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The "System Protection" tab is not available in Vista Home Premium and Gpedit.msc is not present to activate it. Are there any registry settings I can edit to enable this tab?

I would like to clear prior system restore points so that spyware can't be restored.

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You should be able to use the registry. Under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT create a new key called SystemRestore (if one isn't already there), below that key create a new DWORD value called DisableConfig and set it to 1.

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This didn't work, the tab still isn't there, and all the restore points are. I'll advise the user to not perform a system restore from a restore point earlier than x. – user1016 Jan 29 '10 at 12:55
This won't delete the restore points but rather turn off the feature so it doesn't make more in the future. – John T Jan 29 '10 at 15:07

Our friends over at How-To-Geek created a great tutorial for this. Check it out. This covers windows 7 and Vista.

Disable on Windows Vista

Once you’ve clicked the System Protection link in Control Panel, you’ll see the checkboxes next to your different disks:

enter image description here

Once you uncheck the drive, click the “Turn System Restore Off” button.

enter image description here

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you posted a Windows 7 Screenshot, Vista is different. and eric said the System Protection tab is not present. :) – Molly7244 Jan 28 '10 at 1:18
@Molly: Yep, I was in the middle of getting the pictures to work and linked the wrong one at first. – Troggy Jan 28 '10 at 1:19

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