By Ivy / Last update November 3, 2021

Scenario: WSB stuck at “Reading data; please wait...” status

I could definitely use some help. I am running Windows Server 2016 standard. Backup had been working fine but now when I open it it is stuck at reading data; please wait...

After installing Windows Server Backup onto your server, you try to open it and create a backup, but all you get is a "reading data, please wait" message. And no matter how long you wait, Windows Server Backup is always stuck in this status and does not load properly.

This is actually a problem that occurs from time to time in Windows Server 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019, 2022 etc. If you happen to encounter it, this article will provide just the information you need.

Reading Data Please Wait

How to Fix Windows Server Backup Stuck on Reading Data

Generally, Windows Server Backup hangs on reading data because some services failed to work. However, the specific reason is hard to detect. So you may try the following solutions one by one to troubleshoot the problem:

  • Run the Windows Server Backup application as administrator.

  • Use WBadmin command to backup instead of running the graphic backup application. Perhaps, it is only the graphic application that fails to load, but the backup program works fine.

  • Restart Windows search, Volume Shadow Copy, and COM+ System Application Service to see if it makes difference.

  • Disable SQL Server VSS Writer service, which has been proved one of the reasons that will lead to Windows Server Backup stuck please wait.

  • The final method is to restart your server, which will get everything restarted.

If you can't afford to shut down your server, or if none of these methods work, it may be more efficient to try a workaround for server backup.

Powerful Server Backup Alternative - AOMEI Backupper Server

AOMEI Backupper Server is a backup and restore tool that supports almost all Windows Server systems including Windows Server 2008 (R2), 2011, 2012 (R2), 2016, 2019, 2022. Compared to Windows Server Backup (WSB), it offers more useful functions to satisfy your needs:

  • It allows you to include system, disks, partitions, files, and folders into the backup.

  • You can keep multiple scheduled backup tasks to perform full, incremental or differential backups.

  • It contains the automatic backup cleanup scheme to save storage space, you don't need to worry about your backup disk get full. 

  • It allows you to backup Windows Server to internal/external drive, USB flash drive, network share, NAS, cloud drive as you like.

If you want to protect unlimited PCs and servers within your company, you may choose AOMEI Backupper Technician Plus. It offers unlimited billable technical services to clients. It also enables you to copy installation directory for portable version creation.

Since Windows Server Backup hangs while loading, you can backup Windows Server with AOMEI Backupper. You can create a backup for your Server in just a few clicks.

1. Download 30-day trial for free and run this server backup software.

Download Free Trial Win Servers & PCs
Secure Download

2. Under “Backup” tab, click “System Backup”. If you need to backup the whole server hard drive, just select the “Disk Backup” instead.

System Backup

3. As the “System Backup” will automatically choose the needed items for server system restore, just click to select a destination to save the image backup.

Select Destination Location

4. (Optional) Configure backup schedule and scheme as per your needs.

a) Click “Backup Schedule” button to specify when you want the backup to run if you need a scheduled backup

Backup Schedule

b) Click "Backup Scheme" button to select backup method (full/incremental/differential), or Enable Automatic Backup Cleanup delete old backup images automatically.

Backup Scheme

5. After all the settings are done, click “Start Backup” to run the server backup.

Start Backup

★ Tip on how to backup system without booting into Windows easily: 

Usually, after creating a system image backup, you will be suggested to create a bootable media to boot computer when it fails. It's very useful, but when considering the security, you may find it a bit troublesome to keep them.

To make it easier, you can use one key recovery software AOMEI OneKey Recovery to create system image backup and bootable media  simultaneously. And both of them are stored into a hidden newly created recovery partition, thus you don't need to worry about them. 

OKR Backup

When you want to restore system image, you can open this software again and click OneKey System Recovery. Also, you can press F11 or A key added during the backup process to restore system without booting into Windows. For server users or unlimited PCs and servers, AOMEI OneKey Technician will be a better choice.


In a short while, AOMEI Backupper will finish creating a system image backup for your server. With the system backup, you can restore your server back or restore to dissimilar hardware when needed. AOMEI Backupper, with the concise interface, loads very fast. If you cannot fix the windows server backup reading data please wait problem, AOMEI Backupper is your best choice to replace Windows Server Backup.