Find out why shortcuts can hamper hard disk backups
The change went smoothly but when I now run a full backup of my main drive to this external drive, it stalls at about 75 per cent of the way through. An error message appears to say that the backup was unsuccessful, with an error code of 0x81000037.
I now wish I had left the drive unchanged as Fat 32. Can you help me sort this out? I really don't want to have to reformat the hard disk, as I would lose a lot of valuable data.
A We see how this problem may seem to relate to your decision to upgrade the drive from Fat 32 to NTFS, but we believe this is just a coincidence.
In fact, this particular error code relates to an attempt to back up any Windows 7 Library that happens to contain shortcuts to other folders or files. In the simplest explanation we can muster, this is because Windows 7's Libraries are themselves shortcuts, rather than ‘real' folders.
When the Windows Backup application encounters one of these ‘shortcuts within a shortcut', it gets confused and gives up – displaying the error message you have seen.
One option is to root out the offending file or files from the Libraries then delete or move them as appropriate. As the problem has arisen recently, explore any newly added files and folders but understand that looking for the culprit could prove difficult – especially if the Libraries point to many files and folders.
The easiest method is to exclude Windows 7 Libraries from the backup and instead focus Windows Backup on the real locations of your files and folders.
Of course, you may have set one or more Libraries as default save locations for various applications. Indeed, you may be reliant on the use of Libraries and be unaware that your files and folders don't really live in the various Libraries ‘folders'.
However, as we said, Windows 7 Libraries are really nothing more than shortcuts to ‘real' locations for files and folders. To find out where your files really are, right-click on a Library and choose Properties from the pop-up menu.
The dialogue box that appears lists all the real folders that comprise the Library: note these down and add them directly to your backup schedule in Windows Backup. Remove any Libraries from the backup or the problem will recur.
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