By Delia / Last update February 14, 2022

The problem: Volume os have an unsupported file system

Most of the users who try to backup their Dell server using Windows Server Backup (WSB) receive an error saying “Volume(s) OS have an unsupported file system and cannot be backed up”. If you have a Dell computer that is or was running Windows Server 2008(R2) or Windows Server 2012(R2), this may be of your concern.

Unsupported File System

Why backup volume have unsupported file system?

WSB can only backup partitions that are NTFS formatted. If you open Disk Management, you will see a 2GB FAT32 partition labeled as OS. The OS partition is probably from Dell's initial setup.

If you want to create a backup including system image, this OS partition will be included because its status is Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition). Then, you will receive the "Volume os use an unsupported file system and cannot be backed up“ due to its FAT32 file system. 

OS Partition

How to fix "volume os use an unsupported file system and cannot be backed up" 

After understanding the causes, the most important thing is to solve this problem. Here you will learn 3 solutions in the following, try them one by one.

Way 1: Create a custom backup

The simple solution is to skip this partition by creating a custom server backup. If you want to create a system backup, you can just select system state, system reserved partition and C: drive on MBR disk. If your system is on a GPT disk, you need to select system state, EFI system partition and C: drive.

Windows Server Backup is not installed by default, thus you need to open Server Manager abd then click Features > select Add Features > tick Windows Sever Backup Features and install it.

Install Windows Server Backup

Afterward, you can create a system image in Windows Server 2008 or 2012 with Windows Server Backup. 

  • Click Start -> Administrative Tools -> Windows Server Backup to open it.
  • Go to Action tab and select Backup Once or Backup Schedule.
  • Select Differential options in the Backup Options window.
  • Tick Customize and complete the rest of the steps with on-screen instructions.

Full Server

Way 2: Delete the partition

You can delete the 2GB system partition in Disk Management or DiskPart.exe. It is recommended to deactivate the partition before deleting it because there are chances that you may not be able to reboot the machine. When it fails to boot, you can run a system repair to surely fix it.

Here take Disk Management as an example to delete partition. Type diskmgmt.msc in the search box and hit enter, then you will see this software. 

Then, select the partition cause "volume os use an unsupported file system and cannot be backed up" error and click Delete Volume. Afterward, finish the rest of steps. 

Delete Volume

Way 3: Switch backup software

The above ways can help you fix backup volume have unsupported file system error effectively. But if you want to avoid this backup error or other potential failures, using a reliable server backup software like AOMEI Backupper Server may be a better choice. It supports backing up a partition with all file systems, including NTFS, FAT32, FAT16, EXT2, and EXT3. And you can benefit from the following advantages:

All-in-one backup software: It provides System backup, Disk Backup, Partition Backup and File Backup, thus you can choose to backup any items you want.
Run backup task automatically: It supports backing up in Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or use Event trigger, USB plug in schedule modes.
Make space for new backup automatically: It allows you to delete old backups with By quantity, By time or By daily/weekly/monthly cleanup methods to free up space. Also, you can set backup methods - Incremental or Differential Backup to backup only changes.

Now, you may want to try this software! Please download it on your computer and install it. Then, launch it, click Backup and System Backup, it will select all the boot related partitions. 

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System Backup

Then, select a destination path to store the backup image. You could consider backup Windows Server 2008 or 2012 to external hard drive, USB drive, network drive, NAS, etc. 

Select Path

After that, click Start Backup to back up system partition.

Other features you may be interested in this software:
Universal Restore: restore system to another machine with dissimilar hardware.
Create Bootable Media: make a bootable disk or CD to restore unbootable machine.
Email Notification: notify you if the backup task is success or fails.
Disk/System Clone: clone hard drive or system to new one or SSD and directly boot from it, without restoring image first. It's a simplified version of Backup and Restore feature.

Summary

You can easily fix the "Volume os have an unsupported file system" with above 3 ways. If you don't want to make any further data loss or system recovery problem, you can choose to backup system with a third-party backup software. It backs up partitions formatted with all file system and provides you with multiple useful features to make this task flexibly. For advanced users, try AOMEI Backupper TechPlus.