System Restore - 0x81000101 shadow copy timeout error Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

I started having very long delays installing or uninstalling ANY program using an msi installer (other installs/uninstalls were fine).  Then I discovered the System Restore point creations were failing with the "The creation of a shadow copy has timed out. (0x81000101).  msi installs/uninstalls still take forever and system restore points fail after all of the below: (however, msi installs/uninstalls work fine if System Restore is Off).


I have tried:


Windows In-place Upgrade (thereafter, completed about 130 Windows Updates)

In Safe Mode, stopped winmgmt, changed Repository directory to old, created new directory, etc.

Turned on and verified Automatic: Windows Backup, Windows Shadow Copy, Volume Shadow Copy, and Task Scheduler and all of their Dependencies

sfc /scannow (tried this before the In-place upgrade; it stated it could not repair something - the cbs.log file is not very helpful)

Disabled Norton 360 Anti-virus and Firewall

Turned off System Protection and turned it back on (with and without restarts)

Update: I tried sfc /scannow after the In-place Upgrade.  After about 10 minutes it said it found corrupt files and successfully repaired them.  The CBS.log stated the corrupt files and registry keys were repaired.  I restarted then tried to create a Restore Point.  Again, same error (creation of shadow copy failed).



NONE of these steps had ANY effect on System Restore Point.  It always fails after about 8-10 minutes with the same error.  I have been working on this for days with countless restarts.


I have System Restore set to 1% of my new Samsung 840 EVO 500GB SSD with over 300GB free.


What in the world is left to do?


Hi Rob,

This issue can be caused due to the Volume Shadow Copy settings.

Let’s try the following methods and check if it helps.

Method 1:

Let us try to disable the antivirus/firewall and check if it is working. If it works, please contact the security program manufacturer for further assistance.

 Antivirus software can help protect your computer against viruses and other security threats. In most cases, you shouldn't disable your antivirus software. If you have to temporarily disable it to install other software, you should re-enable it as soon as you're done. If you're connected to the Internet or a network while your antivirus software is disabled, your computer is vulnerable to attacks.

Method 2:

1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then clickOK.

2. Locate and then click the following key in the registry:


3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD value.
4. Type MinDiffAreaFileSize, and then press ENTER.
5. On the Edit menu, click Modify.
6. Type the size that you want for the shadow copy storage area, and then click OK.

The MinDiffAreaFileSize registry key specifies the minimum size of the shadow copy storage area; the default setting is 300 MB, and the maximum setting is 3 gigabytes (GB). For an accurate setting, specify a value that is a multiple of 300 MB; otherwise, the next multiple of 300 MB will be chosen. A value of 300 is equal to 300 MB, and a value of 3,000 is equal to 3 GB.

Note Shadow copies may not function correctly if the value of the MinDiffAreaFileSize registry subkey is larger than the maximum size of the shadow copy storage area. For example, if you set the registry setting to 1024 MB, backup software will not generate snapshots of the 200 MB system partition. Therefore, before you create the MinDiffAreaFileSize registry subkey, make sure that the diff area file is larger than 300 MB or that the diff area file is larger than the value that is specified in the registry. Also, make sure that you have at least 300 MB of free space on the shadow copy storage volume.

Registry Note: This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry.

Method 3:

Let us check if the Volume Shadow Copy service and its dependecy services are running.

1. Click on start, type in services.msc in start search and hit enter.

2. Locate Volume Shadow Copy service, right click on it and click on start.

3. Right click on it again and Select properties.

4. Go to Dependencies Tab.

5. Note the dependency services.

6. Ensure that they are also running.

7. Right click on it and select start.

8. Repeat the steps 2 to 7 for Windows backup service as well.

Check if the issue is resolved.

Hope this information is helpful.

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Question Info

Last updated September 28, 2020 Views 6,695 Applies to: