Image Backup Failure Troubleshooting

Last Updated: Apr 25, 2018 08:53AM PDT

Image Backup vs File Backup

The method that is used to create an Image differs from File-Based backups, as it does not look directly at the files and folders located on your machine. An Image Backup looks only at the data "blocks" that are stored on your Hard Drive.

If you have performed an Image Backup in versions of NovaBACKUP previous to 19.1

There were updated Image Backup drivers utilized in NovaBACKUP version 19.1, and there may be remnants of the previous Image Backup drivers on your system that were not updated or removed.

Please read the following article on how to remove these previous drivers:

After performing this removal please re-install NovaBACKUP 19.1 or newer using the Setup-NB-xx.exe file you originally downloaded. When the setup starts:

  1. Choose the "Maintenance" option and wait for the files to extract. 
  2. When the NovaBACKUP Setup dialog appears select "Next",
  3. followed by "Repair".
  4. When the repair finishes you can close the window that shows "Maintenance" (from the first step).

Some common problems of failure:

Microsoft VSS

Image Backups utilize Microsoft VSS (Volume Shadow copy Service) to create a copy of the currently running environment (Open Files) for backup purposes.

Hardware Problems

Problems with hardware storage devices, such as disk errors or bad CD/DVDs left in the drives, will cause an Image Backup to fail. 


As an Image backup can fail for numerous reasons, a few common things to look out for are:
  1. Restart the Disaster Recovery Imaging service.
    • Open the services administrative tool by typing "services.msc" into a run dialog. Select "Disaster Recovery Imaging" from the list and choose "Restart the service". You can now try to run your Image Backup again.
  2. Reboot the machine
  3. Ensure you are not imaging a Microsoft System Reserved Partition with zero (0) size or any EFI partitions.
  4. Verify there are no disk errors on the partition you are trying to image from by using the Event Viewer administrative tool.
    • Look at the Windows/System log and filter to show "Errors" and "Critical" and use the Event Source drop-down to choose "Disk" and "ntfs".
    • If disk errors are found, schedule a Check Disk for the next restart from administrative cmd prompt: "chkdsk /F /R"
  5. Ensure the target drive is not full.
  6. If you are backing up to an external drive that is 2TB or larger ensure it is GPT (GUID Partition Table
  7. If you currently have or previously installed other programs that were able to perform an Image Backup, they can sometimes leave parts behind that will prevent an Image Backup from completing. Please refer to their documentation on how to clean-up after them.
  8. If you are currently using any continuous backup programs you will need to disable them to complete an Image Backup.
  9. Verify VSS is working correctly:
    • You can verify that VSS is "State: [1]: Stable" for all entries in an administrative cmd prompt: "vssadmin list writers"
      • Rebooting the machine will normally correct VSS Writer state issues
    • VSS may have some shadows saved, check for them in an administrative cmd prompt with: "vssadmin list shadows" you can remove any that are found with: "vssadmin delete shadows /all"
  10. For Network locations ensure you have added a Network Device on the Device tab of the main NovaBACKUP interface and selected it as the backup destination.

These are common problems only and can usually be solved if you check them in order.

If these steps do not work, let us know by creating a support ticket at 
Once your ticket is submitted, please generate advanced logs and reply to the confirmation email with the LogCollector ".zip" file as per the instructions found here: 

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