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Windows 7: Restore taking forever

29 Jul 2011   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 
Restore taking forever

I just got a new laptop and after doing all the Windows and drivers updates, an annoying problem started. It wasn't anything serious, but I wanted to get rid of it. After failing to diagnose the problem I decided to use System Restore.

I'm at the screen that reads "Please wait while your Windows files and settings are being restored. System Restore is restoring the registry..." and there's a spinning blue circle, but it's been like this for over two hours now (I read on forums that it shouldn't take more than an hour). I tried powering off, but it just puts the computer to sleep/hibernate mode. When I power back up, I'm back at the "Please wait while your Windows files..." screen.

What should I do at this point? Please help!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Jul 2011   #2

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

I would try this:
Using Last Known Good Configuration

In future it's a good idea to have an image backup on a USB drive. Here's a list of free image backup programs:

Free Hard Disk Backup and Restore, Hard Disk Image and Cloning Utilities (thefreecountry.com)

Trouble is if you get hung part way through a restore you can have half your system back to the restore point and half not. I'd try Last Known Good first. If that doesn't work you may have to try booting the install disc and doing a repair.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2011   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

So I figured out how to "shut down" at that screen (hold the power button for 10 seconds). I rebooted and Lenovo ThinkVantage tried to "fix" Windows, but was unable to do so. I shut it down again, and powered it back up into Windows 7. Because I'm not sure if any damage was done, I went to System Restore to undo the last restore, and now I'm back at that dreaded "Please wait..." screen (20 minutes and counting). Why do they even have this function?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MilesAhead View Post
I would try this:
Using Last Known Good Configuration

In future it's a good idea to have an image backup on a USB drive. Here's a list of free image backup programs:

Free Hard Disk Backup and Restore, Hard Disk Image and Cloning Utilities (thefreecountry.com)

Trouble is if you get hung part way through a restore you can have half your system back to the restore point and half not. I'd try Last Known Good first. If that doesn't work you may have to try booting the install disc and doing a repair.
Yes, I should have done an image backup when I got the machine (especially since they didn't give me a Windows 7 disc), but I didn't have a spare USB drive handy. As for using the last known good configuration, it wasn't really an option before since the problem I mentioned earlier is really minor and wasn't even considered a problem by Windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Jul 2011   #4

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Should I end up interrupting System Restore yet again, and boot back into Windows 7, are there any tests I can run to make sure that no damage was done and everything is running properly?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2011   #5

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brado View Post
Should I end up interrupting System Restore yet again, and boot back into Windows 7, are there any tests I can run to make sure that no damage was done and everything is running properly?
All I can suggest is use it and see if it acts normally.
When I suggested making a backup image I didn't mean a factory restore to get back to the out of the box state. What I mean is, once you have the system back to normal, use an image backup program to save the state as it is right when you do the backup.

I do image backups every couple of days. That way if I have to restore I only lose a couple of days of tweaks and changes.

If you keep your system partition lean the restore can be as quick as 40 minutes or so with USB 2.0 drives. If you set up something with USB 3.0 support then you could cut it down to around 15 minutes.

It's way better than wiping everything and going back to square one.

Check out Macrium Reflect
as an example of one such program.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2011   #6
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Like with the above I don't think there are any guarantees.
You do need to deal with the following:
1) The OS gets totally screwed up by whatever (eg. a virus)
2) Your HDD dies

You need to be able to do a restore to factory condition or a clean install on rare occasions. Whoever sold you the PC needs to tell you this or provide us with more information.

More generally imaging and reimaging solves 1) & 2)
Have a look at these tutorials if you haven't already
Using Windows imaging:
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
System Image Recovery
Using Macrium:
Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jul 2011   #7

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Brado,

At this point in time--
does your computer boot up normally? yes or no

If no, please describe what is happening now. The past is of no concern.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2014   #8

Win 7 Pro 64
 
 
This happened to me.

I know this is an old thread but this is the top hit on Google for this problem, and I thought my experience might help somebody.

I ran System restore (Win 7 Pro 64) and it was running for 30mins+ and didn't seem to be going anywhere. And this was my work laptop and I needed to get on with stuff.

So with great trepidation I powered it off. I was convinced I would need to do a reinstall. But surprisingly, after it ran ChkDsk on drive C: which took a while, it came back up normally. A message popped up saying the last Restore had failed but all my files and settings hadn't been changed!.

Phew! Much relief all round. Good job Microsoft! (not often you'll read that!). I really thought my installation was toast.

As to why I had the problem in the first place, I think it's a case of manufacturer installed crapware plus too much stuff was loaded on it when it was setup at work, like four versions of Visual Studio and several versions of SQL Server, and a load of other stuff. When I get time, I'm going to vape it and re-install from a clean MS Win 7 Pro iso, and just install what I actually need - less is more in my case.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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