Solved Cannot perform System Restore or backup files

Microsoft Windows vista home premium (oe...
March 4, 2010 at 23:12:04
Specs: Windows Vista Home Premium SP2
For the past week, I have not been able to back up files from the Windows Vista "Backup and Restore Center", nor can I perform a System Restore. The “Backup and Restore Center” launches, but gets stuck at 25% completed (I believe at the “Creating disk image” stage?) for at least 3 hours, while it used to only take 10 or 15 minutes to back up files until last week. System Restore attempts to launch, even asking me for administrative permission to open, but seemingly does nothing after 30 minutes. When I attempt to see if the System Restore process is running in Task Manager, my laptop slows down and won’t let me do anything else.

Whenever I try to back up files or perform a System Restore, my laptop immediately slows down to a crawl and I rapidly cannot use any other programs. When this happens, I am forced to restart my computer by holding down the power switch since Task Manager won’t close any programs and I cannot shut down or restart my computer in Vista. A few times after restarting, my laptop has automatically run chkdsk, although I didn’t really pay much attention to the results of those scans. In general, even without trying to back up files or perform a System Restore, my computer runs slower than usual during typical tasks and will sometimes grind to a halt.

I have performed the hard drive memory tests as recommended by Dell hardware support with no reported issues. I have also performed full scans for viruses/malware with McAfee AntiVirus and Malwarebyte AntiMalware. Just to be sure to clean up any issues, I ran chkdsk again, which found a bad sector on the hard drive and repaired it.

Finally, I started up in Safe Mode and tried System Restore. There was no evidence that the program even attempted to open, but this time, I was able to see in Task Manager that the System Restore process was running. Since I couldn’t see any dialog boxes indicating that System Restore was open, I decided to end the System Restore process. When I did that I received the following error message:

“explorer.exe – Application error.
The instruction at 0x749b64da referenced memory at 0xffffffff. The memory could not be read.
Click on OK to terminate the program.”

When I clicked OK, I got the following error message:

“explorer.exe – Application error.
The instruction at 0x00c94eca referenced memory at 0x00000001. The memory could not be read.
Click on OK to terminate the program.”

Although this may be coincidence, these problems seemed to arise around the same time that I updated Windows Vista with several security updates and attempted to defragment my hard drive. I defragmented despite the fact that I was told I didn’t need to, and after it took longer than I expected, I stopped it in the middle. Could either of these things have caused these symptoms, and if not, does anyone know what is wrong? I really need to be able to back up my files! It is important for my research!

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March 9, 2010 at 17:58:47
✔ Best Answer
Whenever you launch the System Restore process, it more or less scans your hard drive to see the state of things. If your hard drive has bad sectors or is performing slowly, then it will take a very long time, or could never actually complete, and therefore never show up.

The Windows Backup and Restore Center is quite useless for me, especially since you cannot restore a single file if it is all you want to restore. It's more or less all or nothing. I much prefer copying the files to a portable/external hard drive where I can be sure I can access a specific one immediately if my computer has a mental breakdown.

One of the most annoying symptoms that I've experienced as a computer tech has been the hard drives that pass all the diagnostics but are performing at well below the normal operating speed. When doing the test while talking to the Dell representative, you should be able to ask about how long they should take. If your test seems to be much longer than normal, I suggest you try and replace the drive. If the drive does not actually operate slower than normal, I still suspect there are problems with it due to the bad sector and the automated scan that Windows did on its own.

If it turns out that the computer hardware is in fact operating properly, then my last suggestion to you is to reformat the computer (do a system recovery). When files get corrupted in the operating system, it can cause all sorts of problems. With the amount of effort that can be spent narrowing down the issue, you could have wiped it clean and installed everything and moved your files back on already.

Lastly, Windows Updates can frequently be the cause (and solution) of users' woes. Considering you cannot run System Restore I can only suggest that you run Windows Update as an alternative to wiping your computer clean and starting anew.

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