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I seemed to have cured the backup problem I’ve been having for a while. I use Dantz Retrospect for backing up - it allows me to do compressed incremental backups and to automatically exclude all those intermediate files that compilers produce like the (increasingly) huge pre-compiled headers. It appears, though, that there is a problem with Windows XP System Restore which was causing the backup to take a long time to start. Having disabled System Restore, all seems to be working fine. I don’t really know under what circumstances I’d want to try a “System Restore” restore so it doesn’t seem like a huge loss. It’s also freed up all that disk space that was being used for the restore points.