How to Fix the System Restore Error 0x81000204 on Windows 10/11

System Error
Quick Fix

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Windows 10/11, despite being Microsoft’s best OS, has errors, bugs, and crashes that may require a System Restore. However, users have recently reported encountering System Error 0x81000204 during this process.

What Is the System Restore Error 0x81000204?

Did you encounter the System Error 0x81000204 while performing a System Restore on a Windows 10/11 device? If so, we will provide the most ideal fixes to effectively resolve the problem. If you’re wondering what causes the System Restore Error 0x81000204 on Windows 10/11, several factors lead to this issue. We have thus presented various solutions below which can be applied based on your scenario. To effectively fix the error, it’s ideal to apply these solutions chronologically.

What to Do About the System Restore Error 0x81000204

As indicated above, this issue is caused by many factors. If you’re not sure of the specific cause of the issue, we advise applying these solutions:

  1. Perform CHKDSK
  2. Perform SFC/DISM Scan
  3. Reset System Restore Configurations
  4. Perform a Repository Reset

These are the best solutions that you can apply to fix System Restore Error 0x81000204 in Windows 10/11. Since System Restore reverts your system back into working state in case of an issue, fixing this error is a pressing concern. Without wasting time, let’s get to each of the provided solutions.

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Solution #1: Execute CHKDSK

You can execute this measure by following a few sets of instructions provided below:

  1. Simultaneously press the Windows + R keys to launch the Run Dialog. Type “cmd” (no quotes) in the text field before pressing the Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys simultaneously to activate the Elevated Command Prompt.
  2. Press the Yes button if prompted by the User Account Control (UAC) to give admin rights.
  3. Now, inside the elevated Command Prompt, insert the following command line followed by the Enter button:
    chkdsk /x /f /r
  4. If the message below appears, type Y for the disk to be checked in the next startup.
    Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N)
  5. Once you have performed the process successfully, check if the issue has been resolved.

Solution #2: Execute SFC/DISM Scans

Both SFC and DISM functionalities achieve the same results but using different approaches. The System File Checker replaces any corrupt, damaged, or missing system files with fresh copies from a local cache. Whereas, DISM uses an online Microsoft server to obtain new copies of system files and use them to replace the damaged, missing, or corrupt ones.

We advise using both these approaches for better results. Make sure you reboot the system after completing each of the fixes. Follow the steps below to run SFC/DISM scans to fix System Restore Error 0x81000204 on your Windows 10/11:

  1. In the Desktop bar search field, insert the keyword “cmd” (no quotes), then right-click on the Command Prompt app results to click on Run as Administrator.
  2. Now, inside the elevated Command Prompt window, insert the following line before pressing the Enter key.
    sfc /scannow
  3. The feature will begin to scan the system for any discrepancies. If found, they will be fixed in the next startup.
  4. Reboot the system and launch Administrator: Command Prompt as shown in Step 1.
  5. This time, insert the following command line before pressing the Enter key to launch DISM scan.
    Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
    NB: This feature requires a stable internet connection. Ensure your computer is connected to a good internet service while executing it.
  6. The operation can take about 15 minutes. Do not disturb it to avoid further damage to the system.
  7. When done, reboot the computer and check if the error issue is gone.

Solution #3: Reset System Restore Configurations

To do this, apply the steps below precisely:

  1. Launch Administrator: Command Prompt window as shown in Step 1 of the previous solution.
  2. Now, enter the following commands with each line followed by the Enter key.
    reg delete “HKLM\\SOFTWARE\\Policies\\Microsoft\\Windows NT\\SystemRestore” /v “DisableSR” /f
    reg delete “HKLM\\SOFTWARE\\Policies\\Microsoft\\Windows NT\\SystemRestore” /v “DisableConfig” /f
    reg add “HKLM\\Software\\Microsoft\\Windows NT\\CurrentVersion\\SPP\\Clients” /v ” {09F7EDC5-294E-4180-AF6A-FB0E6A0E9513}” /t REG_MULTI_SZ /d “1” /f
    schtasks /Change /TN “Microsoft\\Windows\\SystemRestore\\SR” /Enable
    vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C: /On=C: /Maxsize=25GB
    sc config wbengine start= demand
    sc config swprv start= demand
    sc config vds start= demand
    sc config VSS start= demand
  3. When done, reboot the machine and attempt the action that caused the error to check if it has been resolved.

Solution #4: Execute Repository Reset

Follow the steps below to effectively execute this approach to fix the System Restore Error 0x81000204 issue:

  1. Launch the machine in Safe Mode, then run Command Prompt with Admin privileges.
  2. In the Command prompt text field, insert the line below and hit the Enter key:
    net stop winmgmt
  3. The above action will deactivate Windows Management Instrumentation Service.
  4. Now, navigate to C:\Windows\System32\wbem and right-click on the repository folder to rename it to repositoryold.
  5. Reboot the system and launch the Command Prompt with Admin privileges again.
  6. This time, insert the command line below and hit enter:
    net stop winmgmt
  7. Then, insert another command line below and hit Enter:
    winmgmt /resetRepository
  8. Reboot the system when done and check if the issue has been resolved.

If the issue occurred after you visited a dodgy site or downloaded an app from an untrustworthy software distributor, we advise installing and running a trusted security software utility. This will help detect any malicious content in your system. Malware has the power to infiltrate sacred system places and tamper with system files, making it difficult to execute System Restore. Keeping the security tool running in the background will also avoid future attacks from such dubious software.

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