[Fix] “Windows Backup Failed to Get an Exclusive Lock on the EFI System Partition” Error

When you try to create a system image using Windows Backup on your computer, the following error occurs and backup procedure stalls.

0x8078011E avast efi system partition lock windows backup

Windows Backup failed to get an exclusive lock on the EFI system partition (ESP). This may happen if another application is using files on the ESP. Please retry the operation. (0x8078011E)

Additional information:
Access is denied. (0x80070005)


Check your backup. The last backup did not complete successfully.

Fix: Windows Backup Failed To Get An Exclusive Lock on EFI System Partition

The issue may occur if EFI system partition is locked or another application is using files on the system partition. Third party security software protects the system files and may be causing this issue. To resolve the problem, disable the third-party security software temporarily and perform a clean boot.

Putting your system in clean boot state helps find if any third party applications or startup items are causing the issue. See how to perform a clean boot in Windows using the MSConfig utility.

clean boot using msconfig
Clean boot troubleshooting using the System Configuration Utility (msconfig)

Note: If you had disabled some services earlier, note down the names in a piece of paper. Later on, after completing the clean boot routine and clicking “Enable all”, you may uncheck those specific services (which you had disabled already) manually.

tips bulb iconIntermediate/Advanced users can also perform a clean boot using Autoruns tool from Windows SysInternals.

If that doesn’t help, uninstall your 3rd party antivirus solution, restart Windows and try running Windows Backup again.

Avast anti-virus’s NG component (Secure Virtual Machines) may be the culprit in most cases.

Avast NG is a hardware based virtualization solution to provide more isolated test space. It is capable of running each Windows process in standalone safe virtualized environment (VM) and fully integrated to your desktop. Each process is executed in its own instance of VM, which means totally isolated from your other applications. This feature now powers Avast DeepScreen to improve better scanning of unknown programs (better detections).

Uninstall Avast / Trend Micro / AVG

  • Open Control Panel, Programs and Features
  • Right click on the anti-virus software entry (for example, “Avast Free Antivirus / Avast Internet Security”, or “Trend Micro” or “AVG”) then click “Uninstall”
  • Follow the on-screen instructions and restart Windows.

Intel Energy Server Service WILLAMETTE

Intel Energy Checker / Intel Energy Server Service WILLAMETTE is also known to cause the same problem. See if disabling/uninstalling this software fixes the problem.

ESET Antivirus

If you’re using ESET antivirus, create exclusions for these two files:

  • \Device\HarddiskVolume1\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\BCD
  • \Device\HarddiskVolume1\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\BCD.LOG

Assuming that the drive-letter is I:\ these are the exclusions you need to create in ESET settings:

  • I:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\BCD
  • I:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\BCD.LOG

For more information and screenshots, check out ESET article Windows Backup failing error message from the ESET Knowledgebase.

Hope this guide helped you resolve the error “Windows Backup Failed To Get An Exclusive Lock on EFI System Partition” (Error codes 0x8078011E & 0x80070005 ) when running Windows Backup on computers running Windows 7 through Windows 10.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

1 thought on “[Fix] “Windows Backup Failed to Get an Exclusive Lock on the EFI System Partition” Error”

  1. I don’t have any third party antivirus programs, I just use windows defender.
    Still I’m sometimes getting the message “Windows Backup Failed To Get An Exclusive Lock on EFI System Partition”
    All I do is retry again a little later after deleting the Image Backup that was opened by first attempt, it usually works fine on second attempt after doing that.
    There was only one time that I had to reboot and then the backup worked fine without any error message.


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