Windows Backup Not Working? Try This Fix

Genuine backup tools in Windows have a reputation for being unreliable and prone to errors, and that’s not without reason.

Some users can’t set up automatic backups, while others can’t even back up manually due to various errors. Even in many cases that are initially successful, backups become useless because you can’t restore anything from them.

Since there are many such scenarios, we have divided this article into two parts covering backup and restore errors for easy reading.

Why Windows Backup Not Working?

Here are some common reasons for Windows Backup problems:

  • File system error
  • Conflict with old backup
  • Fix point problem
  • Access problem
  • Interruption by other programs

Fix Windows Backup Not Working (Case 1)

If you encounter errors (eg 0x807800C5) during the backup process, or the backup seems to be running fine but fails in the end, the solutions in this section will be of great help.

Check File History Log

Before you start troubleshooting, checking the File History log will give you deeper insight into the problem. Here’s how you can check this:

  1. Press Win + R, type controland press Enter.
  2. Go to System & Security > File History > Advanced Settings.
  3. Click on Open File History Event Log choice.
  4. Check the event log description.

Delete Old Backup

The above-mentioned errors generally occur due to a naming conflict with a previous backup or because the target volume is inaccessible. In such a case, the user has successfully deleted MediaID.bin andcomputer name> from the backup folder. If this doesn’t work, you can try deleting WindowsImageBackup entire folder.

If this fix doesn’t work, it’s worth trying to solve some access issues. Here are the steps to do it:

  1. Right click the backup folder and select Property.
  2. In Security tab, click Edit.security-tab-edit
  3. Choose Add > Advanced > Find Now.
  4. Choose Each person from the search results and press Ok.select-user-and-group
  5. Allow Full Control and press OK.
  6. Switch to share tab and click Advanced Sharing.
  7. Allow that Share this folder choice and click Permission.
    advanced sharing share this folder
  8. Choose Each personallow Full controland press OK > OK.

Check Backup and Dependency Services

You may also face problems with the backup process because the required services or dependencies are not running. You can make sure that this is not a problem with the following steps:

  1. Press Win + R, type services.mscand press Enter.
  2. Right click File History service and open Property.
  3. Beginning service if not already running.
    file-history-service
  4. Switch to Dependency tab and make sure that the listed services are also running.
    file-history-dependencies
  5. Repeat Step 2-4 For Volume Shadow Copy serve.

Remove Reparse Points

When trying to back up compressed files or backing up to a FAT volume, you may encounter backup errors with codes such as 0x80070001 and 0x81000037. Removing the reparse point from the library will help in such cases. Here are the steps required for this:

  1. Press Win + R, type cmdand press Enter.
  2. Enter dir /al /s and open the JUNCTION entry until you find the entry for FAT or mounted volume.dir-al-s
  3. Navigate to the displayed location, right-click the reparse point icon, and select Property.
  4. After you confirm that the folder type is Mounted volume, delete this folder.
    sample volume installed

Clean Boot and Use Diagnostic Utility

If you encounter error 0x80070020, it is likely due to interference from some program or process. Generally, this will be your antivirus. A clean boot will help in such cases. Here are the steps required:

  1. Press Win + R, type msconfigand press Enter.
  2. Switch to Service tab and allow that Hide all Microsoft services checkbox.
    Service disabled
  3. Click Deactivate all and press OK.
  4. Reboot your PC and check if you can make a backup now.
  5. If you still can’t back up, it’s worth checking for system crashes. To do this, press Win + R, type cmdand press CTRL + Shift + Enter.
  6. Run the following command:
    chkdsk C: /f /x /r
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

    Sfc /scannow
    dism sfc

Use System Image Backup

While this is not a fix for the application, we recommend using a system image to back up your system to an external drive if other backup options don’t work. Here are the steps to do it:

  1. Open Control Panel and click Backup and Restore.
  2. Click Create system image from the left panel.
    create system image
  3. Choose target mover for backup.
  4. Apart from the system partition, select the additional items that you want to include in the backup.Backup system image
  5. Confirm the selection and press Start backup.

Fix Backup Restore Problem (Case 2)

When restoring from a backup, you may encounter error 0x80070003 if the reparse point directory is deleted. You can fix this error by recreating the missing directory. Here are the steps to do it:

  1. The error message should also indicate the path of the missing file. Navigate to this path and create the appropriate folder.a-file-cannot-recover
  2. Run the recovery wizard again and make sure you have activated that Restore files to their original subfolders choice. The error should be resolved now.

Users have also reported cases where they were only able to restore a portion of the backup content. This is likely because the backup was corrupted from the start or at some point afterward. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do in such cases.

As we stated earlier, most native backup tools in Windows are unreliable. Our best recommendation is to create a system image or use a reputable third-party backup tool and save the created backup on an external drive. A third copy in the cloud would be ideal.

Related Questions

Why Is My File History Not Backed Up?

Despite setting up automatic backups, File History often doesn’t really work as scheduled. This bug is very common and has been around for a while, but Microsoft hasn’t addressed it yet. Even if automatic backup doesn’t work, you can solve the problem by backing up manually.

Is File History the Same as a Backup?

File History backs up your user files, i.e. files located on your Desktop and those stored in Documents, Pictures, and similar folders. On the other hand, the Backup tool is not limited to just these folders. It can back up everything else on your system too.

Why is Windows Backup So Long?

Windows backup is meant to be a lengthy process as a large number of files need to be saved. You can expect it to take a few hours on most systems. If you create a complete system image, you can expect the process to take longer.

Does a Windows System Image Back Up Everything?

Only the system partition is selected when creating a system image by default. But you do have the option to make a complete backup of your system if you wish.

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