System Restore creates restore points on a regular basis even if you have not made any changes to the system. System Restore automatically creates these restore points:
every 24 hours of calendar time or
every 24 hours your computer is turned on If your computer is turned off for more than 24 hours, System Restore creates a restore point the next time you start the computer. The computer must be idle for a few minutes before System Restore creates a scheduled restore point.
Selecting a scheduled restore point restores Windows XP Home Edition and programs to the state they were in at that time. Any files with data file name extensions (such as .doc, .htm, .xls, etc.) and all files in the My Documents folder are not restored.
You can create an Icon on your desktop, which when clicked will instantly force a check point. I have one but I think it was a small program included on a cd with a PC advisor magazine & I don't know the registry setting for it. Maybe somebody ouy there does?
dont know how old your system is but i had a new machine a couple of years ago running ME and asked a forum why mine did not create restore points automatically received advice that it was likely to be a hard drive fault? went to manufacturer who said re install windows as it poses a serious potential prob, two weeks later my hard drive failed altogether while under a tech talk through. ( just thought i would pass on my experiences)
My system is less than 2 years old. I dont have any problems setting a restore point manually, it just will not make any automatically. It usually sets one when I install anything, and I have been able to go back to other restore points in the past. When I looked yesterday there was nothing set for the last few days of November.
If most people get a restore point every day, I must have something set wrong.