By Lily / Last update October 18, 2021

Learn why the "Windows could not find a backup" error occurs and then fix it:

Recovery error: Windows could not find a backup for this computer

“Hello. I just met a weird problem. Here is the thing. A couple of months ago, I made a system image backup using Create a system image link in Windows Backup and Restore. I backed up PC to external hard drive since it won’t allow me to do this on the USB flash drive.

Anyway, I need to restore the system image this time because it prompts me that some system files are corrupted. However, I am having trouble in restoring the backup. When I go to Control Panel > Backup & Restore, a message appears in the restore section, saying ‘Windows could not find a backup for this computer’. 

I’ve also tried reconnecting my external drive as well as restarting the computer, but no luck. Windows Explorer knows the backup yet the Backup & Restore cannot. When I click on the files to restore, it says ‘Windows was unable to find any backup sets’. Any help would be greatly appreciated.”

Windows could not find a backup for this computer

Possible causes for Windows restore error

A lot of Windows users have complained about this “Windows could not find a backup for this computer” issue in Windows 10 or Windows 7 when do system restoring.

Coincidentally, when run restoring on Windows Server, backup C drive in Windows Server 2011 for example, a similar message may appear as well: Windows Server Backup could not find any backups stored on this computer. 

If you go back to check the backup in File Explorer, you’ll find it lies still in the drive. Windows just cannot see the backup file. Why would this happen? In general, following two actions maybe the main reasons:

  • You make changes to the system image backup created by Windows Backup and Restore. For example, you change computer name or the"WindowsImageBackup" folder name.

  • Your backup image is saved on the network. 

6 methods to fix Windows cannot find backups error

To solve “Windows cannot find a backup on the hard disks or DVDs on this computer” issue, try the following methods. 

  • Restore system backup from network location

  • Change the folder name to WindowsImageBackup.

  • Put the WindowsImageBackup folder at the root folder of the drive, For example, D:\WindowsImageBackup.

  • Don't add any folder in the WindowsImageBackup folder. 

  • Keep the sub-folder name as it was. The sub-folder is usually  the name of computer when the backup image was created.

  • Be sure the mediaID.bin file and system is stored together. MediaId or MediaID.bin is a file created as a result of a backup. 

Tip: After you, for example, backup Windows 7 boot disk, it is suggested to place the backup image to safe place instead of letting it next to the computer in case of fire, theft, earthquake, or other disasters. The system image contains everything on the C drive, including boot sector, master directory, etc. You can easily restore it when there is something wrong with your computer.

Powerful alternative to solve “Windows could not find a backup” thoroughly 

Maybe you can settle the error "Windows could not find a backup for this computer" for once, but you still need to find solutions when another problem occurs. To completely avoid this issue, it is a wise choice to turn to powerful third party backup software like AOMEI Backupper Professional.

This software allows you to backup the boot drive for Windows 11, 10, 8.1/8, 7, XP, Vista and there are no restrictions that the built-in tools have. For example,

  • You can use any storage device as backup destination, such as, internal/external disk, USB drive, network drive, NAS, etc.
  • You are allowed to save backup images on any location instead of limiting to the root location of a drive.
  • You are able to edit the backup name as per your needs.

The recovery feature also comes along with this backup software. If you know where the backup image is, just navigate to that location and start the restoring. If your computer is in an extremely poor condition that it fails to boot, you can create a bootable USB with this utility to restore the image in WinPE mode. More importantly, you can successfully backup Windows 7 and restore on another computer with dissimilar hardware. 

It has a user-friendly interface as well as 30-day free trial. Download to have a try.

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Connect the external device that contains the backup image to your PC, if any. Install and run AOMEI Backupper.

Step 2. Click Restore and Select Task in the main console.  If it is not detected, click Select Image File to manually navigate to the backup image location.

Select Task

Step 3. Select the right backup image and click Next to continue.

Select Backup Image

Step 4. Tick Restore this system backup and click Next.

Restore This System Backup

Step 5. (Optional) Generally, the program selects the original system partition(s) as the destination path to receive the restored data automatically. If not, select a destination path manually.

Select Destination Disk

Step 6. In the Operation Summary window, do the last check and then click Start Restore to proceed. If you are restoring system image to a different computer, it's suggested to tick "Universal Restore" for secure boot.

Restore System Image

★Tips:
This software supports restore Windows image backup over network as well. You just need to input the IP address.
If you’re running Windows Server, please turn to AOMEI Backupper Server edition.

Summary

The error “Windows cannot find any backups on this computer” can happen when you make any changes to the system image backup or the backup is saved on network location. Also, there are other errors you may encounter, such as, system image backup failed, fail to read from shadow volume copy, Windows backup keep failing, etc. In other words, you may need to constantly find solutions to fix errors that occur. 

To completely solve this problem, it's suggested to back up system drive directly in AOMEI Backupper. It's a great alternative to Windows 7 Backup and Restore.  With it, you can also backup disk, partition, files as well as set schedule automatic backup to keep changes made later.

Also, You can find many helpful features that Windows backup utility does not have, for example, you can migrate OS to SSD with System Clone, replace laptop HDD with SSD using Disk Clone, mirror folders with Mirror Sync, etc. Please download it to explore more.