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Article ID: 304449 - Last Review: May 22, 2013 - Revision: 5.0

This article was previously published under Q304449

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INTRODUCTION

This article describes how to start the System Restore tool in safe mode by using the Command prompt (SAFEBOOT_OPTION=Minimal(AlternateShell)). This option is used when you cannot start Windows XP.

System Restore is a tool that automatically monitors and records any changes that are made to the core Windows system files and to the registry. If a change causes your system to become unstable, System Restore can undo (or "roll back") the system to a point in time when your computer was known to function correctly.

More information

How to start System Restore by using the Command prompt

Note You must be logged on to Windows with a user account that is a computer administrator to complete these steps. To verify that you are logged on to Windows with a user account that is a computer administrator, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/admin (http://support.microsoft.com/gp/admin)
If a new program has made your computer behave unpredictably, and uninstalling the new program did not help, you can try the Windows XP System Restore tool.

Important If you have not previously set a restore point in System Restore, you cannot restore your computer to a previous state. If you are not sure, or if you have not previously set a restore point, contact Support.

To start System Restore using the Command prompt, follow these steps:
  1. Restart your computer, and then press and hold F8 during the initial startup to start your computer in safe mode with a Command prompt.
  2. Use the arrow keys to select the Safe mode with a Command prompt option.
  3. If you are prompted to select an operating system, use the arrow keys to select the appropriate operating system for your computer, and then press ENTER.
  4. Log on as an administrator or with an account that has administrator credentials.
  5. At the command prompt, type %systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe, and then press ENTER.
  6. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to restore your computer to a functional state.
Note To start the System Restore tool using another safe mode option, visit the Microsoft Help and Support Web site and see the article "A description of the Safe Mode Boot options in Windows XP." For additional information about the Safe mode with a command prompt, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
315222  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315222/ ) A description of the Safe mode boot options in Windows XP

NEXT STEPS

If these methods did not resolve your issue, you may want to ask someone you know for help, or you may want to contact your ISP service or network administrator for help. You can also use the Microsoft Customer Support Services Web site to find other solutions to your problem. Some services that the Microsoft Customer Support Services Web site provides include the following:
  • Searchable Knowledge Base (http://support.microsoft.com/search/?adv=1) : Search technical support information and self-help tools for Microsoft products.
  • Solution Centers (http://support.microsoft.com/select/?target=hub) : View product-specific frequently asked questions and support highlights.
  • Other Support Options (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?pr=csshome) : Use the Web to ask a question, contact Microsoft Customer Support Services, or provide feedback.
If you continue to have problems after you use these Microsoft Web sites or if you cannot find a solution to the problem on the Microsoft Support Services Web site, click the following link to contact Support.
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus (http://support.microsoft.com/contactus)

References

For additional information about the System Restore tool, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
302796  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302796/ ) Troubleshooting System Restore in Windows XP
306084  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306084/ ) How to restore Windows XP to a previous state
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