Feb 262008

System Restore’s purpose is to return your system to a workable state without requiring a complete reinstallation and without compromising your data files. The utility runs in the background and automatically creates a restore point when a trigger event occurs. Trigger events include application installations, AutoUpdate installations, Microsoft Backup Utility recoveries, unsigned- driver installations, and manual creations of restore points. The utility also creates restore points once a day by default.Currently system restore available in Windows XP/Vista this tutorial will show you how to install/enable system restore on win server 2003.

Solution 1

Note:- Take a complete backup of your registry before doing any changes

In this procedure you need to download Add System Restore from here

Extract the zip file into a folder, in this you will see two files – AddSystemRestoreEntries.reg and sr.inf

Double click on AddSystemRestoreEntries.reg and click on Yes when prompted.

Insert your Windows XP CD and Right click on sr.inf and select Install.

Point to the /i386 directory on the CD if prompted.

Reboot your win server 2003 that’s it now you are ready for your new win server 2003 feature

System restore screen

System restore tab

Solution 2

start we need a WinXP installation CD (doesn’t matter is Home Edition or Professional). In XP system restore is installed in syssetup.inf under the inf.always section. If you have XP installed, you can open up %windir%\inf\syssetup.inf and search for “[Infs.Always]“: you’ll see the section XP looks at for installing system components. You’ll notice it has sr.inf, this is the inf for system restore. For Windows 2003, if you look at syssetup.inf you won’t find sr.inf. This doesn’t mean system restore won’t work in server 2003.

Copy sr.inf file from your xp machine in to your win server 2003.Now we have to right click on sr.inf and select “Install”, to install it on Windows 2003. If you have XP installed on another machine/partition you can simply right click on it; if you don’t, extract \i386\sr.in_ from the XP CD to a folder of your choice, then right clink on it and select “Install”. It will ask you where the files are, so point to the XP CD. When done you’ll be prompted to restart the system.

After restarting the system you’ll get an error saying that the service could not start, specifically this is error 1068: this means it cannot run under the service is on. If you look at it in services.msc console, the path of the executable will be “C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs”. This got me thinking so I opened up sr.inf, and found this line:
HKLM,”Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SvcHost”,”SRGroup”

So it seems the sr.inf doesn’t register system restore to run under the network services group. Using the above registry key as an example, I opened regedit and went to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SvcHost. On the right side I saw netsvcs. I double clicked on it, but could not find SRService (this is the name for system restore).

at the bottom I added SRService, rebooted, and this time got no error on startup. I opened up rstrui.exe, and System Restore opened fine. I also had a System Restore tab in System Properties now, too. I was able to make a restore point fine, then restore the computer to it without any problems. So in the above registry key double click on netsvcs, and at the bottom of the list type in SRService (not sure if this is case sensitive or not).

I would personally prefer solution 1 because this is very easy and simple .

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  32 Responses to “How to install/Enable System restore on Win server 2003”

  1. Hi,

    I have a Win 2003 box and due to some reason I want to restore it to a previous day’s state.
    But it seems System Restore was not enabled on it till now. Is it possible by any chance to enable System Restore now and restore the System to a previoud date ?
    By any chance does the OS store a restore point even if restore is not enabled ?


  2. Thank you,…its work..

  3. Would system restore work on a dual drive RAID 1 configured server as well?

  4. Hi Surya,

    did u get ur idea to work?

    u didnt have system restore enabled, so u installed it & restored it to a previous point beyond the system restore installation point?

    please tell me how?

  5. How do make side by side installation of XP in sever 2003

  6. Hi,
    I’ve followed your instructions to the letter. When I boot, I get the following dialog box (RUNDLL):
    Error loading srclient.dll
    %1 is not a valid Win32 application.

    I also get this when I run “rundll32 srclient.dll,CreateFirstRunRp” in the Run box. I’m running Win2k3 R2 server 64-bit.

    Any ideas? I’ve checked the registry, everything seems to be intact. Any help is greatly appreciated.


  7. .. additionally, the system restore service cannot be started and the System Restore UI doesn’t find SRRSTR.dll. I assume these have to do with my system being x64.

  8. hi Amir,

    i have the same problem regarding the System restore in windows 2003 R2 64bit.
    it says “Error loading srclient.dll
    %1 is not a valid Win32 application.”
    right now i have seen your comment,
    so if your problem solved,
    please let me know how to resolve.

    with great expectation of positive response……


  9. Followed Option1 and it worked. Thank you for posting the solution. Great help.

  10. For those of you having problems on x64 machines, you need to use the x64 version of XP and point to the amd64 directory for your files. Works great for me on x64 using solution 1!

  11. I followed Step 1 on Windows Server 2003 Standard, but it appears that when I double clicked on teh REG key, it installed; now I get a concern, although all email boxes and websites work, my Windows Updates do not, nor my control panel HELM software…

    I get a boot up error: At least one service or driver failed during system startup. Use Event Viewt to examine the event log for details.

    Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Unexpected error calling routine CoCreateInstance. hr = 0×80040206.
    Volume Shadow Copy Service error: The EventSystem service is disabled or is attempting to start during Safe Mode. The Volume Shadow Copy service cannot start while in safe mode. If not in safe mode, make sure that EventSystem service is enabled. CLSID:{4e14fba2-2e22-11d1-9964-00c04fbbb345} Name:CEventSystem [0x80040206]

    The COM+ Event System detected a bad return code during its internal processing. HRESULT was 8007041D from line 44 of d:\nt\com\complus\src\events\tier1\eventsystemobj.cpp. Please contact Microsoft Product Support Services to report this error.

    WMiAdapter – Open of Service Failed

    PerfNet – Unable to open the Server service. Server performance data will not be returned. The error code returned is in the first DWORD in the Data section.

    SQLBrowser – The configuration of the AdminConnection\TCP protocol in the SQL instance SQLEXPRESS is not valid.

    MSSQL$HELM – SQL Server is not ready to accept new client connections. Wait a few minutes before trying again. If you have access to the error log, look for the informational message that indicates that SQL Server is ready before trying to connect again. [CLIENT: ]

    I have confirmed this on a 2nd server, that I tried to duplicate the fix, and got the same error. Is there a Way to undo the REG Entry if I DIDN’t Backup the Registry first?

    My error on no backup, but is this registry entry different for every machine, or can I get a Registry Undo, or run System REPAIR? Any help is appreciated … but my server can’t even get updates and I have to repair it. THX. MB

  12. also under System: DCOM error: DCOM got error “The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion. ” attempting to start the service netman with arguments “” in order to run the server: There are FOUR ID numbers of the error, and it repeats itself down below.

    also: VDS fails to launch provider {F96544E6-5C8D-47B9-AA6E-FD19AB278629}. Error code: 8004241B@02000012

    FINALLY: Office 12 Session error; ID: 20, Application Name: Microsoft Expression Web, Application Version: 12.0.6211.1000, Microsoft Office Version: 12.0.6215.1000. This session lasted 365 seconds with 360 seconds of active time. This session ended with a crash.

  13. Hi, I try the first solution on win2008 standard and the system restore icon appear, but nothing happened on double click. Does anyone try with win2008?

  14. System Restore Installation on Win Server 2003 work perfect but I can’t change the date to the previous date, it is fixed on todays date only

  15. it works fine all at once.
    it is very imp. to create system restore point in srv 2003. microsoft should installed it inbuilt in 2k3 too.


  16. I want to restore to a previous date, however I do not have the original XP disk nor the original software disk (received as part of business settlement) that I think is corrupt. How can I get a system restore in this circumstance.

  17. Hi that’s good to earlier versions of windows…I would like to know Is there any way to make available system restore in window server 2008…..Any suggestion would be appreciated

  18. 1. You cannot restore to a point in time before you installed and/or enabled System Restore.

    2. I would STRONGLY recommend against running the AddSystemRestoreEntries.reg file in Solution 1. By doing this you are replacing any services you have in that registry key with the ones from somebody elses PC. You SHOULD manually follow the steps in solution 2 to add SRService to the netsvcs entry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SvcHost.

    3. If you already installed the AddSystemRestoreEntries.reg file, you need to find a recent backup of the SOFTWARE hive for your system. Hopefully you created one before you started and can install that and then manually modify the netsvcs entry as described in Solution 2. If you cannot find a recent backup, You might have to do repair installs of any software that is not working properly.

    If you did not create a registry backup, hopefully you can can find one your system created for you. Look in these to locations:


    If you do not have WINDOWS directory, try looking for WINNT.

    You are looking for a file named software that may or may not have an extension. IT should also have a recent time stamp, but from before you installed System Restore.

    Once you have found one or more likely canidates, click the “START” button, then “Run…”, type regedit and click “OK”. When the “Registry Editor” window opens, select the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE hive. Click the “File” menu button, and then “Load HIve…”. Navigate to the folder containing the backup software registry and open it. You will asked to enter a name for the hive, enter backup and select “OK”. Under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, you will now see the backup hive. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\backup\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SvcHost key. In the right hand pane, double click the netsvcs entry, scroll to the bottom of the list and verify that SRService is NOT listed. IF SRService is listed you need to unload the backup hive (see below) and load a different backup. IF SRService is NOT listed, in the left hand pane, right click on the SvcHost key and select “Export”, enter a SvcHost.reg for the file name and save the file to your desktop (or note the location). Goto your desktop (or the location of the export just created), right click on the file and select “Edit” (You might want to make a copy of the file before editing just in case). Change the key locations to reflect the SOFTWARE hive and not backup, ex. [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SvcHost]. I would delete all entries except for the netsvcs entry and then save the file. DO NOT change the 1st line of the file. For an example of what the finished file should look like, Right click and “Edit” the AddSystemRestoreEntries.reg file. Save the file and close the text editor. Double click the file and click “OK” to restore your netsvcs entry. Now go back to Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SvcHost. Open netsvcs, scroll down to the bottom. SRService should not be there now, click at the bottom of the list and add SRService to the list.
    To close the backup hive we loaded, select the backup hive directly under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE in the left pane. Then click on the “File” menu and then “Unload Hive…”.

  19. Also, an easy way to create a full backup of your registry is run the following command at a command prompt or from “Start” -> “Run…”:


    This will place a file in the repair folder under your System Root folder named with your computer name and the current date. Your system root is usually C:\Windows or C:\WINNT.
    Or you can modify the part in quotes to reflect any location and file name you like.

    It will take several minutes for this to complete.

  20. option one gave me system restore. however when the server boots i get “at least one service or driver failed during startup. use event viewer to examine the event log for details.” i hit ok log in check event viewer. under system i get error scource = service control manager, cat = none, event = 7000, user = n/a, computer = safety-server. (the computers name)open that and the description is: the application experiance lookup service service failed to start due to the following errors:
    the executable program that this service is configured to run in does not implement the service.

    see help…..

    cannot find anything not working. anyone have an idea what i should look for? or how to correct this?

  21. found this and it fixed the issue.

    Members Posts:
    2 Joined:
    02-August 03 Posted 25 March 2008 – 04:47 PM

    The problem here is the REG file provided to install system restore on Windows Server 2003 is missing the entry for the Application Experience Lookup service. The REG file is actually removing the entry for it. You can solve this by simply going to the [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SvcHost] registry key and add AeLookupSvc under the netsvcs string.
    I’ve edited the REG file to correct this and attached it below.
    I tested this with both Windows Server 2003 R2 with SP2 and Windows Home Server.
    Attached File(s)
    SystemRestoreEntries.REG (4.94K)
    Number of downloads: 51

    This post has been edited by Codename_Falcon: 26 March 2008 – 01:01 PM


  22. thanks

  23. I successfully made restore point in Windows Server 2003 but when I restore my system to an earlier date, it never get successfully restored. Always it fails to restore in earlier date. What will be the solution? Any reason behind this kind of error? Any idea or suggestion?

  24. When i boot up windows server 2003 it displays an error message stating “at least one or more services or drivers fail at startup”. I check the event viewer to determine the cause of the prob and under system log is states ” parity error was detected on \device\Scsi\nvgts1″. I am clueless what this means, so can anyone help with this prob. I would appreciate it, its buggins me. Thanx in advance

  25. Hey friends, *John,
    system restore ways depend on how you back up your system
    I just know two common ways to do this
    1. Back up your system with some backup utility, like windows in-built backup or third party software (I used windows server 2008 native backup function to do this, but seems slowly and some necessary respects couldn’t be satisfied; thrd party reliable one would be better)
    2. Back up system with snapshot feature. That means to give you current healthy system state a snapshot point, then use it after your system suffered sth wroing.
    The second way always need reboot your system. Take it easy, everything will be ok
    two ways:
    windows restore http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306084
    third party utility restore http://www.todo-backup.com/products/features/restore-system-with-bootableCD.htm
    may this helpful

  26. Great Job dude, Solution 1 was easy and worked perfectly

  27. Great Job dude, Solution 1 was easy and worked perfectly
    Peter Mao

  28. Great Job dude, Solution 1 was easy and seems working

  29. Here I highly recommend easeus backup software. It can help you recover your server 2003 system without reinstallation. It is easy to use.

  30. I wrote a batch file that I called netsvcs+sr.cmd which only adds SRService to netsvcs if it’s not included and leaves the rest unchanged:

    @echo off
    setlocal EnableExtensions DisableDelayedExpansion

    set _sr=SRService
    set _key=HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SvcHost
    set _val=netsvcs
    set _type=REG_MULTI_SZ
    set "_dlm=|"

    for /f "tokens=1,2*" %%i in ('reg.exe query "%_key%" /se "%_dlm%" /v %_val%') do (
    if /i "%_val%" equ "%%i" if /i "%_type%" equ "%%j" (
    echo "%_val%"="%%k"
    set _str=%%k
    if defined _str call :proc
    ) )
    exit /b

    :proc -----------------------
    call set _tmp="%%_str:%_dlm%=" "%%"
    for %%i in (%_tmp%) do if /i "%_sr%" equ %%i (
    echo value "%_val%" already contains %%i
    exit /b
    set _str="%_str%%_dlm%%_sr%"
    echo new:
    echo "%_val%"=%_str%
    reg.exe add "%_key%" /s "%_dlm%" /v %_val% /t %_type% /d %_str% /f

  31. your down load link is broken are you taking the system restore point from the reg of win xp and adding it to 2003 can you help me please thank you or email me the files cheers

  32. hi, where i could not able to download systemrestore.zip from any link. Please send the active link to download systemrestore.zip fee.

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