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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    System Restore Unable to Restore (XP SP 3)

    Hello,
    I noticed that I was missing some older entries from my calendar in Outlook (which is what started the larger problem) and I tried System Restore which I have used before with success. No matter which restore point I choose, the computer goes through the process and ends like normal but with the statement that no changes have been made to the computer. I have gone back as far as possible.

    I noticed this problem sometime during an extended period of upgrading my computer. I installed a new DVD Burner and memory. No problem with that. A week or so later, a second new DVD Burner; then after waiting for the custom Dell bracket to be delivered, I installed a new hard drive. Everything seems to be in working order. I have used both burners; I have formatted and partitioned the new hard drive and the memory shows the increase. I wish I would have thought to do a System Restore to see if I could get the Calendar back before I started all this but I didn't and have since learned it could be archived in a file currently on my original drive.

    I am concerned because I sometimes need to rely on System Restore as I try out new programs, etc (which reminds me - some new software has been installed also but the only one that shows up in a restore point is Acronis.) There were a couple restore points with items listed that I did not recognize. "Install HD View for Internet Explorer" was one and the other I will attempt to attach.

    The system overall is acting different; hesitating when it normally wouldn't. Slow sometimes. And when I'm scrolling down a page with lots of photos (msnbc.com) there is a trail left behind ... sorry not much of an explanation.

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
    cs.
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    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
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  3. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: System Restore Unable to Restore (XP SP 3)

    I can't help you with your "unable to restore" problem, but I wanted to point out that System Restore cannot be used to retrieve data. A Restore point doesn't store any documents, personal data etc., only registry settings and system files. Outlook appointments are stored in your Personal Folders file which is a data file, not a system file.

    Perhaps your Calendar is set to AutoArchive items after a certain period of time. If so, older appointments would have been moved to your Archive .pst file.
    You can inspect the settings for AutoArchive in two places:

    1) Tools | Options..., Other tab, AutoArchive...
    2) Right-click your calendar and select Properties, then activate the AutoArchive tab.

    If your Archive .pst file isn't listed in Outlook yet, you can open it, then view the calendar in the Archive .pst.

  4. #3
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    Re: System Restore Unable to Restore (XP SP 3)

    System Restore is NOT going to backup or restore your Outlook data file. It is for backing up important system files & settings when changes are being made to the system (i.e. new hardware or new programs). See Microsoft Windows XP System Restore for a more complete description of System Restore functionality. It is up to you to backup personal data. See Download details: Outlook 2007/2003/2002 Add-in: Personal Folders Backup for a <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> tool to backup PST files.

    Joe

  5. #4
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: System Restore Unable to Restore (XP SP 3)

    If you do alot of software "testing" (installing and uninstalling programs you might want to look into Total Uninstall to protect your system and help keep all the junk that programs leave behind when they are uninstalled via conventional means. The current version is not <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15>, but older versions were freeware.

    I suspect that the reason you got that message when you ran System Restore is that no system files have been changed since you created those restore points. As Hans & Joe pointed out System Restore only monitors system files, so if nothing was different when you made the restore point nothing would change when you did a System Restore to that restore point.

    HD View for Internet Explorer is an image viewer to aid in the display of very large images. But really what it does is allow you to interact with large, panoramic images that don’t fit on your screen. You can move around the images and zoom in and out, all while still maintaining a high-definition view of what you’re seeing.

    As far as your system running slowly and acting strangly, when was the last time you did any system maintenance ??
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  6. #5
    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    Re: System Restore Unable to Restore (XP SP 3)

    Do you by chance have any Norton 2007 or later software installed? There is a setting in this Norton software that must be changed, otherwise System Restore will NOT perform a restore successfully.
    John
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  7. #6
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    Re: System Restore Unable to Restore (XP SP 3)

    In addition to DocWatson's comments, you ought to consider using the <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> Microsoft Virtual PC.

    Joe

  8. #7
    New Lounger
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    Re: System Restore Unable to Restore (XP SP 3)

    <hr>HD View for Internet Explorer is an image viewer to aid in the display of very large images. But really what it does is allow you to interact with large, panoramic images that don’t fit on your screen. You can move around the images and zoom in and out, all while still maintaining a high-definition view of what you’re seeing.<hr>
    Doc,

    Would this, perhaps, work with Firefox 3.0?

    Al

  9. #8
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: System Restore Unable to Restore (XP SP 3)

    That one won't, but this one should. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
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  10. #9
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    Re: System Restore Unable to Restore (XP SP 3)

    Thanks, Doc! <img src=/S/blackteeth.gif border=0 alt=blackteeth width=20 height=20>

  11. #10
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    Re: System Restore Unable to Restore (XP SP 3)

    software distribution service 3 - Microsoft Windows Vista Community Forums - Vistaheads and Software Distribution Service 3.0 - Technology Questions have more information about software distribution services.

    From the first link:
    "Software Distribution Service 3.0 is a generic name for restore points
    created when updates are installed. Each time updates are installed,
    whether one at a time or a group of updates installed in one all at
    once, the restore points will all have the same name, Software
    Distribution Service 3.0."

    Joe

  12. #11
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    Re: System Restore Unable to Restore (XP SP 3)

    To all the wonderful people who took the time to offer advice; I appreciate you very much. Some of the time, although I could receive emails, I could not access the internet. If I could have, I would have come here to see if there were replies. I goofed! While I am wondering where all the knights in shining armor are, they are there of course, in my gmail account. I've belonged to Woody's for a few years at this point but somehow screwed up my login (no surprise there!) and had to resign up using a different email address as my regular one is taken (by me, of course.) I forgot about that and didn't look there; I really do not use it. That's why you haven't had thanks from me previously or any comments to your suggestions. I did try last night but the forum pages were not loading.

    I have printed out the majority of the replies and first, thank you Hans, for the information you provided on Outlook, Archive files and .pst files. I confess, I never took the time to understand them as I should have causing me this problem. With your directions, I was able to find the information that is so important to me. Thank you so much! QUESTIONS: Is it better to auto archive or not? I should back up the files on a daily basis either way, correct?
    Joe, if I wasn't in a hot panic at the time, I might (might not) have remembered the function of system restore; I know it doesn't change your non-system files or I would not be able to count on it; especially when I am not backing up! Note: Waiting for UPS to deliver an external hard drive for backup today!!! I'll get this right yet and, Joe, will follow both links you have posted.
    Now, Doc, I am good about system maintenance. I think the problem was partially due to a program that a friend suggested that works with Windows Defragmenter. I analyzed the C: drive and it needed to be defragged; no surprise. I started the defrag and when I checked it, nothing had changed. Later I found out that I didn't have the 15% free space suggested to do a proper defrag but the program never gave me any error and when I tried to run Windows Defrag directly it was gone. I uninstalled the program and at sometime around that point, my ability to use System Restore returned. Not sure of the timing; definitely not sure how or why but that's ok for now. It might have something to do with the problem with McAfee and its 5 errors. That's another story. I will definitely look into your links also. Your input is definitely appreciated. In addition to McAfee, I use Windows Defender, Super-Anti Spyware (a favorite,) Malware Bytes, C Cleaner and a new one (to me anyway) ThreatFire. Maybe overkill, but when one program doesn't resolve a problem another one usually does.
    John, this time I went with McAfee for three years; I had problems with Norton previously and decided a change was in order.
    Back to you, Joe! The link you provided for Microsoft Virtual PC will probably be the one I check out first; I do not know anything about it and am very interested. I had finally figured out what Software Distribution Services referred to but it was nice to have that confirmed for me. So many things to research and remember.

    As it is going now, the computer is pretty much normal. A driver I added which made the screen crystal clear but everything very small began to work properly when whatever was causing it to malfunction was (accidentally) fixed. Still crystal clear. Cool.

    Thank you again, everybody, for the assistance - especially for continuing it when it didn't look like I was showing up. I count on learning from you; I'd never ask a question and not thank you for your help.

    Cherie
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
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  13. #12
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: System Restore Unable to Restore (XP SP 3)

    About AutoArchive: whether it is really necessary depends on the volume of e-mail that you keep.

    As the amount of e-mail grows, your .pst file gets bigger and bigger, and this will make Outlook slower.

    Where I work, we use Outlook on Exchange Server, and each user gets only a limited amount of space for his or her Exchange mail box (50 MB or 100 MB, I forget which exactly). With the amount of e-mail sent and received, often including attachments, this space gets filled rather quickly. We can't just delete old messages because they contain important information that might be needed again. So it's imperative to archive older items, in order to stay below the size limit.

    At home you won't have this limitation, but it might still be a good idea to archive older items to minimize clutter. You can exclude specific folders from being archived automatically.
    You should definitely backup all your .pst files regularly, so that you won't lose much if one of the .pst files is lost or becomes corrupt.

  14. #13
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: System Restore Unable to Restore (XP SP 3)

    Soooo... who were you before the identity change ?? <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> Glad you resolved the email communication error with the Lounge.

    One of the reasons I asked about system maintenance was to see if you did defrag the system on a regular basis (fragmented drives are often a major cause of system slowdown). Since you say you only have 15% free space on the drive, I'd suspect that to be one of the problems. As crazy as it seems, you really need between 20 - 30% of the drive free for it to perform optimally. Do you happen to recall the name of that program you were using as an ovelay to Windows defrag utility ??

    I would also recommend that you dump McAfee and go with one of the <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> AV programs recommended here in the Lounge. My reasoning here is to free up some space on your drive and lower the use of system resources (and to get rid of those 5 McAfee errors). Both McAfee and Norton/Symantec use an excessive amount of system resources and take up more space than the <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> and equally as good alternatives. I'm assuming that both are system packages that include a firewall and would again recommend the free alternatives. If this is something you might consider, post back and we can provide links to the downloads and tutorials for these alternative programs.

    ThreatFire appears to be a good program, but has a tendency to lock up the system according to this review. It was formerly Cyberhawk and was renamed and re-released as ThreatFire. You might consider replacing Windows Defender and Super Anti-Spyware with SpywareBlaster and Spybot S&D. Again, IMHO, better programs with less overhead. I agree with your layered approach to protection, I'd just recommend using different programs to do the same things with less drag on your system.

    Hope all this is of some help and doesn't serve to confuse you. Make any changes slowly and deliberately and then live with them for a week or more before making a decision or any other changes.
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  15. #14
    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    Re: System Restore Unable to Restore (XP SP 3)

    "Both McAfee and Norton/Symantec use an excessive amount of system resources and take up more space than the free and equally as good alternatives"

    I won't comment on McAfee (as I've never used it), but I have used Norton for years. What you say Doc certainly applied to much earlier versions, but the Norton 2007 product was good, 2008 was even better, and 2009 certainly looks like a real winner (see this review ). I don't want to start an argument, but I do take issue with recommendations which, in may cases, are based on outdated information, the "popular" mentality, or simply uninformed "opinions". I have absolutely no problem with anyone using any of the Free alternatives (in fact many of them are EXCELLENT), but let's not discourage people from using software which we (for whatever reason) personally "dislike" (or think we dislike).

    Anti-virus software seems to elicit the most vociferous opinions (likes and dislikes) or almost any software available. I'll certainly recommend software with which I've had success, but I won't discourage people from using software which I personally dislike, or with which I've had no experience.

    Hopefully you don't take this the wrong way Doc. Norton products have been "bashed" for years (and in many cases, legitimately), but the past several years have seen a dramatic improvement in their product. I simply think that fairness, objectivity and accurate information should be major components in determining what we recommend or what we discourage.
    John
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  16. #15
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: System Restore Unable to Restore (XP SP 3)

    Point taken John. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    I've had experience with both McAfee and Symantec/Norton on more than one system, my own included, from which I removed a 10 year subscription of Norton AV and installed Avast! last June and haven't looked back or missed it a little bit. I admit I'm not a fan of either because of the heavy drag I feel they put on most systems. In this case, I happen to be speaking from recent personal experience. I just removed Symantec System Works ('06 or '07 I'm not sure) from my daughter's laptop (XP SP3, 1.8 Intel DualCore, 512MB RAM) and installed Avast! and ZoneAlarm. I noticed a major change in the boot time and overall speed immediately and after a defrag my daughter said it was a lot faster at both opening programs and processing and at accessing and surfing the internet.

    I can be cranky and over-zealous sometimes, but it wasn't my intent (this time <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>) to bash Symantec. I was just recommending a couple programs with a smaller footprint and less overhead for a system that appears to be running out of both space and resources. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
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