Quick Fixes for Windows 10 Backup Failed Error

Posted by @Teresa

June 14, 2018

This post illustrates how to fix Windows 10 backup failed error messages in different situations, system image backup, error codes, I/O device error, shadow copy, etc. Learn the detailed information.

Windows 10 backup failed error

It is a good habit to make backup for all important data including operating system and created files. Windows 10 provides Windows Backup and Restore (Windows 7) and File History for users to backup system and files separately. However, sometimes, you may encounter different error codes and error messages when you perform system image backup and file backup in Windows 10. In a word, Windows 10 backup cannot be completed successfully. The causes are different in different situations. Let’s get to know them one by one.

Tips: you can jump to the “quick fix” at the end of this article directly if you find these solutions are complicated.

How to fix Windows 10 backup keeps failing in different situations?

Although backup failed may be caused by different factors, there are some common requirements for proper Windows 10 backup. Check these solutions first and see if you can run Windows 10 backup successfully.

Universal fixes for Windows 10 backup not working

In the first place, you need to aware that the drive that used to store the backup files should be formatted with NTFS, both internal and external drive. And then, make sure there is sufficient disk space for the backup images. Now, try these remedies:

  • Delete the WindowsImageBackup folder permanently. Or, you can move the backup files to a safe place before deleting if you find it is useful. The folder should be located in hidden C:\System Volume Information. It may work when you come across the “There was a failure in preparing the backup image of one of the volumes in the backup set. (0x807800C5)” Windows 10 backup error message.

  • Remove EFI System Partition and Recovery Partition. In Diskpart, run LIST DISK > SELECT DISK N > LIST PARTITION > SELECT PARTITION N > DEL PARTITION OVERRIDE > EXIT. Replace N with the correct disk/drive number. You can delete multiple recovery partitions in Windows 10 if you find they are useless. It is suitable for Windows 10 system image backup not working.

  • Check disk errors and bad sectors. In an elevated Command Prompt, type chkdsk [driveletter]: /f (ex: chkdsk C: /f) and press Enter. It is suggested to check all drives. It may be work if you encounter “The system cannot find the file specified (0x80070002)” Windows 10 backup error code.

  • Assign drive letter to the System Reserved Partition on MBR disks and set it as Active.

  • Delete previous system restore points and turn off Windows system protection for all hard drives. Press Windows Key + S and type System and choose it. Click on System protection on the left of the popping up window. Locate Windows 10 System Image and click Configure. Select Disable system protection and click Delete beneath.

  • Recreate a new partition for Windows 10 system backup. You can do it in Disk Management.

  • Update Windows backup assistant or File History to the latest. That is suitable for Windows 10 file backup not working.

Above methods apply to Windows 7 backup failed, too. If you still cannot start back up service in Windows 10 successfully after all those tries, see whether you are in one of these situations.

Windows 10 backup disk cannot be found (0x80780081)

Besides the insufficient disk space and improper file system, the error may be caused by incorrect Wbadmin command and disabled VSS service.

If you receive the error when using Wbadmin command, please make sure you’re using the correct format of the command. To start the system state backup, type “Wbadmin start systemstatebackup –backupTarget:<VolumeName> [-quiet]” (ex: “Wbadmin start systemstatebackup –backupTarget:f:”). 

To check if VSS is enabled, open an elevated Command Prompt. Type “vssadmin list writers” and you’ll see all writers registered with VSS, and that’s the right way.

Windows 10 backup fails shadow copy

1. Open an elevated Command Prompt and type “vssadmin list shadowstorage”, where you can see the shadow copy storage space that are currently in use.

2. Use “vssadmin resize shadowStorage” to increase the maximum shadow copy storage.

Windows 10 backup fails on network drive

The solution for this error is quite simple. To backup Windows 10 to network drive, it is suggested to Map Network Drive to local disk. And then, start the backup service.

If Windows 10 won’t backup to external drive, make sure the drive is well-connected and formatted to NTFS file system.

Windows 10 backup I/O device error

This error usually happens when the backup has been in the process for a while or is about to finish. Bad sectors or bad cluster could be the reason. Also, if you backup to a large drive that has a 4K sector size instead of 512 bytes can lead to this error.

You can try closing other software, resizing partition, formatting the hard disk to factory default or checking physical sector size to fix. For detailed steps of those methods, please refer to backup with I/O device error.

The quick fix for Windows 10 backup failed

Provided solutions may or may not get you out of the backup failed trouble. If all measurements do not help at all, it is time to turn to other powerful backup software. Just like one of the users said: why stick to Windows 10 built-in backup utility?

There are many free and professional backup tools on the market and AOMEI Backupper Standard is one of them. It provides System Backup, Disk Backup, File Backup and File Sync in Full/Incremental/Differential backup type. Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Event-trigger scheduled backup are also available. Backing up Windows 10 to external drive, network shared folder or NAS can be easily completed.

You can easily restore system image when you got a corrupted system. It has a user-friendly interface. Why don’t you try this software and make a crash plan now?

1. Free download AOMEI Backupper, install and launch it. Connect the external storage to your computer if you want to backup Windows 10 to external drive.

2. Click Backup and then System Backup (or Disk Backup based on your demands).

System Backup

3. The required system partition(s) is selected by default. Choose the destination path to store the backup files.

Select Backup Location

4. Confirm the information and click Start Backup.

Start Backup


  • You can password encrypt the backup image and set schedule backup task after step 3 and before step 4.

  • The Utilities > Create Bootable Media option can be helpful if you get an unbootable Windows 10.

  • To save disk space on destination drive, i.e. auto delete old backups after certain a value, please upgrade to its Professional edition.


Maybe some other Windows 10 backup error codes are not listed in this article. But, the universal fixes help a lot for those errors all the same. You can choose to fix the error or choose another backup tool when facing Windows 10 backup failed problem. No matter which way you pick, the final purpose is to create a solid protection for your Windows 10.