Since you didn't tell us what five methods you used, I have to ask about disk space you have allotted to System Restore. In Control Panel, System, click the Restore tab. Where is the slider? If it's too far to the left/minimim you may not have enough disk space allotted.
I am having a problem using system restore.
The only "bold" date available, as an earlier date, is today's date.
I have tried all 5 methods from Microsoft's system restore help and suppport page for WindowsXP, to no avail.Each tells me that System restore is working.
I used the one date (today) that was avaialable and it "restored" without a problem.
How can I get the calendar to show an earlier date?