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A shadow copy could not be created // Insufficient storage available to create // 0x81000019

with 10 comments

These are part of a message received when trying to run a Windows 7 backup with a system image. I myself have encountered the problem but luckily after some searching have found a solution that worked for me.

Unfortunately I don't have a screenshot of the message you may have received but I do have a text version of it:

[Window Title]
Windows Backup: Troubleshooting Options

[Main Instruction]
Check your backup

A shadow copy could not be created. Please check "VSS" and "SPP" application event logs for more information.
Details: Insufficient storage available to create either the shadow copy storage file or other shadow copy data.

[^] Hide Details  [Try to run backup again] [Change backup settings] [Cancel]

[Expanded Information]
Backup time: 10/25/2009 3:23 PM
Backup location: Terra-Stor (M:)
Error code: 0x81000019

So the insufficient space this error is referring to isn't the space on your hard drives that you're trying to copy the backup too, it's the space on that small 100MB boot partition that was created during Windows 7 installation. You can look at the partition yourself by:

  1. Start
  2. Right click My Computer
  3. Manage
  4. Storage > Disk Management
  5. Right click the 100MB
  6. Properties

If you have less than 40% of Free Space then that's the insufficient storage available error. See that drive is actually used to create your system image and therefore cannot drop below 40%. According to a Microsoft employee there is a problem with Windows 7 which causes it to use up more than 60% of that 100MB boot drive.

The trick around this problem is:

If the System reserved partition cannot be extended using Disk Management because of lack of contigous space adjacent to it, creating a new system volume is the workaround. Here are the steps to move the system volume to any other volume:
  1. Choose where you want to have your system volume. Few things you need to keep in mind:
  1. System volume can only be created on a primary partition of MBR disk.
  2. If system volume & boot volume are together, then BitLocker feature cannot be used to encrypt volumes on your machine.
  • Suggest creating a new volume (say F:) on the same disk that contains the boot partition of size of about 490 MB (be careful to keep it less than 500 MB)
    1. My Edit: To do this you must be in the manage properties as per the steps above.
    2. Right click your C:\
    3. Shrink Volume
    4. Enter 490MB
    5. Right click the new drive
    6. New Simple Volume
  • Assuming Windows 7 is installed on C: on your machine. From an elevated command-prompt run: bcdboot.exe C:\Windows /s F:.
  • From elevated command-prompt run: DISKPART
  • From the disk part command-prompt:
    1. DISKPART> select volume F
    2. DISKPART> active

    Now you can reboot your machine and F: will become the system volume. You can undo this by repeating the same steps using the original system volume (you have to assign drive-letter to it) to revert to your previous configuration.


    Once this is done you can head back into Manage:

    1. Right click the new 490MB drive
    2. Change Drive Letter and Paths
    3. Remove

    Removing the letter will also remove the drive from appearing in My Computer. Now you should be done. The drive should now be 490MB which is plenty for Windows 7 backup to create a system image. Go to Backup & Restore and run through the wizard again and this time hopefully it should work.


    Written by Marat

    November 25, 2009 at 21:00

    Posted in Uncategorized

    10 Responses

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    1. I am getting the same error message, but when I check my system reserved drive, I have 69% free.

      Any suggestions?


      November 27, 2009 at 3:04

      • Hey Kurt,

        Try going into Manage > Services > Right click Volume Shadow Copy > Properties > make Startup Automatic.

        And if it doesn’t start then, start that service. See how you go.

        If it still doesn’t work, try making the larger boot drive and see if anything happens.



        November 27, 2009 at 9:20

    2. I tried following what you said but when I restarted my computer it said “bootmgr is missing” i redid everything again and still got that message when i restarted. Also the new “F” volume after all is done (before the restart) what should it say in the status? Mine says Health (Primary Partition, Active) but the 100MG boot partition says System as well should my new F say that as well?


      August 11, 2010 at 19:37

    3. Note that if your hard drive has 3 primary partitions, the GUI storage manager will attempt to helpfully create an extended partition with a logical drive. You need to use the diskpart tool to force Windows to create a primary partition. You will not be able to create any further partitions once you have done this since an MBR-style hard disk format only supports 4 primaries or 3 primaries and an extended.

      Also, if you use BitLocker, have your key handy on a flash drive or suspend while performing these steps and resume after rebooting.


      September 16, 2010 at 3:55

      • Hi,
        I followed this and when I rebooted all I get is a flashing cursor at the top left of the screen – nothing else! I now can’t get back into my PC to fix this – no idea what to do!


        October 16, 2010 at 23:37

    4. Hi Kurt

      I successfully created the new volume. What do we do with the old volume of 100 MB? Delete it?



      December 12, 2010 at 2:33

      • What I did was create a larger partition, then loaded Windows using the new partition and increased the size of my old partition to something around 400Mb and usage that one again deleting the old one.


        December 12, 2010 at 7:42

    5. I received this error, and fixed it by using a partition editor to decrease my C drive by about a Gb, and increasing the size of my D drive to just over a Gb. I did this with Gparted, which is open source and free. I did this because I feel more comfortable with a partition editor than I do with this tutorial.

      Regardless, thank you for pointing out that it was an issue with space on the D drive I’ve been backing up manually for months and wouldn’t have figured this out without reading your article.

      Side note: I had to fix my MBR after a used Gparted to fix this issue. Windows 7 was kind enough to walk me through how to do this, all I did was follow the prompts after reboot.


      January 9, 2011 at 18:18

    6. Please Help, I really think this is the answer to my problem, however I cannot get
      the DISKPART Procedure to work correctly

      after I select volume F (switches to number 2) and then try to make Active

      it says it is unable to do that!

      I forget the exact error message right now,

      But the newly designated F drive is still showing up as Logical

      and I think we need to make it Primary?

      Am not really sure, could somebody please get back to me

      how to finish this correctly?


      Kelly Cramer

      June 10, 2011 at 19:50

    7. […] eingegangen. In den Kommentaren findet sich auch ein Nachtrag von mir, der auf den Beitrag unter [2] verweist. Blogger Marat weist darauf hin, dass das Problem auftritt, wenn im System eine Partition […]

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