Solved Cannot create a restore point

April 5, 2012 at 16:26:03
Specs: Windows 7, 8G RAM, Pentium dual-core E6700 3.2GHz
(Windows 7 Professional, Dell Inspiron 560, 8G RAM, Window Update reports "up to date")
Trying to create a system restore point, I bring up the System Properties dialog box and get the following error box:

There was an unexpected error in the property page:
Catastrophic failure (0x8000FFFF)
Please close the property page and try again.

Closing and retrying doesn't fix it.
Googling, various things are suggested, none help:

"run 'sfc /scannow' as admin" - no problems found ("Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.")

"start 'volume shadow copy' service" - it was and is running, not the problem

"what were you trying to fix, that might be the problem" - I just wanted to create a restore point prior to installing a new program

"your system date is after 2038" - Nope, it's 2012

Both Microsoft Security Essentials and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scans show no problems.

System reboot doesn't help.


See More: Cannot create a restore point

Report •

April 5, 2012 at 17:20:06
""your system date is after 2038" - Nope, it's 2012"

Is your system time set correctly? You cannot set a restore point if it is incorrect.

Report •

April 5, 2012 at 17:27:09
Sorry if I was unclear. The Googled suggestion was that maybe my system date (time) was set to sometime after 2038, which it is not, it is set to the current time and date (2012).

Report •

April 5, 2012 at 21:23:04
✔ Best Answer
A restore point should be made automatically whenever a program or update is installed as well as once a week. If you are able to verify that you actually have these regular restore points, then you may be able to rest easier knowing they are being made for you anyway.

Check if it can do it in Safe Mode. If it can, then there was something running in the background that was preventing it from starting. Check for and eliminate most programs from starting with Windows. Uninstall programs you do not use. If it does not work in Safe Mode, you may want to use one of your earlier restore points to restore your system, then catch up on your updates and recent installs.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

Report •

Related Solutions

April 5, 2012 at 23:44:38
I often use a free utility to create a Restore point when I am in a hurry and I don't feel like going through all the Windows rigmarole and it's called 7RestorerCreator and it's available here: it's also free.

Report •

April 6, 2012 at 17:58:50
Thanks for the reply. You taught me a few things. I didn't know (or forgot) the restore points are automatically created under the conditions you mentioned. (Googling indicated that the 'once a week' only occurs if the other conditions didn't already create a restore point.)

As to the automatically created points, it did create one before installing a program the day of my original post here. That is why I was trying to create a restore point, in case the installation caused a problem. So, my trying to manually create the restore point was redundant. Though I don't know how I would know if a program's installer would cause that to happen. According to an MSDN page (, "provided the application utilizes an installer that is System Restore compliant."

Checking System Restore, there were checkpoints before that program installation, earlier that day for a Windows Update, and for a series of Backups. (The Backups were every week for the last month, but sporadic before that. Curious.)

As to trying in Safe Mode, I will the next time I reboot, which isn't too often, as I typically have a number of things in progress that cause me to not reboot every day. Thanks for the suggestion

Report •

April 6, 2012 at 18:10:02
Thanks for the replies.

As to the rigmarole (which I learned as rigamarole and looking it up see that it is a variant of rigmarole, learn something new every day, thanks), I've avoided that by using a shortcut I created as a START menu item with a target of C:\Windows\System32\SystemPropertiesProtection.exe. That brings me directly to the create restore dialog, oops, I mean directly to the error I was encountering!

Again, thanks.

Report •

April 6, 2012 at 23:45:23
Thanks for getting back to us... glad to see that you have overcome the problem. The shortcut idea is great too, I used it before I found the nifty Restore point maker.

Report •

April 17, 2012 at 12:26:37
I finally had a chance to reboot my machine, into safe mode. Creating a restore point seems to require the 'volume shadow copy' service to be running. It is not running under safe mode and cannot be started in safe mode. So, it appears to me, that a restore point cannot be started in safe mode, by definition. (While I cannot find that explicitly stated, it has been said that if one does restore to a restore point, that a new one is created so that you can undo the restoration, and that one cannot undo the restoration if you do so in safe mode, probably implying that it is not possible because a restore point cannot be created in safe mode.)

I'll select answer #3 as "best", even though it doesn't solve the problem, but I learned the most from it. Thank you to both of you who replied.

Report •

Ask Question