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Drive letter missing in System Restore settings page?

Published: Jan 30, 2006
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Symptoms

When you open System Restore settings, one or more drive letters may be missing in the list of Available drives. As a result, monitoring may not be enabled for the missing drives.

Solution

There are two ways to fix the problem. In our testing, the first method did fix the problem without removing the existing System Restore points. However, your mileage may vary and there is no guarantee for the existing restore points.

Method 1 - Renaming the drivetable.txt file

Drivetable.txt is the file which holds the System Restore drive letters list, and stores other configuration information such as System Restore space allocation information for each drive. This file is present in one of the sub-folders of the System Volume Information folder, present in the %Systemdrive%

  • Click Start, Run and type %Systemdrive%
  • Select the System Volume Information folder

Note that "System Volume Information" (SVI) folder is super-hidden by default, and you need to configure the Folder Options dialog to show all hidden and protected files.

For NTFS partitions:

If your systemdrive is formatted as NTFS, then you'll need to allow yourself access to the System Volume Information folder and it's sub-folders. To do so, try this:

Right-click System Volume Information folder and choose Properties. Select the Security tab. Add your user account to the list and assign Full Control.

For more information on gaining access to the System Volume Information folder, see MS article How to gain access to the System Volume Information folder

Security tab missing?

If you are running Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, you must start the computer in Safe Mode, and then log on as Administrator, in order to have access to the Security tab.

For Microsoft Windows XP Professional, you need to disable Simple File Sharing in order to see the Security tab. To disable simple file sharing, follow these steps: Click Start, and then click My Computer. On the Tools menu, click Folder Options, and then click the View tab. In the Advanced Settings section, clear the Use simple file sharing (Recommended) check box. Click OK.

  • Then look in for a file named drivetable.txt in one of the sub-folders.
  • Rename the file drivetable.txt to old_drivetable.txt.
  • Undo the above Permissions (again, for NTFS only), and restart Windows.

A new drivetable.txt file will be generated and all the drives will now be monitored by System Restore.

Method 2 - Reinstalling System Restore

Caution: The following procedure will remove all the existing System Restore points, and resets the System Restore drive monitoring options to defaults (monitors all drives by default.)

The following article discusses this method in detail. Please see:

How to reinstall System Restore in Windows XP?

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