By Ivy / Last update September 14, 2020

No disks are available for use as a backup storage destination

When configure a schedule backup using Windows Server Backup in Windows 2003/2008/012/2016/2019 (R2), you may receive an error that no disks are available for use as a backup storage destination. This can happen when all disks attached to the computer contain volumes with operating system or application data. Attach an empty disk to use as a backup storage destination. As a result, the Windows Server Backup does not see external drive and make it invisible.

No Disks

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: Reconnect external hard disk

Please reconnect the external hard disk to the computer and ensure it can be detected by the Windows Server computer if it’s invisible in Windows. Then create schedule backup with Windows Server Backup.

Solution 2: Consult the external hard disk manufacturer

Consult the external hard disk manufacturer to ensure your external hard disk is supported on the computer running Windows Server systems. If not, try other options.

Solution 3: Backup to a shared network folder

If the external hard disk cannot be detected anyhow, try to backup data to network drive. And you should know that there only one backup because when you create a new backup it will overwrite the previous backup.

Solution 4: Choose another hard disk as the destination

Or use wbadmin command to help Windows Server Backup change destination to select another external hard drive or individual volume as the backup target. Please connect your new external hard disk, and here are the steps:

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

4. Input Y to confirm the change.

Solution 5: Create VHD/VHDX in Disk Management

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 6: Try best Windows Server Backup alternative - AOMEI Backupper Server

To fix no disks are available for use a backup destination, try the best alternative to Windows Server Backup - AOMEI Backupper Server, which is more flexible to use, safe and reliable to backup server to external hard drive without effort. It’s designed for Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2019 (including R2), SBS 2003, 2008, 2011 and Windows PCs. 

As long as the external hard drive can be detected by Windows computer, it will backup successfully no matter what the brand is, Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba, Hitachi, Samsung, Sandisk, etc.

Please download AOMEI Backupper Server 30 day trial to enjoy, and connect the external hard drive to your Windows Server 2016 computer, ensure it can be recognized by Windows.

Download Free Trial

Windows PCs & Servers

Secure Download

Here is how to backup Windows Server 2016 step by step tutorials for example:

1. Run AOMEI Backupper Server, select Backup -> Disk Backup to backup the whole Server 2016.

Disk Backup

2. Click + Add Disk to choose the Windows Server 2016 system disk to backup.

Add Disk

3. Select a destination for Windows Server 2016, local disk, external hard drive (HDD/SSD), USB, or NAS, etc.

Select Backup Destination

4. Tap Schedule option, and choose the way to run the Windows Server 2016 backup, once, daily, weekly, monthly, or event triggers, USB plug in.

Schedule Settings General

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.
Scheme: you could enable backup scheme to delete old backup images while exceeds the number to retain with 5 schemes.

5. Click Start Backup >> to backup Windows Server 2016 to external hard drive.

Start Backup

✍Tip: all the steps are applied to Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019,SBS 2003, 2008, 2011, and Windows PCs.

After about 30 minutes or more, depending on your capacity of data on Windows Server 2016. your data will be backed up successful, and no longer to meet the no disks are available for use a backup destination error. Congratulations. Try system backup if you just planning to backup the Windows server operating system without reinstalling. Or create incremental or differential backup to backup changed or created files after creating a full backup.

Further Reading: Choose Suitable Destination Device for Windows Server Backup

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

Empty online external hard disk with sufficient space, and make sure it does not contain EFI system partition, operating system, application data, any shared server folders if it has data on the external hard drive.

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

Summing up

Using AOMEI Backupper as a Server backup solution totally leaves the problem that no disks are available for use a backup destination behind. Besides, this backup image file could be used to restore to similar or dissimilar hardware computer. For IT technicians, try AOMEI Backupper Technician. If you are planning to manage backup tasks for all computers within LAN from one central management console, please try AOMEI Centralized Backupper.