One of the compelling reasons I tell customers and friends for upgrading from Windows XP to Windows Vista is the extremely easy to use yet powerful backup feature. All it takes is three clicks to backup your entire computer to a removable USB storage or DVDs. You can backup a partition or folders to another partition. And the entire backup procedure for few hundred gigabytes of files takes less than an hour the first time itself, after that the incremental backup get done in minutes. The best part is that the backup is stored in VHD (Virtual PC format) format, which is a fully documented and free to use file specification. This means even if Microsoft restore utility is unable to open the VHD file, some 3rd party utility may be able to open it. I have been using the backup feature for nearly a year and I am very pleased with it. Recently when I had trouble with Windows in my Home PC, I restored my backup that was taken few months back – the entire restore process worked flawlessly and my Windows installation was good as new.
Today before I did a routine backup of my Home PC, I wanted to clear some space in the external USB drive. I deleted all the previous backup files in the drive. Then I ran the complete back up. Unfortunately after several minutes the backup utility failed with the following strange error.
The backup did not complete successfully. An error occurred. The following information might help you resolve the error:
The system cannot find the file specified. (0x80070002)
I tried doing Vista Disk cleanup, no use. Doing few Internet searches with the error number 0x80070002 I found a forum post that talked to clean up registry keys in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList that pointed to orphan profile paths. I checked that, in my case all the profiles had correct paths. So that was not the problem. Then one of the forum post talked about running Chkdsk on the drives, I did that. Rebooted the machine. Tried the backup again, this time it went smoothly.
Now my love is back for the Vista Backup tool. I just wish Microsoft wrote the backup utility a little bit more tolerant or instructive error messages for handling these occasions.