System Restore Not Working. These are the words that every Windows user dreads to hear, but it happens from time to time. If System Restore can't get your computer back to a prior checkpoint where things are running the way you want them to run, you might need to try one of these other methods to fix your system.
Restoring in Safe Mode
If the computer System Restore doesn't work when you boot normally, try restoring your computer in Safe Mode. Safe Mode shuts down most of the nonessential programs that your computer runs, and this far simpler operating system setup makes it easier for the system to run administrative tasks, including System Restore.
To enter Safe Mode, press or repeatedly tap the F8 button when your computer is booting up, and select the option that enables you to start your computer in Safe Mode from the list. When you get into Windows in Safe Mode, try running System Restore. When you restart, you'll be out of Safe Mode.
Use the System Restore Disk
If Safe Mode doesn't help, try using a system restore disk. If there's a System Restore disk in your optical drive when your computer boots, the computer should boot to the restore disk, not to your hard drive. You may need to adjust your BIOS settings to tell your computer to boot from the restore disk.
Once you're in the system restore disk menu, follow the directions to perform a system restore. A system restore disk may come with your computer, or you may be able to create one using system utilities.
What Blocks System Restore?
If you can't restore your system successfully, you may be running into one of two problems: a virus infestation, or a conflict with an anti-virus program. First, if you're running an anti-virus program, make sure all of your virus definitions are up-to-date, then run a detailed virus scan. If you can't find anything, temporarily turn off or disable your anti-virus program, and attempt to run System Restore.
Keep in mind that when your anti-virus program is turned off, your computer is vulnerable to infection and attacks, so keep this option as a last resort and enable your virus program again as quickly as possible.
Check with Microsoft
System Restore may run into a variety of conflicts; from administrative permissions to virus infections. Microsoft support personnel have answers for many of the most common System Restore issues. They can walk you through the troubleshooting process to determine which issues are causing your problem.
Browse the Microsoft support forums, or contact Microsoft support directly, for detailed assistance with your problem. You may need to go through a series of detailed troubleshooting steps, but chances are you'll solve the problem faster than if you muddled around on your own, and you won't have to worry about accidentally breaking anything while you're poking around inside your operating system.
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