Exchange backups fail with "A failure occurred querying the Writer status...Last error: The VSS Writer failed, but the operation can be retried (0x800423f3), State: Failed during freeze operation (9)"

Article:TECH148079  |  Created: 2011-01-13  |  Updated: 2014-04-29  |  Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH148079
Article Type
Technical Solution


Subject

Issue



Windows Server 2003 Exchange server backups fail with the errors below and the following have been confirmed on the Exchange server:

1.  All the VSS (Volume Shadow Copy) writers show stable and no error on the Exchange server

2.  There are no VSS or VolSnap events logged in the Windows Event Viewer Application or System logs

3.  AOFO (Advanced Open File Option) is disabled in the backup job

4.  Additional snapshot providers are installed

     -  To generate a list of providers that are installed on the system, run "vssadmin list providers" at a command prompt on the Exchange server.  By default, the Microsoft Software Shadow Copy provider 1.0 should be listed as it is installed by default with Windows 2003 and later operating systems.

 


Error



Completed status: Failed
Final error: 0xe000fed1 - A failure occurred querying the Writer status.
Final error category: Resource Errors

Backup- server_name.domain.com

AOFO: Initialization failure on: "\\server_name.domain.com\Microsoft Information Store\First Storage Group". Advanced Open File Option used: Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS).
Snapshot provider error (0xE000FED1): A failure occurred querying the Writer status.
Check the Windows Event Viewer for details.
Writer Name: Exchange Server, Writer ID: {76FE1AC4-15F7-4BCD-987E-8E1ACB462FB7}, Last error: The VSS Writer failed, but the operation can be retried (0x800423f3), State: Failed during freeze operation (9).

 


Cause



The Windows Event Viewer System log shows an uncompatible third party hardware or software snaphsot provider being called to snap the Exchange database during the backup:

Event ID:  7035
Source:  Service Control Manager
Type:  Information
Description:  The Symantec SymSnap VSS Provider service was successfully sent a start control.

The Volume Shadow Copy Service tries to start the snapshot providers in the following order:

  1. Hardware provider
  2. Software provider
  3. System provider

The error is caused by VSS sending a start command to a snapshot provider which does not meet the Exchange 2003 snapshot requirements.  Customers should verify with the vendors the snapshot provider being requested fulfills the Exchange-compliant requirements listed in this Microsoft Knowledge Base article:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822896

In most cases, the Microsoft Software Shadow Copy snapshot provider (installed by default with Windows Server 2003 and later operating systems) should be used to snapshot Exchange.

 


Solution



In cases of Exchange backups, the job properties to select a particular snapshot provider under AOFO (Advanced Open File Option) should be disabled.  Therefore, to modify the above behavior a registry edit is required on the Exchange server.

Warning: Incorrect use of the Windows registry editor may prevent the operating system from functioning properly. Great care should be taken when making changes to a Windows registry. Registry modifications should only be carried-out by persons experienced in the use of the registry editor application. It is recommended that a complete backup of the registry and workstation be made prior to making any registry changes.

  1. Click Start > Run > type regedit > click OK
  2. Locate the following registry subkey:
      HKey_Local_Machine\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\BackupRestore
  3. Right-click the key, highlight new and then click DWORD Value
  4. Type UseMicrosoftProvider as the name for the new DWORD value, and then press ENTER
  5. Double-click UseMicrosoftProvider and change the value to 1 to enable (To disable, change the value to 0)
  6. Press ENTER, and then exit Registry Editor
  7. Restart the server

If the registry key already exists and the wrong snapshot provider is still being used to backup Exchange, please perform the following:

  1. Click Start > Run > type regedit > click OK
  2. Locate the following registry subkey:
      HKey_Local_Machine\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\BackupRestore
  3. Export key UseMicrosoftProvider to the desktop
  4. Delete UseMicrosoftProvide key from the registry
  5. Restart the server
  6. Import key UseMicrosoftProvide (selecting the one from the desktop)
  7. Restart the server

 
Acknowledgements:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/941956

 


Supplemental Materials

SourceError Code
Value0xE000FED1
Description

A failure occurred querying the Writer status.

 




Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH148079


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