Enabling Windows 2003 Server restore points


Restore points in Windows XP has always been an extremely useful feature and I've often wondered why the System Restore Service was never included in Windows 2003 Server. I've never been able to find any official statement from Microsoft, but perhaps it was because a server environment is not intended to be in such a state of flux as that of a desktop. Even so, how accurate is this assumption when you consider the number of Windows updates that you need to install to keep your server environment secure and up to date.

I recently needed to install a load of Windows updates on a remote Windows 2003 Server where there was no chance of me getting physical access in the event something should go wrong. Before proceeding I needed to ensure I was able to quickly and effectively restore the server operating environment. I remembered seeing several guides on how to enable restore points on Windows 2003 Server, however I had never seen any that covered doing this while using a remote desktop connection which is what I'll cover in this guide.

Disclaimer: This guide involves installing a Windows XP Pro service on a Windows 2003 server requiring registry modification, and is in no way recommended or endorsed by either myself or Microsoft. Although I have personally had success using this method, if you chose to implement the steps covered in this guide you do so totally at your own risk!

Configure RDP client

The most obvious problem when trying to install a Windows XP based service such as the System Restore Service on a remote Windows 2003 based server is how to get access to your Windows XP install CD from your server. Luckily, using the standard Microsoft Remote Desktop Client you are able to connect to the local drives on your PC so they are accessible to your remote server. To do this open your Remote Desktop Client and click on the Options button as shown below in figure 1.

Remote Desktop Client client options
Figure 1

Once the options screen appears, click on the Local Resources tab and then click on the More button as shown below in figure 2.

Remote Desktop Client local resources
Figure 2

You'll now be presented with a list of local devices you are able to connect to as shown below in figure 3. Deselect all the devices apart from the drive letter which corresponds to your local CD/DVD drive.

Remote Desktop Client local drives
Figure 3


Anonymous's picture

it was very usefull

this article was really veryyyyy usefull. i did exact same procedure and its working with me 100 % :-)

Thanx a lot Brashquido

Anonymous's picture

Great Ouput

This is a good article to cover every single details. Thx

Anonymous's picture

Restore point in Win 2003

It worked fine as guided. This helped me.

Anonymous's picture


Hello everyone,

God bless the dude who provided this detailed and meticulous guide. I followed the steps and achieved success. I wish I could get in touch with the Guru who did this. I like to learn a few things from him. Please kindly reach me at: . I AM EXPECTING BRO.

It is not official but I believe XP restore point on Win Server 2003 should not hurt.

Good luck to everyone.

Anonymous's picture

Enabling Windows 2003 Server restore points

This is a great solution,this guy must know windows inside out. typical of windows hacking.

Arthur Mtegha

Anonymous's picture


This worked perfectly

Anonymous's picture

Well done!

Thanks, Dominic.

That was a prefect write-up.

I like this solution because it uses my (trusted) XP disk and because I can see exactly what registry edit is being made. With other solutions, I have to know too much about INF and REG files to be sure I'm not downloading something dangerous.

And if this solution went wrong, there's only a single registry value to fix.

But since Windows 2003 and XP are cut from the same cloth, it didn't go wrong - it works perfectly and my server is better protected.


Anonymous's picture

64bit system

This did not work when I installed it on a server 2003 64bit system. The drivers from the 32bit XP disk are not compatible.

Anonymous's picture


it is working fine on my 64bit 2k3 you have to have xp 64bit cd and map to amd64 fold to copy file and window popup did not find dll file the map to the i386.
great work !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous's picture


Superb, thank you!