Q: After I upgraded my HP laptop from Windows 7 to Windows 10, I noticed that it wasn’t possible to use the computer’s “system restore” feature that lets you return the PC’s settings to an earlier time if you encounter a problem. Although Windows 10 was supposed to automatically create “restore points” (dates in the past to which you can return the PC’s settings), it didn’t. And when I tried to manually create a restore point I got a “0x80042308” error. What should I do?

Lee Sherman, Fernandina Beach, Fla.

A: System Restore is valuable because it allows you to “undo” software installation mistakes. Fixing it is a must. Based on the error code you’re seeing, the problem is probably caused by a non-Microsoft program that is interfering with the Windows 10 “Volume Shadow Copy Service.”

Volume Shadow Copy is a Windows 10 feature that allows you to make safe backups of your PC’s hard disk while data are still being written on the disk. If you have another backup program that does the same thing, the two may be clashing. Consider turning off that feature in the non-Microsoft program.

To fix System Restore, Microsoft recommends repairing Windows 10 with a “recovery disk,” sometimes called an “installation disk.” Despite the word “disk” in the name, the recovery software is typically downloaded to a flash drive. To do that, go to the search window at the lower left corner of the screen and type “create a recovery drive,” and in the resulting menu click on that app. Then follow the directions at tinyurl.com/o55qljl.

When the download finishes, you can use the flash drive to make repairs to Windows 10. There are directions for two different repair methods at tinyurl.com/zeutf8r.

Last week’s column about how to regain the use of nonfunctioning Windows 10 apps (tinyurl.com/gq3wdxj) may have left readers confused. I quoted a “powershell” computer command that unfortunately had a portion missing, which meant that it wouldn’t work. Here is the correct computer command to repair Windows 10:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers |Where-Object {$_.InstallLocation -like “*SystemApps*”} |

Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode

-Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}


Q: I’m an old video producer who has still been using Windows XP. But now I need to upgrade my PC to Windows 7 without risking the loss of my irreplaceable files. Is there any way to upgrade without first saving all my files and then wiping the hard disk during the Windows 7 installation?

Bill McIntyre, Mount Shasta, Calif.

A: You should always back up your files. The disk drive in your old PC isn’t going to keep working forever, and without backups you could lose every file you have.

There is no way to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 (or Windows 10) without wiping the hard disk. But considering the complexity of PC video editing, skip the upgrade and buy a new Windows 10 PC for as little as $300. Then, copy your video files from the backup drive to the new PC and find new video editing programs for Windows 10 at tinyurl.com/z7doeyw.


E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@gmail.com. Include name, city and telephone number.