Common Causes of Files Not Being Backed Up

Western Digital recommends that best practice is to keep a backup of your important data at all times. Maintaining a valid backup protects against: computer viruses, data corruption, hardware issues, or environmental hazards.

Always remember that backup means that the data is stored in at least two (2) locations. Moving data from a computer system to an external hard drive is not a backup, unless there is already a duplicate of the file on a different storage location.

Files not being backed up can be caused by a number of issues up to and including the backup software itself.
The most common causes of files not being backed correctly up are listed below.


Computer System files

Computer system files are part of the Operating System (OS). Usually the System files are write protected to prevent accidental deletion or modification. File backup software may exclude system files from being backed up.
Ensure that files are saved within a user profile. If a complete system backup is the intention, ensure the backup software supports creating image backups. Excluding directories such as "C:\WINDOWS" and "C:\Program Files" may resolve the issue.

The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.
(Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070020)


A file is in use during the backup process

Backup software may be attempting to back up a files that is open or in use by the computer or a program.
Please save and close any files currently open and refrain from opening files while a backup is in process.

The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.
(Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070020)


Fragmented Disk

A Fragmented disk may prevent files from being backed up. Fragmentation occurs to disk over time by frequently adding, deleting of files, and web browser caching. Performing basic file system maintenance on a drive, by using Defragmentation software, and running a Check Disk may help resolve issues regarding files not backed up due to fragmentation.


Infected Computer

A computer infected with a Virus or Malware may prevent a file from being backed up.
Ensure the computer system is Virus and Malware free.


File Permissions

Operating System have methods for assigning permissions and rights to folders and files. These permissions control the ability to view, modify, change, and delete files. Ensure the owner and system have permissions to access the files. Contact the Operating System publisher for information about how to verify file permissions, and take ownership of files.


Long Filename / Folder Paths Too Long

Folder paths may be too long and prevent files from being backed up. The maximum length of a pathname is 256 characters, and includes parent directories, child directories, and the file name. The backup software will attempt replicate the source path when creating a backup destination path. To rectify this issue, shorten the source folder path.

In case the answer did not answer your question, you can always visit the WD Community for help from WD users.

Please rate the helpfulness of this answer