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Backup Exec on SBS 2011 - ASR Writer keeps failing

Created: 29 Apr 2013 | 4 comments

Fully patched Backup Exec 2012 and SBS 2011. Physical machine backing up to a 3TB external hard drive.

I start a full backup and the ASR writer will go to a failed state nearly immediately.

Writer name: 'ASR Writer'
   Writer Id: {be000cbe-11fe-4426-9c58-531aa6355fc4}

   Writer Instance Id: {bc93d8db-f7d1-4011-941d-dc8e8bc63775}
   State: [7] Failed
   Last error: Timed out

There is nothing in the logs apart from an informational message that says

Ran out of time while deleting files.

   OnPostSnapshot event
   PostSnapshot Event

   Execution Context: Shadow Copy Optimization Writer
   Execution Context: Writer
   Writer Class Id: {4dc3bdd4-ab48-4d07-adb0-3bee2926fd7f}
   Writer Name: Shadow Copy Optimization Writer
   Writer Instance ID: {c1a966b6-31c2-4dc4-a285-e409016abf34}

I have re-registered the VSS from here: I have made sure there is enough space on the drives. I have added a drive letter to the OEM Recovery partition and assigned shadow copy space on another drive.

Operating Systems:

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CraigV's picture


Any chance you can run the backup on a local drive to see if you get the same error?


Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

Colin Weaver's picture

I think I have seen that before in a support case and it was because of the way VSS operates with a 4K sector size drive (4k sector sizes are offten used on USB disks larger than 2TB and technically Microsoft does not support them prior to Windows 2012)

See if it does the same thing with a smaller USB disk connected. If it does not, then use the OEM tools from the USB drive vendor to reformat the USB disk with a 512 byte (emulation mode) - Note there are multiple different names for this emulation format and then each vendor also may use a unique name in their software tools as well.

You can find details on Microsoft's website (or using Google)  about 4K sector size drives

Mark Valpreda's picture

The backup fails and the exact error is:

V-79-57344-850 - Snapshot Technology: Initialization failure on: "System?State". Snapshot technology used: Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). Snapshot technology error (0xE0000352): The specified volume does not exist. Recreate the volume, and then try the job again. Check the Windows Event Viewer for details.

I see this when running the backup with SGMON running and all options selected.
BEREMOTE: [04/30/13 07:23:00] [17600]     2013-04-30T07:22:32.598 [fsys\shadow]        - Informational: Status VSS_E_WRITERERROR_TIMEOUT (0x800423F2) State 7 getting Writer ASR Writer ID {BE000CBE-11FE-4426-9C58-5

31AA6355FC4} Instance ID {18F90A47-F569-4F2B-A479-7F044A5F9FCC} status in SHADOW::GetWriterStatus
Could that still be a 4k sector issue? These are Western Digital My Book 3TB drives.
Colin Weaver's picture

To be honest I am not sure what was in the debug log of the previous customer that experienced this. Coincidentally though I think they were also using SBS with a 4K sector size USB drive connected

and yes the 4k sector size can be the cause of this and this means any USB disk from any manufacturer that is larger than 2TB could have the same problem.

EDIT1: OK so I found the article relating to the previous reported case - was reported against BE2010 R3 so the exact symptoms might not be 100% the same.

Please bear in mind that SBS2011 is based on Windows 2008 R2 so the statements about 4k sector support by Microsoft do apply.

EDIT2: the blog for the vss fix has been pulled as it advised actions that are acknowledged by both Microsoft and Symantec as dangerous in Windows 2008 and later.