Error: "To use System Restore, you must specify which Windows installation to restore. Restart this computer, select an operating system, and then select System Restore" on Windows 10

I had a problem with a black screen and wanted to restore Windows 10 to a Restore Point.
I booted into Advanced Recover Options with the DVD image of Windows 10 that I had.
When I looked for a way to see the Restore points that I had created, Advanced Recovery

gave me this notice:

 "To use System Restore, you must specify which Windows installation to restore. Restart this computer, select an operating system, and then select System Restore." 

How can it be asking me to specify which Windows installation when there is only one: Windows 10? 
There is no other operating system in this machine, I just installed Windows 10. And besides, I am not given any options to choose from operating systems, there is no menu at all anywhere. I never created a double boot to different operating systems or anything. 
So, how can I restore the system to a restore point from the Advanced Recovery Options ?
(by the way, the machine, after several start ups, booted into Windows again, but I want to know how I can use Restore Point from the Advanced Recovery Options when it gives me this notice.

Original title: Restoring a Restore Point from Advanced Recovery Options booting from DVD

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Hi Robert,

Thank you for posting in Microsoft Community, we appreciate your interest in Windows 10.

Do let us know the following to assist you better with this issue:

  1. Have you changed the boot option in BIOS to boot from DVD?
  2. What is the make and model of your device?
  3. Were you able to see any error code along with this error message?

I would like to inform that this issue might have occurred when the DVD drive is not recognized on the BIOS to boot from.

Try booting from your installation DVD in UEFI mode and check whether "System Restore" works.

Follow the below steps:

  1. Refer to the device user manual to know the key to enter in to Windows Recovery Environment.
  2. I suggest you to insert the DVD drive, hard restart the computer, and press the key (F2 for DELL users), once the computer manufacturer logo pops-up.
  3. Change the Boot sequence to DVD drive under UEFI firmware settings and Restart.
  4. After your PC restarts, select the boot order and change accordingly by following the information available on the BIOS screen.

BIOS Disclaimer:
Modifying BIOS/ complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) settings incorrectly can cause serious problems that may prevent your computer from booting properly. Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the configuring of BIOS/CMOS settings can be solved. Modifications of the settings are at your own risk.  

For more information: Recovery options in Windows 10

Hope it helps. Reply to the post for further assistance on this issue, we will be happy to help you.

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Here go my answers to your comments/questions:
  1. Have you changed the boot option in BIOS to boot from DVD?
    Sure, I changed the boot order from HD to the internal DVD unit, otherwise the computer would always boot from the Hard Disk.
  2. What is the make and model of your device?
    Aurora Alienware R4. Upgraded from Windows 7 Professional to Windows 10. It was working fine until Windows 10 made automatic updates. The upgrade was done using Windows upgrade icon when it was first offered by Microsoft.
  3. Were you able to see any error code along with this error message?

         No, this is the only error that Windows Recovery was giving me. And this is not a message from the

        computer BIOS but from the Windows Recovery utility.

       I would like to inform that this issue might have occurred when the DVD drive is not recognized on the BIOS to boot from.

        No, the DVD IS recognized on the BIOS

Try booting from your installation DVD in UEFI mode and check whether "System Restore" works.
My installation DVD is the Windows 10 DVD image I made once I downloaded Windows 10.

Follow the below steps:

  1. Refer to the device user manual to know the key to enter in to Windows Recovery Environment.

         The key to enter Windows Recovery is set by Windows 10 not by my computer.  Once I put the DVD image into the reader and boot the computer from the DVD unit, Windows takes me to the Recovery Environment

  1. I suggest you to insert the DVD drive, hard restart the computer, and press the key (F2 for DELL users), once the computer manufacturer logo pops-up.

         That's exactly what I did. And it DID reach the Recovery environment.

  1. Change the Boot sequence to DVD drive under UEFI firmware settings and Restart.
  2. After your PC restarts, select the boot order and change accordingly by following the information available on the BIOS screen.

         1. and 2. above is exactly what I did to enter the Recovery Environment.

My problem is not reaching the Recovery Environment. My problem is that when I want to Restore the Computer to a Restore Point from the Recovery Environment, Windows cannot find any Recovery Point that I had created when I was logged in into Windows.

Thank you

      

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How come nobody seems to know why this message comes out when trying to use a recovery disk and restore the system to a certain point ?

I am so surprised that no one can give light on that matter for which we seem to be a lot to encounter.

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I know this thread is old, but for anyone who might have this question, here's the poop:

rstrui.exe /OFFLINE:C:\Windows 

[Note: There is a space only after rstrui.exe]

Replace C with the drive letter where Windows installation is located, if different.

The way I always check is type: C: \

Then:  dir 

If you see the Users and Program File directories listed, it's C.

If not, check D or E drives.

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Thanks this works.  

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So has anyone else's PC been f***ed lately? Mine just randomly decided to bluescreen three times and then refused to boot beyond BIOS. I'm trying to restore with wbb05's method now... For the moment stuck using Kali from a thumbdrive :p

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Pretty much same thing.  Went out for lunch, came back and now I've been dealing with this all night!

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Mine decided to randomly start having Secure Boot Violations and has a mind of its own swapping Drive letters (C and D flipped).  No luck fixing it yet but I'll report back if I do. 

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It was not fun!  Eventually I found some article that talked about just making the restore drive visible by giving it a drive letter using the command prompt.  I was then able to get the restore to find the Windows OS and repair itself.  Booted straight into windows after that.  

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Any chance you can find that article? 

I've been searching high and low and tried a ton of stuff but that sounds more promising than anything I've tried/done so far.

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Last updated January 24, 2021 Views 64,532 Applies to: