"I decided to try to restore Windows 10 to a restore point after getting the 'critical error' message that the start menu was not working. Now, it's obvious that system restore is stuck on the 'System restore is initializing' for nearly two hours. Windows say I cannot interrupt the restore process, what can I do now? Thanks."
When trying system restore, you may get stuck sometimes. You probably stuck on initializing or stuck on restoring files. If you happen to meet Windows 10 system restore stuck issue, do not be panic, you can refer to this article and find solutions here.
How to fix Windows 10 system restore stuck on initializing?
First of all, when your computer gets stuck on system restore, it is recommended to wait for some more time as sometimes it takes a longer time if the data is more on the computer. If Windows 10 system restore still stuck on initializing or restoring files, then you will have to force shut down the computer, restart and check for status. If you return to the same screen, then follow the methods provided below.
Method 1. Boot your computer from Safe Mode with Networking
If you have Windows 10 installation media, that is fine, and follow these steps. If not, you can go to the Microsoft software download website and create Windows 10 installation media on a working PC first.
Insert the installation media you created, and then restart your PC.
On the Install Windows screen, select Repair your computer.
On the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot. From there, you can use Safe Mode. Select Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart.
After your PC restarts, select 5 or F5 to restart your PC in Safe Mode with Networking.
After the system boots in Safe Mode with Networking, try to perform a System Restore.
Method 2. Run Startup Repair
This method applies to computer runs normally after forcing shutdown, but gets stuck for another system restore attempt. One of the possible reason that cause system restore stuck is that the boot manager is corrupted. You can fix this by simply run repairs through Startup Repair.
To run Startup Repair, restart your computer. When your PC restarts, you'll see a screen titled "Choose an option," click Troubleshoot, and then Advanced options. Click Startup Repair from Advanced options.
How to fix system restore stuck on restoring files in Windows 10?
Run SFC scans
Open an elevated command prompt. At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER: sfc /scannow.
If there is corrupted file, you can view the details of the System File Checker process and the corrupted file and replace it with a good copy of the file.
Run system restore from safe mode
To open System Restore in Safe Mode, follow these steps:
Boot your computer
Press the F8 key before the Windows logo appears on your screen
At Advanced Boot Options, select Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Type: rstrui.exe and press Enter.
Follow System Restore instructions to restore your computer by choosing an available restore point from the list.
System restore vs. system image backup
System Restore cannot be used as image backup. System Restore only backs up critical system files, not your user data such as photos, music, office files and such. As mentioned above, System Restore does stuck or fail sometimes. If something goes wrong and you’re unable to recover from a good Restore Point and you don’t have an alternate backup available, you’re hapless.
Protect your computer with AOMEI Backupper
AOMEI Backupper is a professional software that designed for backup and restore. Compare with Windows built-in backup tools, it provides you a more flexible way to backup. You can create incremental backup. Let’s see how to protect your computer with AOMEI Backupper. Free download AOMEI Backupper, install and open this software.
Step 1. At the main interface, click Backup, then System Backup.
Step 2. It will automatically choose the source (including system reserved partition if there is) for you. You just need to choose another location as destination path. It is suggested to backup computer to external hard drive, NAS, cloud. It is not recommended to backup to internal hard drive.
Step 3. You can click Backup Option to set compression, email notification, etc. Click Schedule to set automatic backup based on four modes: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event trigger respectively.
Step 4. At last, click Start Backup.
To make a summary, when you meet Windows 10 system restore stuck issue, you can use above mentioned methods to solve this issue. But as far as I am concern, system restore cannot be used as a long-term policy to protect your computer because it does not restore your personal files and it will disappear if the primary hard drive goes bad.
To have a better protection for your computer, it is vital to have an image backup. And with the image backup, you can restore your system to previous state whenever you want. You can even restore to a dissimilar hardware with Pro edition if there is problem with your hardware.