I seemed to have cured the backup problem I’ve been having for a
while. I use Dantz
Retrospect
 for backing up Рit 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.