7 Methods to Fix Backup Location Could Not Be Found

Posted by @Cody

April 20, 2017

Solutions to the error: The specified backup location could not be found or is not a supported backup storage location, received while performing system state backup.

The Scenario

When you try to backup system state with Windows Server Backup or Wbadmin command on Windows Server 2003/2008/2012 (R2)/SBS 2003/2008/2011, you may receive the following error message:

"The specified backup location could not be found or is not a supported backup storage location."

Backup Error

The Causes

There are many reasons that can cause the problem that the specified backup storage location is invalid.

  • Insufficient space on the specified drive.
  • Incorrect Wbadmin command.
  • Bad sectors.
  • Volume Shadow copy Service (VSS) failure.
  • Incompatible programs.

The Solutions

It is hard to find which reason that caused this error, so you may try one or more steps to fix this error.

1. If the destination drive, which has to be NTFS format, and has no sufficient space, you can delete files using Disk Cleanup with your user account. You can also check if you have permission to write on the drive. If the drive is Read Only, you can reconnect the drive or run the system state backup from the command line.

2. If you receive the error when starting system state backup using Wbadmin command, please check whether the command you entered is correct. Windows does not support specifying a folder as backup target Syntax, you will get this error if the command used includes the folder name. You cannot exclude the local destination partition to store the system state backup, which will be automatically excluded. Syntax to start system state backup:

Wbadmin start systemstatebackup -backupTarget:<VolumeName> [-quiet]


Wbadmin start systemstatebackup –backupTarget:f:

3. Check bad sectors on your disk. Type CMD on the Start page and press Enter. In the pop out command prompt, type in the following command: “chkdsk /p” and press enter to scan the disk. Then type “chkdsk c: /f /r” and press Enter. “/f” means to fix errors on the disk and “/r” means to locate bad sectors and recover readable information.

4. Check if VSS is enabled and running smooth. In an elevated Command Prompt, type “vssadmin list writers” and press enter. Then you will see all writers registered with VSS.

5. Some software you installed on your computer may lead a conflict with system state backup. You boot you computer in Safe mode with command prompt to start system state backup. ManageEngine AssetExplorer is one of the software known that might cause this issue. Just uninstall the program and run the backup again if you have installed this software.

6. Share your target drive as a network drive and select the via network drive as your backup destination location.

7. Use software to backup. If you still cannot fix the error that the specified backup location could not be found after trying all these steps above, you can use third-party Windows Server backup software, AOMEI Backupper Server, instead. AOMEI Backupper Server, one of the best solutions for Windows Server backup, you can backup to any location path as long as it is accessible in Windows, no matter the partition is formatted with NTFS, FAT32, FAT16, EXT2, EXT3 or other file systems.

Besides that, you can restore system/disk backup between GPT and MBR disk or even restore to dissimilar hardware; you can use System Clone or Disk Clone to upgrade hard disk with SSD; and you can perform offline restore via bootable rescue media or AOMEI PXE with Backupper. What’s more, AOMEI Backupper can run on Windows Server 2003/2008/2012 (R2)/SBS 2003/2008/2011 or Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista with four different editions to meet both Windows PC and Server users’ needs.