I answered a question on a mailing list where the writer wanted to use System Restore, which he had successfully used a number of times before.
Unfortunately, in this case, System Restore only showed the most recent Restore Point — created that particular day. He was convinced that System Restore was turned off, but he couldn’t figure out how to turn it on again.
I wrote that, if I recalled correctly, he was using XP. Windows Vista and 7 have the same functions also, but you get to the right location in a different manner.
In the case of Windows XP, the controls for managing System Restore’s restore point creation are found on the System Restore tab of the System Properties dialog box.
You’ll find it through the route Start Menu > Control Panel > Performance and Maintenance > System. Then, click on the System Restore tab.
That will give you the ability to turn System Restore on or off. If you have multiple partitions on your hard drive or multiple hard drives in your computer (not external hard drives), you can also control whether System Restore works on each drive individually and how much space on the drive System Restore uses.
That last could be his problem He may have System Restore turned on, but have set the System Restore space on C: to be too small to hold more than one restore point.
If click to select a particular hard drive or hard drive partition and then click the "Settings…" button, you can change the amount of disk space that is reserved for System Restore Points. If you don’t click to select a drive or drive partition, Windows XP will select the Windows drive (usually C:).
Below, you can see the minimum space that Windows XP will allocate for C: System Restore Points if System Restore is not disabled based on this particular hard drive partition’s size (97.6 GB). The 0 percent minimum actually means that 200 MB is assigned for storing Restore Points.
The maximum that Windows XP will allocate is 12 percent, or 11,999 MB in this case.
Windows XP’s default setting is 10 percent, which is hails back to the days where drives were much smaller. When Windows XP was first released in 2001, which is when System Restore became a part of the Windows OS, hard drives were typically well under 137 GB.
For that matter, the original Windows XP had a maximum hard drive size of 137 GB. Kind of reminds you of the famous quote "Nobody needs more than 640K," doesn’t it?