By default, System Restore is turned on in Windows XP. If you have multiple hard drives, System Restore will grab 10% of each hard drive for its “restore point” storage.
Some people do not like System Restore or do not like it reserving large portions of their hard drive. Sometimes they turn off System Restore (which you can do for each individual hard drive partition) and sometimes they reduce the amount of space it can use.
There is another time you should turn off System Restore, at least temporarily. When you turn off System Restore for a drive, that act deletes all of the restore points for that drive. Then, you can turn it back on.
So, why would you want to do that? If you need to clean up a virus, trojan, spyware or adware, you need to delete the restore points — so you don’t restore it again at a future date. The safest way to do it is to do the cleanup and then turn off System Restore (deleting earlier restore points). Then, turn it back on and make a restore point.
One of my readers wrote to ask:
I want to turn “system restore” back on in xp and I don’t remember how.
Would you help me out?
If you want to make changes to System Restore, whether to change the space used on each drive, or to turn it on or off, you go to the same place to make the changes.
Start / Control Panel / Performance and Maintenance / System
This opens the System Properties dialog box.
Pick the System Restore tab.
In the dialog box, if one is “Turned off”, you can select the drive and then click the Settings button. Uncheck “Turn off System Restore on this hard drive”
Then, select how much of the drive you want to use for System Restore, and click OK.
Click OK on the System Properties dialog box to close it.