By Ivy / Last Updated June 23, 2020

Windows Server Backup cannot Support Volume Greater than 2TB

“I know that Windows Server 2008 R2, 2011, 2012 are limited to 2TB volume and the reasons is Windows Server Backup use VHD file and it has a 2TB backup limit. And I tried all suggestions on the internet but there is no luck. So, my question is: does anyone knows if there is a fix for 'Volumes larger than 2088958 megabytes cannot be protected'. Thanks in advance.”

Windows Server Backup Greater Than 2tb

Speaking of Windows Server Backup larger than 2TB, you need to understand the entire process how Windows Server Backup (WSB) stores the backup files, then try to solve it with the given solutions below.

Instead of using BKF file (refers to backup files created by backup utility in Windows NT and XP Pro), Windows Server Backup backup volumes to several virtual hard disk (VHD) files, each VHD file for a volume in the backup. Once the backup VHD file is created, you can mount it with Disk Management, and then you can see all the items of the volume backed up.

How to Fix Windows Backup Volume over 2TB?

To fix 2TB backup limitation for WSB, you could consider the following 5 ideas:

  • Upgrade your server to 2012 R2 or newer version. It’s said, the 2TB limitation is gone in Server 2012 R2. Starting with server 2012, VHDX file was introduced to fix 2TB backup limit and its limitation is up to 64TB. But no one can be sure.

  • Convert MBR disk to GPT with Disk Management. Besides VHD’s limit, there is another idea: the 2TB limitation is not for Windows to backup, but for the type of partition. So, you can consider using GPT disk if you want more than 2TB usable space.

  • Create a partial volume backup instead of full. In Windows Server 2008, you are only allowed to select volumes smaller than 2TB into the backup. But you still can use “Custom” backup configuration to include files or folders equal or larger than 2TB.

  • Use wbadmin rather than WSB to backup files or folders larger than 2TB. This idea is similar to previous one and used to backup larger amount of files and folders in the large volume.

  • Use a third-party backup software. Usually, third-party tool is much easier and allows you to backup volume larger than 2TB without any obstacle.

Continue to see below and I’ll introduce you the last two ways in details.

Back up Volume Larger than 2TB with Wbadmin

To backup volume larger than 2TB using wbadmin:

1. Right-click “Start” and select “Command Prompt (Admin)”.

2. Type the following commands and hit “Enter” to execute. Assuming that the over 2TB volume to be backed up is F: drive and you want to backup it to an external hard drive with a drive letter G.

wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:G: -include:f:\download -quiet

and then,

wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:G: -include:f:\* -exclude:download -quiet

Note: the “-quiet” switch means to run the backup without being prompted.

Backup Windows Volume over 2TB with AOMEI Backupper Server

For the best server backup and restore software, AOMEI Backupper Server is worth to mention. Below are reasons why I said this:

  • First, this software does not have the 2TB backup limit and comes with many useful features, such as, daily incremental backup, email notification, backup scheme, etc.

  • Second, it supports backup various file systems including NTFS, FAT32, exFAT.

  • Third, it allows you to select system, disks, partitions, files and folders to backup instead of full volumes. And it brings you the ability to create multiple schedule backup rather than one.

  • Last but not the least, it has an intuitive interface, which make users can understand this software and how to use it.

To backup Windows Volume over 2TB, use the following steps:

1. Download, install and open the server backup program.

Download Free Trial Server 2003/2008/2012/2016/2019
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2. Click “Backup” and “System Backup” subsequently. Also, you can choose to create file backup, disk backup, partition backup, or file sync.

System Backup

3. Click the inverted triangle and select a backup destination larger than 2TB. Any locations that is available in File explorer can be set as the destination location.

In this software, the system partition and boot related partition is selected by default. Because some user may ignore the hidden partition which is required to boot Window and your system will fail to boot finally.

Select Backup Destination

4. Click the “Schedule” and set settings as you like. To delete old backups, click "Scheme". Then, click “Start Backup” to get backup started.

  • Daily/weekly/monthly: These backup settings help you backup your system regularly, including the latest upates, newly installed apps, modified files etc.

  • Wake the computer to run scheduled tasks: This feature helps you wake up your computer from sleep and then perform schedule backup during off-peak hour.

  • Event triggers: To backup system without any interference, you could use "System Shutdown" in event trigger backup.

  • Incremental/differential backups: Both features can help you save backup time and disk space, because it only backup the changed files.

Schedule Settings Advanced

Tip: To backup volume larger than 2TB, you need to minimize the space occupied by your backup. Because more and more backups, less and less space. To get rid of this problem, you could use “Normal” or “High” compression level, incremental and differential backup and backup scheme.

Now, you may already have a system backup in hand. With it, you can restore computer, even with dissimilar hardware. By the way, if you don’t have a backup, you need to download AOMEI Backupper and create one. If you have multiple PCs and servers, your best choice is AOMEI Backupper Technician Plus. Because it offers unlimited billable technical services to clients and also enables you to copy installation directory for portable version creation.