Fix Windows Backup Error: 0x8078002A on 2.5TB and 3TB WD Drives

“One of the backup files could not be created. Detailed Error: The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error”

Hard DriveLook familiar? Have a Western Digital hard drive that you are trying to back up to?

I would like to quickly mention a solution that I found for larger (2.5TB or more) Western Digital hard drives that use “advanced format” 4KB physical sector sizes. Many users complain about an issue with Windows 7 Backup and Windows Server backup which spits out the useless Error 0x8078002A.

This worked for my 3TB WD Elements drive. Out of the box this drive did not work with Windows backup at all. WD support actually came through for me on this issue and pointed me to the following solution:

Basically it consists of formatting the drive with their external drive formatting utility in “Factory Default” mode rather than XP-Compatible mode which (ironically) is how the drive ships. After performing the format, the drive works fine with Windows backup in both Windows 7 and Windows Server, but is incompatible with Windows XP. In my case, this is an acceptable compromise.

This is how the drive appeared out of the box:

C:Windowssystem32>fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo H:
Bytes Per Sector  :               4096
Bytes Per Physical Sector :       <Not Supported>
Bytes Per Cluster :               4096
Bytes Per FileRecord Segment    : 4096

This is how the drive appeared after the “Factory Default” format:

C:Windowssystem32>fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo H:
Bytes Per Sector  :               512
Bytes Per Physical Sector :       <Not Supported>
Bytes Per Cluster :               4096
Bytes Per FileRecord Segment    : 1024

Finally, I should point out that this utility will probably not work for drives from manufacturers other than Western Digital as it scans for WD drives specifically on launch and is likely working directly with their drive’s firmware. That said, I do believe this should cover all WD drives 2.5TB and larger to correct this issue.

28 thoughts on “Fix Windows Backup Error: 0x8078002A on 2.5TB and 3TB WD Drives”

  1. This is exactly what’s wrong with my back-up so wanted so say thanks. My only issue now is that I have tons of stuff on my WD drive and nowhere to put it in order to format the drive. Still, at least now I know what the problem is with the back up. Microsoft, as usual, had no answer after weeding through their garbage answers which were mostly people with the same problem but so solution. Again, thanks.

  2. Hi,

    I have exactly this problem, tried to solve it with WDs quick formatter, as recommended. Everything went well until after 30 or 40 seconds after program start, when it said “Cannot format that drive”.

    The drive is perfectly new, works perfectly for normal data storage, my W7 is perfectly up to date.

    Trying to get help from WD ended up in the usual mess with incompetent help line people – she would simply not understand me, recommended all things that you recommend with broken hardware, then after four emails she blanked out, said, she would pass the problem to somebody else (more competent, I hope), but this somebody never showed up… Sigh…

    Any clue what is going wrong here?

    thanks, Alois

    1. Hey Alois,

      I’m honestly not sure what to tell you. The first thing I would try in this case would be to see if you can try to do this on a completely different computer. If that works then obviously it was something odd to do with the Windows configuration.

      If you still can’t get the tool to detect the drive then I’m not sure. What model is it?


  3. Hi – I’m having this problem with a USB 3.0 Platinum MyDrive, which has a Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD10TPVT drive in it. I have spent hours trying to get it to complete a back-up without spitting out the above error – to no avail. It also shows as having 4096 Bytes Per Sector etc, just as yours did out of the box. I installed the Quick Formatter Tool, as you suggested, and tried to run it. I managed to accept the licence agreement, and then got a message stating ‘Please connect a WD external drive to continue; then click Rescan’. The drive is recognised by my PC, and I have tried disconnecting and reconnecting a number of times – to no avail. Any idea? This is driving me insane! I have tried numerous other solutions on the internet (including this on WD’s site: – to no avail; this was my last hope!

  4. My Seagate 3TB drive gave me the same problem. I went thru the routine with Seagate support and they have no solution. I ended up cracking the case and installing the drive directly to USB. Used the shell for an old small drive. Apparently, Seagate des not have the option to use the USB adapter in a non XP compatible mode. It will show that it is 4k cluster formatted but it must be that the USB adapter is only providing that via emulation.

    thanks for the post

  5. I have been using my new Seagate 3TB for about 5 months now and yesterday for the first time it gave me the same error ” Windows Backup file cannot be created 0x8078002A “. I restarted Windows twice hoping the problem woulc clear, but it did not. The Packaging and the Label on the Drive do not indicate it might be a Western Digital Drive, but only Seagate.
    Do you think it would be safe for me to re-format the Drive as suggested at the top of this page although is is not a WD Drive ?

    Seagate has not documented this fact in any documentation, knowledge base, etc. Hence the $129.99 price at Costco for a 3tb drive now makes sense.

    Oh, Seagate offers to send me Memeo back-up software at their solution.

    While not Western Digital, I thought this might merit an honorable mention on your blog

  7. Excellent! I used a MyBook 3TB for backup purpose and the windows backup software had consistent failed. Now re-formatted with WD Quick Formatter, I hope thing will go smoothly!
    Big thank!

  8. I purchased a Seagate Expansion 3TB USB disk and out of the box you could store data on it, but Windows backup would always fail with that stupid error message, I tried many things, like splitting the drive into smaller partitions but to no avail, so I re-created the whole volume as one logical drive using the Seagate Disk Wizard, I then used Windows 7 to re-format the disk to ex-Fat, with a sector size of 512, problem solved, Windows Backup now works perfectly, except that you lose any capability for XP, but that is not a problem for me.

    1. Can you elaborate a bit on how you got this working? I’ve tried everything and no luck. Windows backup works if system image is not selected but as soon as I selected a full system image for backup, it fails. I tried creating a logical partition using Add New Disc Wizard from Seagate DiscWizard; at this stage, which partition type did you select? I tried formating to exFat using Disk Management in Windows 7 but Backup still fails.

    2. Hello, I have exactly the same drive and just started to have the same problem. Could you please tell me where to find the Seagate Disk Wizard and how you re-created the whole volume as one logical drive ?
      Thank you very much.

  9. I’m trying this on Windows server 2008 R2 – I don’t get the “factory defaults” option, I see “windows xp” and “vista or later”

  10. Thanks for this! I tried manually formatting my 3TB Elements desktop a few different ways, no joy. Your method worked perfectly. The tool did say “XP compatablie” or “Most Compatible- Vista and Later”, did the later option and ran the format. No problems backing up (Windows Server Backup), running Server 2008R2.

  11. BINGO!!! – WD My Book 3T. Finally used their format software with “vista or later” option – backing up Windows 7 like a champ now. Thank you

    1. Mine doesn’t work yet: WD Quick Drive Format keeps telling me ‘Your external WD-drive is being used. Close all active programs and try again’ (message about this wording: I translated it from Dutch in English). However, I cannot find which program(s) is/are apparently still active after I have closed all programs. I have tried it several computers/laptop with WIN 7 to no avail. Can someone help me out here?

      Many thanks in advance!

  12. Thanks for providing this article, it helped me to format the WD Mybook hard drives that backup my servers. I have two 4TB Mybooks one for each server. My mind is at peace now that I have backups, I am the technical Support Representative at a Middle School in Orlando and had been without backup for a while. Fortunately I did not have a server crash or anyone lose a file during the time the backup drives were not working.

  13. I followed your advice, picked up a WD 6TB MyBook from Costco at $199.99 today. Got out the door with for 214.99. Went to work, copied the contents to a different drive (to save the acronis that was on it already). Then I formatted the drive with a quick format. Knowing full well it was still 4K. Then I hooked it up to my Small Business Server 2008 and saw the drive pop up. Ran the WD Tool and it gave me two options. I chose the second option (Windows 7 and later). Then I selected the drive and it formatted. I got some weird prompts which I think went away on their own and must have been created by the tool itself. A prompt flashed the failure, so I just fast clicked and did it all over again. Second time, no weird prompts. It completed sucessfully. I then ran from a normal command prompt on the server the following command:

    fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo E:

    E being the drive letter of the WD device. It then gave me the following:

    NTFS Volume Serial Number : 0x860e7f130e7efb8d
    Version : 3.1
    Number Sectors : 0x00000000747057ff
    Total Clusters : 0x000000000e8e0aff
    Free Clusters : 0x000000000644393d
    Total Reserved : 0x0000000000000000
    Bytes Per Sector : 512
    Bytes Per Physical Sector :
    Bytes Per Cluster : 4096
    Bytes Per FileRecord Segment : 1024
    Clusters Per FileRecord Segment : 0
    Mft Valid Data Length : 0x000000001ee30000
    Mft Start Lcn : 0x00000000000c0000
    Mft2 Start Lcn : 0x000000000747057f
    Mft Zone Start : 0x000000000776aa60
    Mft Zone End : 0x0000000007771480
    RM Identifier: 3D5CFBCA-CF09-11E4-BB52-842B2B6D5D2A

    It no longer said Bytes per Sector 4096, but instead 512. Very happy at this point…

    I just got done setting up the scheduled backup for Windows Server Backup and will come back tomorrow to post the results. Hopefully, everything will run fine and the Exchange Log files that have been kicking my butt will finally truncate and disappear into nothingness. #Hopeful

    Thank you for your post. It really helped me get this portion.

  14. Four years later, and your post is still helping people out. Thank you! As my WD Element 3 TB was loaded with data, I couldn’t format the drive. But knowing about the 4 sector issue, allowed me to search for a backup software that could handle this external HD. In case anyone is interested I went with NovaBackup, after contacting support, and they said, “My engineers says there should be no problem but that any drive backing up more than 2TB would need to be setup as GPT partitions”. I downloaded the 15 day trial and it worked perfectly, and I was happy to purchase it.

  15. Thank you very much. This post was extremely helpful. I am now able to backup to two 3TB WB MyBook external drives using Server 2008 R2

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