5 Fixes: Windows Backup Failed while Determining Libraries Location

This article provides 5 ways to help you fix Windows backup failed while determining libraries location. One of the best ways is to use free third party program - AOMEI Backpper.


By Miya Updated on December 6, 2023

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Overview of Windows Backup Failed while Determining Libraries Location

Everyone desires to safeguard their files and data for potential restoration in the event of a system crash or malware attack. Yet, users occasionally encounter the backup error "Windows backup failed while determining libraries location" or error 0x81000031. This message indicates that the Windows system couldn't identify the location of default libraries or that they were inaccessible.

In such situations, data backup becomes unfeasible. This article delves into various methods to resolve this error and suggests the use of free third-party software to prevent similar issues in the future.

Windows Backup Failed while Determining Libraries Location

How to Fix Windows Backup Failed while Determining Libraries Location

To initiate the file and data backup process on your Windows computer, addressing the displayed error message is essential. This section will outline potential solutions for error 0x81000031.

Initially, we will explore Windows backup software options to guide you in resolving the issue. Subsequently, we will suggest alternative fixes for this error. Feel free to test each solution to identify the one that best suits your situation.

1. Use Free and Easy Software

For a comprehensive resolution to error 0x81000031, consider utilizing AOMEI Backupper, a reliable free backup software. This tool ensures the secure storage of your backup files and data, providing the flexibility to recover them at any time.

Mastering the process of creating backups on Windows computers empowers you to archive diverse elements, including program files, system settings, hardware drivers, and personal files.Here are some of its core benefits:

◑ Whether you require file, folder, disk, partition, or system backup, this freeware caters to your needs with an easily navigable interface, enabling backups to be completed in three simple steps.
◑ Store your backup images on external or internal hard drives, NAS, USB/DVD/CD, and utilize AOMEI Cloud by creating an AOMEI account.
◑ Customize automatic backups on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis during the backup process.
◑ In addition to scheduled backup, leverage incremental and differential backup options for newly added or modified data.
◑ Explore various backup features, including adding comments, compressing data backup images, splitting images into multiple files, encrypting backups, and activating email notifications upon backup completion. (provided in Pro version)

The user-friendly interface facilitates the setup of a data backup task in just a few clicks. Let's illustrate the process with a system backup example. For Windows Server data backup, refer to AOMEI Backupper Server.

Step 1. Download the software for free and proceed with the installation process.

AOMEI Backupper

Best free Windows backup software for personal use.

Step 2. On the Home screen, navigate to Backup and choose System Backup.

Tip: Opt for Disk Backup if you intend to archive all the data on the hard drive, not solely the operating system.

System Backup

Step 3. Click on the second box to designate a location for storing the backup image file. Options include external hard drives, internal drives, or network locations.

Select Destination

Step 4. Initiate the backup process by clicking on Start Backup.

Backup Data

Options: Customize your backups by adding comments and adjusting compression levels. For encryption, consider upgrading to AOMEI Backupper Professional edition.
Schedule: Automate and schedule regular backups with options like Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers, and USB plug in.
Backup Scheme: Select backup methods, with a preference for Differential backup over Incremental backup due to its more efficient restoration process. This program automatically deletes old image files, preserving disk space—an exclusive feature available in AOMEI Backupper Professional.

2. Restore Default Libraries

If you encounter Windows backup failed while determining libraries location error, one potential cause could be the presence of custom libraries that your computer cannot access during the backup process. This issue arises when these libraries are saved on a network drive or removable media, causing your Windows computer to fail in determining their location.

To resolve this and enable a normal system backup, restoring default libraries, including Pictures, Documents, Videos, and Music, is necessary. Follow these steps:

Step 1. Open Explorer windows and select Libraries.

Step 2. Right-click on Libraries and choose Show more options to access available settings.

Show More Options

Step 3. Select Restore default libraries. This action will eliminate any custom libraries you previously created and reinstate the default ones.

Restore Default Libraries

Step 4. Initiate the backup process again to verify if this resolution has successfully addressed the error. If everything is in order, the system will effortlessly preserve your files and data.

3. Check Your Disk for Bad Sectors

In certain instances, your computer may struggle to identify the location of default libraries due to the presence of bad sectors on your disk. To facilitate a normal data backup, it becomes essential to address and rectify these bad sectors. Follow the steps below to check for bad sectors:

Step 1.Launch Command Prompt as an administrator.

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Step 2. Enter the following command: chkdsk /f /x. Press Enter to execute the command.

Chkdsk F X

Step 3. Adhere to the instructions presented on your screen to complete the checkup process.

Step 4. After the checkup process concludes, restart your device to assess if it has resolved error 0x81000031. If the issue stemmed from bad disk sectors, your system should now function properly after the restart.

4. Delete the "Windows Image Backup" Folder

If the Windows backup encounters difficulties in locating library locations due to a malfunctioning image backup system, resolving the issue involves deleting the existing image backup and initiating the creation of a new one. Execute the following steps:

Step 1. Launch Command Prompt as an administrator.

Step 2. Input the command: dir/s/aF:\WindowsImageBackup, where F represents the backup letter for your external hard drive. Press Enter.

Step 3. To remove the existing image folder, input the following command and press Enter: rd/s/qF:\WindowsImageBackup.

Your system will proceed to delete the outdated image backup. Repeat the backup process to generate a fresh backup image for your files and data. If you want to know how to create a system image backup, you can click here!

5. Run the System File Checker Command

If Windows encounters difficulties locating libraries due to corrupted system files, resolving the issue involves running the System File Checker (SFC) command. Follow the steps below:

Step 1. Go to the search bar and type cmd. Click on Run as administrator.

Step 2. Enter the following command: chkdsk /f. Press Enter to execute the command.

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Step 3. Enter the command: sfc /scannow (ensure there is a space after "sfc"). Press Enter.

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Step 4. Where the system will conduct a scan and repair corrupt system files on your computer. This process may take approximately 20 minutes, so exercise patience until it concludes. Following this, restart your computer and assess whether this resolution has successfully addressed the error.


This article provides 5 ways to help you fix Windows backup failed while determining libraries location. One of the best ways is to use a free and easy third-party program - AOMEI Backpper.

As previously highlighted, AOMEI Backupper accommodates various storage devices, allowing you the flexibility to choose based on your specific needs. Utilizing its user-friendly interface, you can effortlessly back up your system with just a few clicks. In the event of unforeseen issues with your computer, this backup serves as a reliable means to restore it to a functional state.

Miya · Editor
Miya has an excellent insight and receives professional and systematic technical training since joining AOMEI. She has a comprehensive understanding of computer issues, aiming at helping users troubleshoot all kinds of problems. A lot of computer users around the world have found her articles very helpful!