How to manually Enable System Restore on Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.

April 27th, 2012 by Andrea Matesi 66403 Views


If you're into Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Workstation (or if you're just a curious "Dreamspark" student…), you may wish to try and use this slick but crude and efficient Microsoft Server OS as a Workstation OS.

AND Microsoft Hyper-V is a welcome new entry to the virtualization market: rest assured it's gonna be lots of fun at the backoffice!

Are you nuts?

Where to install that spare copy of Windows Server 2008 R2? On your laptop, where else did you expect?!

Beware — MS Windows server with the Hyper-V role on a laptop is unsupported by Microsoft and what I'm documenting here is just a dirty hack.

There are inconveniences to be aware of, for one, if you enable the Hyper-V Role on your laptop, it will become "just another desktop", since Hyper-V messes with ACPI and disables the "Hybernation" & "Sleep" features (ie.your laptop won't sleep/hibernate anymore, not even after you try and enable it from the CLI).

That said, there's another hack which allows you to disable the Hypervisor at boot time (then you may manually launch it from inside Windows) -- but that's just another hack, isn't it!?

Macadamia, thanks!

By playing with Hyper-V, your system "complexity" increases exponentially (ie. by adding VMs), so it's important you plan for backup to prevent a stupid "desktop" software to break your perfectly working config (that's exactly what happened to me recently!).

Digressing a lil' bit, someday I ended up installing my "Sony DSLR Original Drivers CD" on my Hyper-V laptop.

After a reboot, my system hung…I mean, "5#it happens", what do you do on those cases? Restore an ENTIRE Hypervisor OS from backups because of a flaky desktop application not designed for server OSs?

Clearly System Restore would've helped solve this silly little issue in a pinch (ie. by restoring the system to a previous state).

Here's some good macadamias: How to manually Enable System Restore on Windows Server 2008 R2.

To enable System Restore on your MS Win Server 2008 R2 SP1, there are some extra precautions to be taken, follow me and I'll show you how to enable it step-by-step!

1) Enable the Windows Backup Feature and all the related sub-features then REBOOT your system.

This can be done through the CLI:

-- Open an elevated command prompt (Win+R, cmd then CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER).

-- type the following commands:

dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:WindowsServerBackup
dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:WindowsServerBackupCommandlet
shutdown -r

The first two commands will enable the "Backup role", while the third one will reboot your system (if not already proposed by the last dism-command…).

2) Register to www.win2008r2worstationforum.com

3) Go to http://www.win2008workstation.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=1321&sid=f63589f0435ec11abd4e4faf93328ae2&start=40 and Download "System Restore V2.zip" from page 5, then thank the author "halladayrules" for making this available — (alternatively you can get my copy of it: System Restore V2.zip).

4) Manually execute one by one the commands inside the "install.bat" script (i.e.: manually copy the files from folder to folder then run regsvr32 WITHOUT the /S(ilent) parameter).

5) [OPTIONAL] ONLY IF you have a DHCP SERVER ENABLED (I did!), there's a bug that needs to be taken care of.

This fix should be applied to the registry — basically you'll need to allow the "NETWORK SERVICE"-user "Full Control" permissions.

Open the registry with "regedit" then locate the "Diag" subkey (navigate through HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS).

Now you should grant the "NETWORK SERVICE" FC permissions to the VSS key.

To grant the "NETWORK SERVICE" FC permissions, Right Click on the Diag subkey then selecet "Properties" and make sure the "NETWORK SERVICE"-User is present — for additional details, check this out: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsserver2008r2general/thread/589f71f3-5eb5-4b07-a3f1-4c8aec36736c

6) At this step, go to your %systemdrive%, look for the hidden folder "System Volume Information", Right Click on it then allow FC permissions to the "Administrators"-Group (if you get an error which says permissions couldn't be granted or similar, simply ignore).

7) Now Right Click on "Computer", Select "Properties", "Advanced Settings" and finally you'll find the ("missing") System Protection tab.

Creating a New System Restore Point.

8) Configure it to your liking then test it by creating a new System Restore Point.

Successfully Created A New System Restore Point!

By following the procedure from start to end, you shouldn't encounter any problems, if you do, then Google is your friend, mate!


So…What's the "System Volume Information"-folder for? Now you know… :D

Posted in dirty hacks, Microsoft, System Administration, Tips and Tricks. | 14 Comments »

14 responses to “How to manually Enable System Restore on Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.”

  1. David BNo Gravatar says:

    Great article! Both download links on win2008workstation and yours can't be found for "System Restore V2.zip". Do you have another download location or would you mind emailing it to me? This would be a big help!
    Thanks -- DB

  2. AugustNo Gravatar says:

    I, too, did not find "your" copy of the file, but I did find it in the forum. I had to register first.

  3. LukeNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for this!  I tested this with Windows Server 2012 and it works.  I pulled the files from Windows 8 64-bit and so far so good!

  4. LukeNo Gravatar says:

    I spoke too soon.  I created a restore point and tried to restore it.  I got an error for WsmRes.dll, which was already present in the OS.  I tried copying in the associated files from Windows 8, but still got the same error:
    System Restore failed to process the file (windows\syswow64\wsmres.dll) reported by system writer.
    An Unspecified error occurred during System Restore (0x81000103)

  5. MeganNo Gravatar says:

    Learn English properly.  That's some sort of crappy pidgin.

  6. PankajNo Gravatar says:

    where is this file System Restore V2.zip…
    please upload it asap.

  7. EclecticNo Gravatar says:

    The link to the file is renewed!
    Here http://www.pwrusr.com/wp-content/uploads/System Restore V2.zip

  8. EclecticNo Gravatar says:

    By the way this solution is just great -- simply works!

  9. marcusNo Gravatar says:

    really wanted to have my system restore on my windows server r2008.

    I had updated the system and for some reason my server keeps restarting by itself, and i keep getting this error message that was something wrong with my hard drive or something like this. thanks for the zip file mate.

  10. EclecticNo Gravatar says:

    Does anybody know how is it possible to recover from a restore point when system is unable to load. I tried to launch rstrui.exe from cmd under Repair option of the installation disk. But the program was unable to find any points done in the system… probably because the drive letters are different under recovery option compare to mormal system work.

  11. HBNo Gravatar says:

    You can use MS DaRT v8.x.

    This is the MS Disaster and Recovery CD that is based on the WinPE / BartPE / ERDC…