Backup Error (shadow volume) trying to backup System State

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OS WinXP Pro
Trying to backup the registry using the utility backup from system tools.
error =
"Error returned while creating the volume shadow copy:Catastrophic failure."

Research shows that it is possible to turn off the volume shadow feature .. but not if the backup includes the System State selection.

I have an ethernet connection to an ADSL modem and a 40gb hard drive in two partitions c: and d: with about 20gb used in total.

Any help much appreciated ..
 
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