This topic lists some common issues that you may encounter when using Windows Server Backup in Windows Server 2008 R2. For updated troubleshooting information, see For more in-depth troubleshooting information for events, see

What problem are you having?

I cannot recover any data from a .bkf file that I created using an earlier version of Windows.
  • Cause:  You cannot use Windows Server Backup to recover backups that were created with the backup feature (Ntbackup.exe) in versions of Windows prior to Windows Server 2008.

  • Solution:  A version of Ntbackup.exe is available as a download for Windows Server 2008 users who want to recover data from backups created using Ntbackup.exe. The downloadable version of Ntbackup.exe is only for recovering backups created with older versions of Windows and cannot be used to create new backups. To download this version of Ntbackup.exe, see

I tried to create a backup to a tape drive, but did not see my drive listed for available locations to store backups.
  • Cause:  Windows Server Backup does not support backing up to tape storage devices. (However, support of tape storage drivers is included in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2.)

  • Solution:  Use a supported storage media type or solution. Windows Server Backup supports backing up to external and internal disks; volumes; DVDs, and other optical and removable media; and remote shared folders.

In Windows Explorer, I am not able to see the disk that I used to store my scheduled backups.
  • Cause:  This is by design. Once you specify a disk to be used to store scheduled backups, it is allocated for that purpose—it is not mounted to a drive letter, so it is not visible in Windows Explorer. This is done for the following reasons:

    • To keep the disk clear of data that is not needed. Storing other data on the backup disk can cause loss of space and loss of backup copies.

    • To protect the backups. Hiding the disk in this way makes it less likely that data will be accidentally deleted or corrupted.

  • Solution:  The drive will be visible in Disk Management (Diskmgmt.msc). To release the drive, you must cancel the scheduled backups. For instructions, see Modify or Stop an Automatic Backup Schedule.

When I list the Wbadmin commands at a command prompt, I do not see some of the commands that are referenced in the documentation.
  • Cause:  This is by design. Certain commands are only available from the Windows Recovery Environment, or are hidden but available for use.

  • Solution:  To see a complete list of Wbadmin commands, their syntax, and examples, see the Command Reference for Windows Server 2008 R2 (

When I perform a system state backup, the time that it takes is longer and the size of the backup is much bigger than for earlier version of the operating system.
  • Cause:  This is by design. System state files have increased in number and size. On Windows Server 2008 R2, there are approximately 78,752 system state files, which take up approximately 5.84 GB for the default installation on an x64-based computer.

When I create a second backup to disk, the first backup seems to have disappeared.
  • Cause: Backups are stored using Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) technology on the storage disk. They are available in the shadow copy that was created of the backup storage disk.

  • Solution: The backups are not lost. You can use the Wbadmin get versions command or the Recovery Wizard to see all the versions of backup available. However, when using Windows Explorer, you will only see the contents of the latest backup on the disk.

My backups appear to have been lost.
  • Cause: Windows Server Backup will delete the virtual hard disks and create new virtual hard disks, which creates a lot of I/O traffic and possibly the loss of backups, in two situations:

    • If you create a scheduled backup and start by creating backups of partial volumes (such as files) and then you change the scheduled backup to be full volume (block-level) backups (for example, you start with C:\folder and then change to C:\, or you start with a system state backup and then you change to a bare metal recovery backup).

    • If you decrease or expand the size of a source volume for backup, Windows Server Backup will delete the virtual hard disks for volumes whose layout has changed since the last backup.

  • Solution: After the backups are deleted, you cannot get them back. Windows Server Backup will automatically start creating newer backups when it is started.

I cannot manage other computers using the Connect To Another Computer option.
  • Cause: If you cannot use the Connect To Another Computer option in the Windows Server Backup MMC snap-in, you may not have the correct security permissions on the local computer or the remote computer, or you may be trying to manage a computer running a different version of Windows than the local computer.

  • Solution: You can also perform this task remotely for another server using the Connect To Another Computer option in the Windows Server Backup MMC snap-in. Make sure that you are a member of the Administrators or Backup Operators group on the remote server. If you are a Backup Operator, ensure that the Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) security settings on the remote computer are set to allow Backup Operators to connect to it.

    You can only use this feature if the local and remote servers are running the same version of Windows—either both running Windows Server 2008 or both running Windows Server 2008 R2. In addition, you cannot use this feature to manage a computer running any version of Windows client operating system.