When I Try a Windows Backup it Always Fails

I have a Dell Inspiron 1721 connected to a new Seagate external hard drive.

The Inspiron has 280GB of which 85 are free.

The Seagate has 465GB with 445GB free.

Several times I have attempted to back up the Inspiron and so far have been unsuccessful.

The message I get is:

Your last backup did not complete successfully.

Windows Backup could not create a zip file. This could because the drive that Windows is installed on does not have enough space, or it could be a temporary error. Make sure you have at least 400MB of free space and try again.

None of this means a thing to me. Can any smart guy out there tell me what I can do to fix this?

Thanks, in anticipation,

Art Leat


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
You have the laptop plugged in when attempting the backup?

You are using the Windows Backup and Restore utility and making a file and image backup?

Are you letting Windows choose what to back up or are you selecting what to back up?

It sounds like there is plenty of room on the external drive, and I will assume you can access it normally. You might try selecting just specific files to back up for testing, or just try an image by itself if you are doing an image backup along with the file backup.

What anti-virus are you using?

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