Last summer I purchased a Gateway PC with Vista Home Premium. It comes with Norton 360. Everything was fine until mid-December, when I noticed an icon in the system tray at the lower right indicating that the last automatic backup had failed. I checked it, and the problem was attributed to a failure of the "shadow copy".
Not knowing what was going on, I tried using the System Restore program. It refused to run, claiming a failure to produce a shadow copy.
Shortly after that I had discovered that the PC refused to acknowledge that a printer was connected to it. It refused to have anything to do with printers, claiming that the "printer spooler" was not running. Everything else worked fine.
I tried all the home remedies I could find. I ran the sfc/scannow program - it said it had found some corrupt files that could not be repaired. I tired the Microsoft "Fix-It" program on the printer - it said that the printer spooler would not work and could not be restored.
I tried some method I found on one of the Microsoft help pages to get the printer spooler ot start working again, but was unsuccessful.
Trying to boot up in safe mode didn't help either.
Finally I gave up and put in the emergency disks, wiping everything clean. Everything seemed to be fine after that, although the sfc/scannow program still told me there were corrupt files that could not be fixed.
Two weeks laterI was sitting by the PC and noticed a spinning icon in the system tray. It indicated that some sort of scan was taking place. And after that, several icons in the system tray disappeared. Same thing happened - System Restore won't work, and the PC won't accept printers because of the printer spooler.
To add to the fun, I saw a message that Windows was not activated and to click on a link to activate it. Clicking on the link only produced another error message.
So I got the bright idea of trying to reboot. Complete failure, PC wouldn't do a thing. So I had to run the emergency disks again.
So I have the following questions. First, just what is the "shadow copy" and the "printer spooler"? Are these files shown in Windows Explorer, or something imbedded with Vista?
Second, can anyone tell me why this has happened - not just once but twice? I thought the first time it was caused by a fluke or something bad I had picked up over the Internet, but I can't think of anything I did personally to cause these programs to quit working, especailly so soon after restoring the operating system. Is there an event log somewhere that can tell me?
Third, and maybe most important, is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening again? Could Norton 360 possibly have something to do with it? If it does happen again, is there anything I can do to repair the damage other than running the emergency disks?