Error code 0x80031004A usually indicates that there is corruption in a drive that you’re trying to use. This error most commonly appears when you’re trying to back up your operating system on an external drive, and it might even give you an error message saying that BitLocker Drive Encryption cannot be used.
This can be misleading, as BitLocker actually has nothing to do with the error, and some users even reported that they got the error message with BitLocker turned off. Even though you might think that there is something physically wrong with the external drive, the problem is much easier to solve. The problem consists in corrupted data on your external drive, data due to which the backup cannot proceed.
Unfortunately, the only solution for this problem is to clean your external drive, and re-creating the partition. Read on to see how to do this.
Clean and re-create the partition with DiskPart
Before you proceed with this method, you should be aware that cleaning and re-creating the partition will delete all of your data. It is thus smart to back up everything important on another drive if possible, but it is also true that this might copy some of the corrupted data as well. After you’ve taken care of the data, follow the steps below. DiskPart is a very powerful tool and is fairly useful when you need disk management, but it can also mess up quite a lot of things if you aren’t careful, so watch what you’re doing.
- Press the Windows key on your keyboard and type in cmd. Open the Command Prompt result as an administrator by right-clicking on it and choosing Run as administrator.
- In the Command Prompt, type in diskpart and press Enter to execute the command.
- DiskPart will open in either the same Command Prompt window, or a new one. Type list disk and execute the command. You should now see a list of all drives on your computer. Find the one that is causing the issues and note the number.
- Type in select disk X, where X is the number of the drive, and press
- Type clean and execute the command. You should get a message saying DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk. Again, be aware that this will delete all of your data on the drive.
- Now that you have cleaned the disk, it’s time to create a new partition. Type create partition primary, and execute the command.
- Next, assign a letter to the drive by typing assign letter = X, where X is the letter you want to assign.
- When you’ve assigned a letter, you should format the partition so you can use it. Type in format fs=ntfs quick. Note that fs=ntfs means that the partition will be formatted in the NTFS filesystem, and if that doesn’t suit your needs, you can use fs=fat32 instead to get a FAT32-formatted filesystem.
You should now have your external drive up and running, and you can back up your operating system on it without any issues. If you’re getting this error message, feel free to go through the steps in the method above, and you will have everything working again in no time.