Something like Norton or my personal favourite Acronis True Image may be the way to go. System restore is a bit fickle sometimes and does not always produce the desired effect as it can transfer the fault to the restore depending on what it is.
if you turned system restore off (??)and rebooted you would surely have lost ALL previous restore points and need to create one now; if that is what you did you will I beleive have lost all you may have had
Yes, and what is particularly annoying is that you can choose a restore point and set the restore process going and it's not until the end that it tells you it couldn't restore. Will another restore point work? You have to try each one to see. (And in my experience if one doesn't work, the others won't either.)
Surely the program could incorporate a check on the validity of a restore point BEFORE you attempt a restore?