The irritating problem of missing “Folder Options” under Tools menu in Windows XP has become an epidemic now a days. Most common cause to this problem is a virus/worm infection like the (in)famous Brontok worm etc. Whatever be the cause, you can re-enable “Folder Options” to show-up again by following the steps given below:
Launch Registry Editor by typing regedit in RUN dialog box and press enter, now navigate to the following key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / Software / Microsoft / Windows / Current Version / Policies / Explorer
After clicking on explorer, look in the right-side pane, check whether a DWORD value named “NoFolderOptions” exists or not? If it exists then either change its value to 0 (zero) or delete it.
However it is advisable that you first scan your computer with a good and updated antivirus software (Avast is free and best) and remove any infection if detected. Sometimes Registry Editor is also disabled by the virus giving warning message (Registry Editor has been disabled by your administrator), in that case you have to first re-enable the Registry Editor. To do this, read this post.