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Troubleshoot VSS issues that occur with Windows Server Backup (WBADMIN) in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2

In this article, we describe how you can troubleshoot errors displayed by Windows Server Backup, when the origin of the error exists in an underlying layer such as Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS), Shared Protection Point (SPP), or other applications that plug into the VSS framework.

This article applies to the following operating systems:

  • Windows Server® 2008

  • Windows Server® 2008 R2

Windows Server Backup relies on multiple layers in the operating system to function. It can show errors when any of those layers report an error. If the origin of the error is inside Windows Server Backup, Windows Server Backup provides direct recommendations on resolutions. The challenge in troubleshooting is when the problem is in a layer not in Windows Server Backup, but is shown by Windows Server Backup.

For more information about troubleshooting VSS, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=168148. These issues map to the following error codes: 0x8004*, 0x81001*, 0x807800A1, 0x8078006B, 0x8078008A and 0x8078001F-0x80780025. For a detailed list of these errors refer to the Error List Tables at the end of this article.

Below are the steps that you should follow to troubleshoot errors where the cause is reported by an underlying layer of Windows Server Backup. Typically this involves using Event Viewer.

  1. Check the event log for failure events logged by Windows Server Backup by opening the Event Viewer and review the logs: Windows Logs\Application where the source is Backup.

  2. Identify which application or layer caused the issue. The event in the previous step will usually indicate which layer or application caused the failure. For example, where VSS is the cause, you may see the following message:

    Check VSS event log for details
    

    Check the event log for the problematic application reported in the failure event.

  3. Analyze the events belonging to the application to understand the root cause. The events may point to issues in a different application. To do so, search for the events logged by the application found in step 2. For example, for errors caused by VSS, search for all events where the value in the Source column is VSS.

  4. Repeat step 2 and step 3 until you get to the root cause of the problem and then correct the problem.

Sample Issue:

When running Windows Server Backup, you receive the following error: A Volume Shadow Copy Service operation failed. 
C:\TEMP>wbadmin start backup -include:d:,i: -backuptarget:f: -quiet
wbadmin 1.0 - Backup command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2004 Microsoft Corp.


Retrieving volume information...
This will back up volume NTFSTest(D:),Local Disk(I:) to f:.
The backup operation to F: is starting.
Creating a shadow copy of the volumes specified for backup...
The backup operation stopped before completing.
Summary of the backup operation:
------------------


The backup operation stopped before completing.
Detailed error: A Volume Shadow Copy Service operation failed.



  1. Check the event log for failure events logged by Windows Server Backup. Upon checking the Backup application event log, the following message is found:The backup operation that started at '?2009?-?07?-?09T06:30:12.721000000Z' has failed because the Volume Shadow Copy Service operation to create a shadow copy of the volumes being backed up failed with following error code '2155348129'. Review the event details for a solution. Rerun the backup operation once the issue is resolved.

  2. Identify which application or layer caused the issue. From the backup event it is evident that the issue is caused by a VSS error.

  3. Analyze events belonging to the application to understand the root cause. Upon checking the VSS application event logs, the following warning event is found:

    A VSS writer has rejected an event with error 0x800423f3. The writer experienced a transient error..  If the backup process is retried, the error may not reoccur.
    

    If the backup process is retried, the error may not reoccur.

Changes that the writer made to its components while handling the event will not be available to the requester. Check the event log for related events from the application hosting the VSS writer.

Operation:
   PrepareForSnapshot Event


Context:
   Execution Context: Writer
   Writer Class Id: {66841cd4-6ded-4f4b-8f17-fd23f8ddc3de}
   Writer Name: Microsoft Hyper-V VSS Writer
   Writer Instance ID: {25785983-e057-4b58-8d90-d0a7ef6c1a22}
   Command Line: C:\Windows\system32\vmms.exe
   Process ID: 10632
  1. Identify which application or layer caused the issue. From the VSS event it is evident that the issue is caused by Hyper-V error.

  2. Analyze events belonging to the application to understand the root cause. Upon checking the Hyper-V application event logs found at Applications and Services Logs\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V-VMMS, the following warning event is present:

    Failed to create the backup of virtual machine 'TestVM'. (Virtual machine ID XXXX)
    
  3. Identify which application or layer caused the issue. From the Hyper-V event it is evident that the issue is caused by a virtual machine named TestVM.

  4. Analyze events belonging to the application to understand the root cause. Upon checking the application event logs inside the guest, TestVM, the following VSS event is found: There is not enough disk space to create the volume shadow copy on the storage location. Make sure that, for all volumes to be backup up, the minimum required disk space for shadow copy creation is available. This applies to both the backup storage destination and volumes included in the backup. If this occurs, besure that the following minimum requirements are met:

    For volumes less than 500 megabytes, the minimum is 50 megabytes of free space. For volumes more than 500 megabytes, the minimum is 320 megabytes of free space. It is recommended that least 1 gigabyte of free disk space on each volume if the volume size is more than 1 gigabyte.

  5. Correct the problem. The above error indicates that freeing up space on the physical volume hosting TestVM will solve the issue.

Windows Server Backup Error List

 

HRESULT HRESULT (in hex) Error Message

2155348129

0x807800A1

A Volume Shadow Copy Service operation failed. Please check "VSS" and "SPP" application event logs for more information.

2155347999

0x8078001F

Windows Backup cannot find the shared protection point.

2155348000

0x80780020

Windows Backup cannot find the shadow copy of the source volume.

2155348001

0x80780021

Windows Backup timed-out before the shared protection point was created.

2155348002

0x80780022

Windows Backup failed to create the shared protection point.

2155348003

0x80780023

The on-disk writer metadata file is corrupted.

2155348004

0x80780024

The specified Windows installation point does not contain a system ID file.

2155348005

0x80780025

The operation to create the shared protection point was canceled.

2155348075

0x8078006b

Windows Backup failed to create the shared protection point on the source volumes.

2155348106

0x8078008a

Error: The read operation from the volume shadow copy on one of the source volumes failed. Make sure all the volumes included in the backup operation are available and accessible, and then retry the operation.

VSS Error List

 

HRESULT HRESULT (in hex) Error Message

2147754996

0x800423F4

The writer experienced a non-transient error. If the backup process is retried, the error is likely to reoccur.

2147754806

0x80042336

The writer experienced a partial failure. Check the component level error state for more information.

2147754995

0x800423F3

The writer experienced a transient error. If the backup process is retried, the error may not reoccur.

2147754992

0x800423F0

The shadow-copy set only contains only a subset of the volumes needed to correctly backup the selected components of the writer.

2147754754

0x80042302

A Volume Shadow Copy Service component encountered an unexpected error.
Check the Application event log for more information.

2147754796

0x8004232C

The specified volume is nested too deeply to participate in the VSS operation.

2147754777

0x80042319

A writer did not respond to a GatherWriterStatus call. The writer may either have terminated or it may be stuck. Check the System and Application event logs for more information.

2147754769

0x80042311

The given XML document is invalid. It is either incorrectly-formed XML or it does not match the schema.

SPP Error List

 

HRESULT HRESULT (in hex) Error Message

2164261121

0x81000101

The creation of a shadow copy has timed out. Try this operation again.

2164261126

0x81000106

The backup process failed due to an internal error. For more information view the event log.

2164261128

0x81000108

Windows cannot create a shadow copy on the specified disk. Please choose another disk.

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