Question : System Restore not working, and cannot repair it

System Restore will not work in my WIndows XP

1. Windows XP Pro SP3
2. No System Restore tab visible.
3. When I try to run rstrui.exe on the command line I get "System Restore is not able to protect your computer.  Please restart..." etc.
4. System Restore service is not running.  Trying to run it (in Services.msc) gives Error 5: Access is denied.  The RPC services are running
5. Standard repair seems to be to locate sr.inf in the inf folder, right-click and install, which I attempt.
6. When prompted for the various files, I navigate to the SP3 files in the ServicePack folder\i386, but I continually get errors indicating that setup can't copy the file.
7. When I check, the files in question (most starting with "sr..." appear to be in use, and "access denied", even in Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
8. I've even reinstalled Service Pack 3, but to no avail.
9. Avast is installed, but everything turned off (no services etc.)

I need some help!

Answer : System Restore not working, and cannot repair it

backup the restore points, then run sfc /scannow from the run box - or a repair install :
then copy the restore points back, and test again

if it does not work then i fear you're in for a fresh install
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