at Lily / Last update November 5, 2020

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Can’t add backup drives to Windows Server Backup 2012

Windows Server Backup (WSB) is a feature that provides backup and recovery options for Windows server environments. It enables you to create both one-time backup tasks and scheduled backup tasks. However, errors occur sometimes.

Some users find they cannot add an additional disk to a scheduled backup by using the Windows Server Backup Schedule Wizard, only receiving an error message: “The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect.” How to deal with it? Please read on.

Windows Server Backup Error

Solutions to failing to add a new drive to Windows Server Backup

If you fail to add a new drive to Windows Server Backup, you may pick one of the following solutions to fix it.

Solution 1: Reattach the missing disk(s)

The error may occur if a previously-added destination disk is not currently attached to the server, so you can fix it by reattaching the missing disk(s). After ensuring all the backup destination disks are attached to the server, retry to add an additional disk to a scheduled backup through the Windows Server Backup Schedule Wizard.

Solution 2: Remove the unavailable disk

If the missing disk is no longer available, you can remove it as a destination disk from the backup wizard to fix the issue. Follow the steps below to remove a destination disk from a scheduled backup:

Note: If the missing disk is the only destination disk defined in the backup schedule, you will receive an error message when you try to remove it. If this occurs, click Stop backup, and then create a new backup schedule.

1. In the Windows Server Backup snap-in, click Backup Schedule to open the Backup Schedule wizard.

2. In the “Modify Scheduled Backup Settings” page, click Modify backup, and then click Next.

3. Leave the Backup Configuration, Backup Time, and Destination Type settings unchanged and click Next.

4. In the “Keep or Change Backup Destinations” page, select Remove current backup destinations, and then click Next.

Remove Backup Destinations

5. Select the backup destination that is no longer attached, and then click Next.

Note: Typically, the unavailable disk will have the name "(Disk offline)."

6. Verify that the configuration is correct, and then click Finish.

Solution 3: Add backup drives using Wbadmin command

Wbadmin is a command-line utility you can use to run backup & restore in Windows Servers. Learn how to add backup drives to Windows Server Backup via Wbadmin command lines below:

1. Right click on the Start button and select Command Prompt (Admin) from the expanded menu.

2. Type wbadmin get disks > C:\disks.txt and press Enter to get disk information and save it in “C:\disks.txt”.

3. Open the text file named “disks” in C drive. Copy the Disk Identifier for the relevant disk you are adding to the backup schedule. It looks like this… {xxxx}

4. Type wbadmin enable backup -addtarget: and paste the Disk Identifier after the colon. Then, press Enter.

5. Type y and press Enter to enable scheduled backups using the settings.

6. Type y and press Enter to format the target disk.

7. When you see “The scheduled backup is enabled”, you can type exit and press Enter to exit Command Prompt.

Add Backup Drive

Easier way to perform Windows Server backup to multiple drives

If you are not familiar with command line operations and want an easier way to perform Windows Server backup, you can turn to specialized backup software for server—AOMEI Backupper Server.

  • It supports both Windows PC operating systems (Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP) and Windows Server operating systems (Windows Server 2019/2016/2012(R2)/2008(R2)/2003, etc).

  • There are four backup types available: System/Disk/Partition/File Backup. You can backup the operating system, disks, volumes/partitions, and files/folders based on your needs.

  • You can also set the backup tasks to run automatically using the Schedule feature.

To backup to multiple drives, you may create different backup tasks, and you can set different schedules for them. I’ll show you how to backup system to another drive and schedule Windows Server backup once a week with AOMEI Backupper as follows:

Step 1. Download the free trial of AOMEI Backupper Server. Install and launch it.

Download Free Trial Windows Server & PC
Secure Download

Step 2. Click on “Backup” and select “System Backup”.

System Backup

Step 3. The required system partition(s) is (are) selected by default. Just choose a destination drive to store the system image.

Select Path

Step 4. Click “Schedule” in the bottom. In the pop-up window, select “Weekly” from the drop-down menu and click on days to run the task. If you choose “Monday” and “Friday”, the task will run on the two days every week.


Step 5. Click “Scheme” and choose “Enable Backup Scheme” in the pop-up window. Then, choose from the 5 scheme types to delete old backups automatically. This will help you manage disk space on the destination drive.

Backup Scheme

Tips: To learn the differences among the 5 scheme types, you may refer to backup scheme.

Step 6. Confirm the operations and click “Start Backup”. Then, choose “Add the schedule and start backup now” to run the first backup immediately or “Only add the schedule” to run it later.

Start Backup

✍ Tips:

After you have created a backup task with AOMEI Backupper, you can manage it under the Home tab. You are allowed to change the backup drive any time you need through the Edit Backup option.

Edit Backup


If you fail to add backup drives to Windows Server Backup using UI operations, you may use Wbadmin command to fix it. Or you can turn to more advanced server backup software—AOMEI Backupper. It enables you to migrate to new server with dissimilar hardware. Why not try it now?