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Backup fails in Windows 7 when trying to create a system image

Consider the following scenario:

  • You are running Windows 7.
  • In the Backup and Restore Control Panel applet, you click on the link to "Create a system image".
  • The source volume that you are imaging is 2 terabytes in size or larger.

In this scenario, after the backup process has started, you may see an error similar to the following:

The backup failed.

Volumes larger than 2088958 megabyes cannot be protected. (0x807800B4)

The only option is to close the dialog box and exit out of the "Create a system image" wizard.
When creating a system image in Windows 7 using the "Create a system image" wizard, a virtual hard disk (.vhd) is created and the system image is written to it. The current virtual hard disk specification limits the size of a virtual hard disk to be 2040 GB, which can fit a volume size of 2040 GB - 2 MB (i.e. 2088958 MB). Due to this limitation, the source volume size must be 2088958 MB or less for the system image to be created.

Note: All of the above values values are slightly under 2 TB in size (2 TB = 2048 GB = 2097152 MB).

To work around this limit, shrink your volume size to 2088958 MB or less prior to creating the system image. More information on shrinking a basic volume can be found in the following TechNet article:

Shrink a Basic Volume

Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.

Article ID: 2696906 - Last Review: 04/17/2012 11:43:00 - Revision: 4.1

  • KB2696906