Q: I am running 64-bit Windows 7 on a computer with a 250-gigabyte solid-state drive and a 1-terabyte hard drive.

Disk 0, the SSD drive, contains two partitions — Data (the system volume created by Windows at setup) and C:. The Data partition contains a 100-megabyte file and is 95 percent full. When I attempt to create a disk image with the backup and restore, I get an error message that there is not enough disk space to create the volume-shadow copy of the storage location.

From researching this on the Web, I found the issue appears to be that each partition must have enough free space to create a shadow copy before a disk image can be created. Apparently, there needs to be 50 megabytes available on the data partition to create the shadow copy.

I tried one solution, which was to delete the change journal file on the data partition. This freed up a few megabytes, but not nearly enough space. Another solution that was suggested was to expand the data partition. However, this requires third-party software and I am reluctant to try this. Another suggestion was to get a third-party disk-imaging program.

What do you suggest? It appears from reading the Web that a number of people have this issue and it also occurs in Windows 8.

Why doesn’t Microsoft fix this issue?

— Jon Mueller

A: I remember when Microsoft got in a lot of trouble for building functionality into Windows that used to be delivered via third-party applications. Remember Netscape?

I’m not surprised that you can’t do a disk image with only 5 percent free space on the partition, though I am surprised at the sizes of those partitions. Windows doesn’t set partition sizes during installation, so we can’t put responsibility for that on Microsoft.

I agree with the advice you received to expand the disk partition. A number of programs are available, some of them are free. I have used PartitionMagic in the past without encountering any problems.

I do urge you, however, to back up your critical data to an external drive before using any disk-altering software.

Q: I am running Vista Service Pack 2 and I use Microsoft Security Essentials. I also was running Malwarebytes (the free version).

Recently the program has become unresponsive after running a scan. After looking at the information for Microsoft Security Essentials, I wonder if I need to run Malwarebytes also. Thank you for your very informative column.

— Gary Johnson

A: First, I prefer Malwarebytes Antimalware. In my experience, it has caught malware that MSE missed.

If Antimalware is hanging, it could be caused by, yes, a piece of malware. You’ll want to contact the people at Malwarebytes support. They’ll walk you through recording and sending them a log file so they can see just what’s causing the problem.

Q: Can you tell me how to identify and possibly eliminate a program that updates whenever I click the shutdown option. It says it is “installing update 1 of 1” each time I shut down. It then takes three to five minutes to finally update and shut down.

It makes me nervous because I don’t know what program or function it is updating. I am using Windows 7.

I use Malwarebytes Antimalware and Comcast’s Norton Security Suite for malware and anti-virus protection.

— Ernie Long

A: From your description, it sounds as if it is Windows that is trying to update. And I would suspect that the update isn’t working.

Microsoft offers an automated Windows update troubleshooter that you can access at http://support.microsoft.com/gp/windows-update-issues. In case the troubleshooter doesn’t solve your problem, you’ll also find a list of common problems and fixes on that page.

Questions for Patrick Marshall may be sent by email to pmarshall@seattletimes.com or pgmarshall@pgmarshall.net, or by mail at Q&A/Technology, The Seattle Times, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. More columns at www.seattletimes.com/columnists.