Event ID 12338 — Volume Shadow Copy Service Operations

Updated: January 27, 2011

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

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The Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) provides the ability to create a point in time image (shadow copy) of one or more volumes that can be used to perform backups. The service is also used during restores of applications.

Event Details

Product: Windows Operating System
ID: 12338
Source: VSS
Version: 6.1
Symbolic Name: VSS_ERROR_TIMEOUT_BEGIN_FLUSH_AND_HOLD
Message: Volume Shadow Copy Error: VSS spent more than %1 seconds trying to open and flush all the volumes in the shadow- copy set. This caused volume %2 to timeout waiting for the hold-writes phase of shadow-copy creation. Trying again when disk activity is lower may solve this problem. %3

Resolve

Check the system performance and resources

This event indicates that the computer is low on memory or disk resources or that the system I/O load is very high.

Possible resolutions include:

  • Reduce the system or I/O load and retry the operation, or schedule Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) or other operations during the least busy periods for the computer.
  • Check the shadow copy storage area configuration and determine whether it needs to be changed.
  • If necessary, move the shadow copy storage area (also called the "diff area") to a different volume.

To perform these procedures, you must have membership in Administrators, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority.

Check the volume shadow copy storage area configuration and determine whether it needs to be changed

To check the volume shadow copy storage area configuration and determine whether it needs to be changed:

  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt window. Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.
  2. Type vssadmin list shadowstorage, and then press Enter. The command output lists the volume shadow copy storage space that is currently being used, the space that is allocated for future use, and the maximum space that could be used.
  3. If the volume shadow copy storage space that is currently being used is almost as large as the maximum, consider moving the volume shadow copy storage area to a different, dedicated volume to improve performance. For more information, see the "Move the volume shadow copy storage area to a different volume" section.

For more information about the vssadmin command, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=103401. For information about managing shadow copy storage space, see "Shadow Copy Space Management" in http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=157113.

Move the volume shadow copy storage area to a different volume

To move the volume shadow copy storage area to a different volume:

Caution: When you change the location of the shadow copy storage area, all previous shadow copies are deleted.

Note: To successfully create a shadow copy, at least one NTFS file system volume is required with at least 300 MB of free space. Do not store the volume shadow copy storage area on a storage device that can be easily removed from the computer. Do not store the volume shadow copy storage area on a storage device that may not be available to Windows until late in the system startup sequence. For example, a logical unit number (LUN) created on an Internet SCSI (iSCSI) storage subsystem might not appear until a software initiator has started.

  1. Click Start, and then click Computer.
  2. Right-click any of the volumes listed, and then click Configure Shadow Copies.
  3. Click the volume that is currently used for the volume shadow copy storage area, and then click Settings.

    Note: If shadow copies of the volume are enabled, you must first disable them by clicking the volume, and then clicking Disable.

  4. Set the volume shadow copy area volume to a volume with more storage capacity by selecting the volume from the drop-down list under Storage area, and then click OK.
  5. Ensure that the volume is still selected, and click Enable. If you are asked to confirm that you want to enable shadow copies, click Yes.
  6. Click OK to exit.

Verify

To verify that the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) is operating correctly, retry the previous VSS operation.

Related Management Information

Volume Shadow Copy Service Operations

File Services

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