System Restore is creating restore points but I cannot use it to restore to one of those points. I had this problem with XP too and, if I remember correctly, the only thing that would fix it was a repair install or a reinstall of the OS.
I'm running Windows 7 32-bit. When I first got this PC (HP), I noticed that System Restore would not work a day or two after I got it when I tested SR (because I had problems with it with XP). I reinstalled the OS and that fixed it but, at some point, it broke again. I don't know how long it took to break again because I haven't tested SR since then (about 6 months ago). I do not want to do a repair install, if possible, because I am sure that SR will just break again and I can't keep doing repair installs. Instead, I want to find out what's causing the problem and fix it permanently. I have searched many forums about this problem and done everything possible that was recommended in those forums. I have turned off SR, re-booted and turned it back on, run sfc /scannow, and all kinds of other things with no luck. I do not have the SR.inf file that some people say to locate, right-click on and reinstall SR. When I search for it, my hidden files are visible. The System Shadow Copy service is on manual and running. I set it to automatic but that didn't help. It is set to manual on my other machines too and SR works fine with them. SR also fails when run in Safe Mode. The event log shows the following error for the SR attempt I made last: "The restore point was damaged or deleted during the system restore (Windows Update)"
I thought that the problem might be caused by one of my security programs but SR works properly on my wife's W7 laptop and my XP netbook, both of which have identical security software installed.
I have found many forums where people are having the same problem and are getting the same error message but I have not found a fix that works.
Please don't ask me why I am using SR. I mean absolutely no disrespect but I have noticed that that is asked in many forums where this problem is raised and the result is invariably that the thread gets side-tracked about the pros and cons of SR in general. I'll just say that I have found SR to be a valuable and convenient tool to fix certain problems before resorting to more involved fixes. I know what SR is, what it will do, and how and when to use it. In this case, I wasn't using SR to fix a problem, I was just testing it to see if it works because I have had problems with it in past.
If anyone knows of a fix for this problem short of a repair install, I would greatly appreciate it and I'm sure many other people would as well.