(Solved) No Disks Are Available for Use as a Backup Storage Destination

If you are looking for a way to fix the problem "no disks are available for use as a backup storage destination", please continue to see below and this article offers you 5 effective methods.


by Ivy Updated on November 9, 2022

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The issue: No disks are available for use as a backup storage destination

I'm attempting to schedule a backup in Windows Server 2008 SP2, and am getting an error during the step "Select destination disk".  Here's the full text:
"No disks are available for use a backup destination.  This can happen when all disks attached to the computer are hosting volumes that contain an operating system or application data.  Attach an empty disk to use as a backup destination."
It is true that there are no free volumes w/o operating system or application data, but I'm backing up to a network share, so that should not matter.  And in fact it works fine when using the "Backup Once" option... only the "Backup Schedule" option fails with this error.

No Disks

In fact, this is a common issue for many users, if you are one of them, please read this article and fix Windows Server Backup cannot create a backup because no backup storage location is available with 5 effective solutions.

How to fix Windows server backup drive not visible

Here come the solutions to no disks are available for use as a backup storage destination, refer to the following guide:

Solution 1: Use external hard disk as backup destination

If your server is 2008, please use external disk as backup storage destination instead of network share, since it is not supported on this edition. And then, create schedule backup with Windows Server Backup again. Besides, it may not be recognized sometimes.

  • If it does not recognize the external disk, please reconnect the external hard disk to the computer and see if it’s invisible in Windows Explorer. 
  • If it still not show up, you need to consult the external hard disk manufacturer and ensure it is supported on the Windows Server systems. 

Solution 2: Use another hard disk as the backup destination

If you cannot make the external disk recognized, you can use wbadmin command to help Windows Server Backup change destination to another external hard drive or individual volume as the backup target and then backup again. 

1. Click Start -> Windows PowerShell, right-click it and choose Run as administrator.

2. Input wbadmin get disks to get disk identifier for you newly connected external hard disk.

3. Then input:

Wbadmin enable backup -addtarget:{4086d1a4-3f00-453b-82c1-4ef38e511070}

Wbadmin Change Destination

Tip: The {4086d1a4-3f00-453b-82c1-4ef38e511070} is your disk identifier.

4. Input Y to confirm the change.

Solution 3: Create VHD/VHDX to store backup image

If you don’t have another hard drives, you could create a virtual hard drive (VHD) on your local drive or network share folder, and then specify the VHD (works as an individual hard disk) as the target disk. Here is how to create VHD:

1. Input diskmgmt.msc in the Run box and press Enter to open Disk Management.

2. Click Action -> Create VHD option.

3. Click Browse to select a location where you want to save the VHD and disk size. Then click OK.

Create VHD

4. Then Initialize Disk, and select New Simple Volume.

Then you are free to select this VHD as backup target disk. Try Create VHDX in step 2 if you need a virtual disk larger than 2TB. This option is also applied to the wizard cannot find any drives that are suitable for a backup destination error.

Solution 4: Schedule backup to network share with Task Scheduler 

In Windows Server 2008, it is not allowed to create a scheduled backup on network share or drive, otherwise, you will receive the "no disks are available for use a backup destination" error. If you insist on doing so, you can choose to use Task Scheduler for help. 

1. Type the following command in a text file and save it as .bat file.

Wbadmin start backup -backupTarget:\\[Shared_Computer\dir\]\[Share name] -include:C: -vssFull -quiet

2. Run Task Scheduler in the Administrator Tools and select Create Basic Task

3. Type a task name and description, then choose the trigger (Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or others) to run a task. 

how to trigger the task

4. In the Action tab, select Start a program and browse the .bat file.

start a program

5. Confirm and click Finish to create the scheduled task for the batch file. 

Tip: For server 2008 R2 or later systems, you can directly backup server to network drive with Windows Server Backup. Note that there only one backup if you schedule backup to network drive, because the new backup will overwrite the previous backup.

Solution 5: Try Windows Server Backup best alternative

If the above solutions are not working or you want an easier way, try the best alternative to Windows Server Backup - AOMEI Backupper Server. It is more flexible, and you can enjoy the following advantages:

  • It allows you to create different backup images (system, disk, partition, files) automatically and save them to an external disk, USB drive, network drive, NAS or cloud drives, etc.
  • It supports all brands of storage devices, such as, Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba, Hitachi, Samsung, Sandisk, etc.
  • It helps to manage disk space effectively with its backup and cleanup methods. 
  • It applies to Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2019, 2022 (including R2), SBS 2003, 2008, 2011, and Windows PCs. 

Please download AOMEI Backupper Server 30 day trial to enjoy. And you also need to connect the external hard drive to your server computer and ensure it can be recognized by Windows.

Download Free TrialWin PCs & Servers
Secure Download

Here are how to backup disk in Windows Server: 

1. Run AOMEI Backupper Server, and select Backup -> Disk Backup.

Disk Backup

2. Click + Add Disk to choose the disk you want to backup.

Add Disk

3. Select the connected external drive as backup storage destination. And you can also backup Windows Server to USB drive, network drive, NAS, or cloud drive.

Select Backup Destination

4. Tap the Schedule Backup option, and choose the option to run the Windows Server backup, Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers, USB plug in. If the external hard drive is USB, it's recommended to use the last option.

Schedule Settings General

Other helpful settings you could set
Schedule Backup: You could even set hourly backup and wake the computer to run scheduled tasks if you are worried that you will forget to backup. 
Options: you could modify the backup image, like compress, split, encrypt the backup image. Or other options, like sector by sector backup (Make an exact backup), intelligence sector backup, using VSS, etc.
Backup Scheme: you could select backup method among full, incremental (default), and differential bckup and it decides cleanup methods you can use. If you select differential backup, you could enjoy 4 cleanup methods. 

5. Click Start Backup >> to backup Windows Server to external hard drive.

Start Backup

After about 30 minutes or more, depending on your capacity of data on Windows Server.,your data will be backed up successfully without issues like "no disks are available for use a backup destination". Congratulations. Try system backup if you just planning to backup the Windows server operating system without reinstalling. 

Further Reading: Choose Suitable Destination Device for Windows Server Backup

To choose the right destination device, you should be aware of the conditions:

  • The external disk is empty and displays as online in Disk Management.
  • The external disk need to be sufficient space.\
  •  Make sure the external disk does not contain EFI system partition, operating system, application data, any shared server folders.

By the way, When you try to backup system state with Windows Server Backup or Wbadmin, you may receive the error message: The specified backup location could not be found or is not a supported backup storage location.

Summing up

You can choose to fix the problem no disks are available for use a backup destination or leave it behind by using Windows Server Backup best alternative. With this backup image, you could restore image to new hard drive, or even restore to a new server with dissimilar hardware.

For IT technicians, try AOMEI Backupper Technician or TechPlus edition. It allows you to restore image to multiple computers simultaneously over network if needed. And you can also create a portable vesion of this software and backup Windows Server at any time without reinstalling. 

If you are planning to manage backup tasks for all computers within LAN from one central management console, please try AOMEI Centralized Backupper.

Ivy · Editor
Ivy is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore,hard disk & partitions management and cloud files transfer and so on for AOMEI. She is an outgoing girl and enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She usually hangs out with friends at her leisure time.