couldn't uninstall (probably because some files were missing)
  • I reinstalled SP2 using the CD
  • My free drive space on c: was down to 300 MB so I tried decreasing the size of System Restore disk space usage
  • I increased the size of c: using Partition Magic

When I go into Control Panel --> System --> System Restore it says it is monitoring all my partitions, and no matter what size I use for disk space, when I go into System Restore there are no restore points. I have turned System Restore on & off several times, with reboots in between.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

midvale

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#2 nigglesnush85

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 02:45 PM

Hello,

Is the system restore service started in services.msc
Regards,

Alan.

#3 midvale

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 06:26 PM

Not sure if I'm doing this correctly, but I went under the Windows Start button, Run, typed in services.msc, OK, then got a popup saying "Windows Internet Explorer: an error has occurred in this dialog, Error 54: unspecified error." Behind it is another window saying Internet Explorer Script error (which is weird, since I have Firefox set as my default browser).

I click on OK on the 1st window and then the services pane is accessible. When I scroll down to System Restore, its status is "Started" with startup type "Automatic."

midvale

#4 nigglesnush85

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 07:07 PM

Hello, what you did was correct, but the response it gave you was very unusual.

If you go to start run and type sfc /scannow click ok. Regarding the error message,
did IE open or firifox?
what security settings have you employed in internet explorer?

Just to rule out the possibility of infection, have you used any online scans for malware?

http://uk.trendmicro-europe.com/consumer/h...call_launch.php
http://www.pandasoftware.com/products/ActiveScan.htm
Regards,

Alan.

#5 midvale

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 08:17 PM

In my last post, IE did not open up. I had Firefox open at the time (on this thread). I just tried it again with Firefox closed, and the same thing happened. I don't really use IE unless a page doesn't display properly with FF, and my firewall (Zone Alarm) allows it full access to the internet.

I tried the sfc /scannow and the following happened:
  • "Windows File Protection: please wait while Windows verifies that all protected Windows files are intact and in their original versions.
  • "Windows File Protection: Files that are required for Windows to run properly must be copied to the DLL cache. Insert your Windows Professional Service Pack 2 CD now.
  • I put my CD in the drive and then get "Windows File Protection: The CD you provided is the wrong CD. Please insert the Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2 CD into your CD-ROM drive."
  • When I click on cancel, "If you cancel, Windows might require you to insert a CD later. Are you sure you want to skip this file? yes/no"
  • I click on yes and it goes back to asking for the CD.
  • If I click on "More information" I get "Possible reasons for this problem: you have inserted the wrong CD (i.e., a different Windows product CD than the version installed), or the CD-ROM drive in your system is not functioning.

I had installed SP2 years ago but as I mentioned in my first post, I have recently reinstalled it with a CD I obtained from Microsoft. I was not able to uninstall my first version before I did so, so pehaps there are some registry keys referring to it still?

I have not run any on-line scans recently, although I ran Symatec's a week or so ago. I have run Zone Alarm and SpySweeper in the last week, both were clean.

I'll try some the on-line scans that you suggested, thanks.

midvale

#6 TheTerrorist_75

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 08:30 PM

You will need to slipstream SP2 with your WinXP CD then run sfc /scannow.
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#7 midvale

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 01:34 AM

So, it's ok to download the (full) "Network Install" of the Service Pack as this document says, even if I'm not on a networked PC? Then when I run sfc /scannow, I put this new disk into my drive?

BTW, I ran the scan at trendmicro-europe.com and it was clean, except it told me I had a generic trojan in my security\outbound.exe. This file & its folder all scan clean with both Spy Sweeper and Zone Alarm. I installed leaktest.exe some time ago from Gibson Research Corporation and it's in the same folder.

midvale

#8 TheTerrorist_75

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 11:03 AM

Yes you can download the Network Install of SP2 to use. it is the same thing that is on the SP2 CD that Microsoft sends in the mail.

When you have updated XP to SP2 the only way for SFC to work is with a XP CD with SP2.

Just remove Gibson's Leaktest. Some programs will detect it as a trojan even though it isn't.
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#9 midvale

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 01:21 AM

I followed the instructions on how to Slipstream Windows XP SP2 and everything seemed to go well. I didn't even get the message it warned me about that one might get from larger OEM suppliers such as Dell (our computer is a Dell).

When I ran IsoBuster 2.0, I selected "bootable disk," not "bootable CD" as per instructions. I also didn't have Microsoft Corporation.img, but Dell.img instead. I figured this was equivalent so clicked on that and went through the rest of the instructions to create my bootable, slipstreamed CD.

Then I ran sfc /scannow with my new CD in the drive, clicking on "retry" repeatedly when it told me "Files that are required for Windows to run properly must be copied to the DLL cache. Insert your Windows Professional Service Pack 2 CD now." It took quite awhile to run but it finished without any other error codes.

System restore still doesn't work. I rebooted, I turned it off on all drives, rebooted, turned it back on, rebooted, still doesn't work. I reran sfc /scannow again, still doesn't work.

I went back to find the sr.ini file, right-clicked, clicked on install and put my new CD in when prompted. Rebooted, still doesn't work.

any other ideas?

midvale

#10 nigglesnush85

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 08:46 PM

Try going to start then run and typing
rundll32.exe advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %Windir%\Inf\sr.inf
If that doesn't work, try turning off system restore and the service, restart and then turn them all back on
Regards,

Alan.

#11 midvale

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 11:15 PM

Nope, still no go. I cut & pasted the command in Run, let it run and put in my slipstreamed CD when it asked. After that I rebooted.

Then I turned off system restore. I checked under services.msc and it was blank under status. Rebooted, restarted system restore, checked under services.msc and it had a status of "started." I did not turn off or on system restore under services.msc, am I missing a step there? I couldn't see anywhere to do this.

I also got the same error 54 as before.

midvale

Edited by midvale, 24 January 2007 - 11:35 PM.


#12 nigglesnush85

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 06:44 AM

Just a thought, Is zone alarm turned on? its possible that its over enthusiastic attempts to protect the system are not allowing changes to be made. Try uninstaling it then try system restore.

If that doesn't work this microsoft article looks good http://support.microsoft.com/kb/274092
Regards,

Alan.

#13 midvale

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 01:01 AM

Things are getting stranger.

I uninstalled Zone Alarm, even though I didn't suspect it to be the problem. I've had it on the computer for the better part of a year and system restore has been working fine until recently. Still, I tried it and when it didn't fix the problem, tried to re-install ZA.

I got as far as telling it what name & email address I wanted to use to register, then got a error: Validation failed for c:\WINDOWS\system32\vsmonapi.dll. Tried a few times with reboots, got the same.

So now I have no antivirus protection. After some research I decide to get Mcafee VirusScan Plus 2007. I purchased it today and installed it. Then when it comes time to register it, lo and behold I get the error 54 I got when I tried to launch services.msc. I am unable to click on any of the fields on the registration screen, so I can't register my product and therefore cannot get updates to my virus databases.

Do you think it might be a problem with IE? I wasn't using IE and rarely use it, but is some component of it used for things like registration screens? You may recall that part of my system restore problem is that I can't create a restore point since I can't click on the field in which you type in the description (System restore is not creating its own restore points either, so it's not the only problem). Should I try to reinstall IE?

midvale

#14 Orange Blossom

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 01:31 AM

Hmm. I see this started with a system freeze-up. System Restore then failed to work - I wonder if that actually occurred before you forced the shut-down. Now security programs won't install. I'm suspicious of malware or rootkits or something like that. To rule that out I would suggest you follow the directions in this guide. Then create an HJT log, you will find the directions in the guide.

Create a new topic in this forum, not here and give it a good descriptive title. Briefly summarize what the problems are, what you have done to try to solve it, and what worked and didn't work and paste in your HJT log. Include the link to this thread to assist your HJT helper.

After you post your log, DO NOT make any further changes to your computer: deleting files, editing the registry, using special fix tools, installing or uninstalling software etc. as this will make it more difficult for the HJT team to help you.

Please be patient as the HJT team is very busy. DO NOT bump your log as the team may think that someone is already helping you. If you have not had a response in five days, add a response to the five days no response topic and paste in the link to your thread.

Once you have been declared clean and if you are still having problems, then come back to this thread and the folks here will continue to help you troubleshoot the problem.

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#15 midvale

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 02:06 AM

Eureka!

After my last post, I started thinking that maybe a problem with IE was at the root of all this, even though I wasn't using it when I got the IE error 54's.

So I reinstalled the latest version of IE and guess what, no more error 54 when I run services.msc and even better, my System Restore works! I can create my own restore point, and there are several automatic restore points now visible, even one from yesterday that I couldn't see before. I was also able to successfully register my McAfee product. When I tested out System Restore by trying to restore to an earlier time, I had one error during the process but the system restore was successful.

The only other error I am still having is the validation error when trying to reinstall Zone Alarm, but it doesn't matter since I have McAfee now (unless someone thinks it might cause problems elsewhere).

Do you think I still need to create an HJT log?

Does anybody know why an IE problem would affect System Restore in this way? I'm guessing it might have to do with scripts.

midvale




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