%1: Backup device ‘%2’ failed to %3. Operating system error = %4.

Product: SQL Server
Event ID: 18204
Source: MSSQLServer
Version: 8.0
Component: SQL Engine
Message: %1: Backup device ‘%2’ failed to %3. Operating system error = %4.
This message indicates that the operating system was unable to open or close a backup device (disk, tape, or pipe) specified as part of a BACKUP or RESTORE command. For more information on backup devices, refer to the Books Online topics, “Backup Devices” and “BACKUP.”
User Action
The steps to take will depend upon the operating system error received.

  • Cut and paste the path and file name specified in the BACKUP or RESTORE command into Windows Explorer. This will help to verify that the path is actually valid.
  • If you specify a mapped drive in the command, switch to a UNC instead and retry the command. In most cases, a service such as SQL Server Agent is not aware of drives that are mapped for individual Windows users, so a service is usually not able to execute commands that involve a mapped drive.
  • Verify that the Windows account used to start the SQL Server service has permissions to access the server specified and to traverse through the specified path. Also verify that this account has the permissions necessary to open the file for the specified type of operation.
  • If you are accessing a file that already exists, ensure that the file is not locked by another process and that it is not marked as read-only.
  • Test to see if the problem is isolated to this particular server, path, or file.
  • Run hardware diagnostics to verify that the media specified in the path is healthy.
  • If the operating system error only returns a number and not any text, you can open a command prompt and execute NET HELPMSG with the operating system error number as the parameter. In many cases, this will return text that can help you to isolate the problem.


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