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VSS Writer error. Any suggestion for alternate backup plan?

Created: 23 Oct 2011 • Updated: 11 Jan 2012 | 15 comments
D.Ferry's picture
This issue has been solved. See solution.

Hi, i would like to ask for any help. Ive been searching for a solution/backup plan for quite some time now and with no good result. Thats when I had decided to ask here in the forum. Im experiencing an error regarding our Exchange server running on Windows Server 2003 sp2. Im using backup exec 2010 r2 for my backup but ever since i started to recieve an error regarding the vss writer fail/retryable error, ive been looking for ways to backup our server for one time enabling me to secure a backup of our server. After the backup, i would then reboot the server and do some installation of hotfix required to fix the vss or if possible, do some cleaning. There's a certain guide that lead me to a page where in they are telling me to do a flat file backup using NTbackup. They require me to disable the Volume shadow copy while i do the backup. But when i start the ntbackup wizard, the "Disable the Volume Shadow copy" is greyed out. Is there any other way that I can secure a backup of the server to continue the reboot?

 

Thanks in advance...

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newsolutionBE's picture

Hi

 

I have you applied VSS rollup patch 940349 Vss issue

Please try reapplying the patch if it is already installed by uninstalling reboot & reinstalling reboot this helps in resolving most of the issue with VSS on win2003

Please check link below

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/940349

Thanks & Regards

If this response answers your query, please mark it as a solution.

pkh's picture

The OP wants to backup the server BEFORE he does a re-boot, not the other way round.

DevG's picture

In order to use NTBackup utility, just make sure that the Removable Storage service on the server in question is not disabled. If this service is disabled, it will not allow you to use NTBackup functionality. Once you confirm that Removable Storage service is enabled (and it should be set to "manual"), you launch NTBackup and continue with the wizard and select the option to backup entire server (all information on this computer).

CraigV's picture

NTbackup isn't the way to go here...at all in fact. You've bought the license for the Exchange agent so that's what you should be using.

If installing the VSS Rollup Patch doesn't work you can look at reregistering the VSS *.dlls in Windows itself.

Check the TN below...there is a link to a MS site where you can download a small executable that fixes the *.dlls for you. I have used this successfully on a number of occasions in the past couple of weeks.

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH70486

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

D.Ferry's picture

Thanks everyone for your help. Pkh is right, i need to perform a backup before a reboot. Devg, any work around you can suggest about my issue using NTbackup "disable Volume Shadow Copy" greyed out? Craigv, is it possible that the problem i am experiencing right now is related to the dlls? I know that after the reboot, my problem should be fix but as much as possible i need to fix the issue regarding the VSS without performing a server reboot. And if it require me to really reboot the server, then i need to secure a file system state backup of our server to restore incase we experience a problem after the reboot. Thanks everyone.

CraigV's picture

...all that the *.dll fix does is reregister them. Nothing else. It can be done while the server is live, and I have used this sucessfully in the past. Sometimes had to run it 2 or 3 times, but it works.

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

D.Ferry's picture

Thanks a lot craigv and everyone. I really apriciate the help. Ill update this after every possible work around that you had suggested had been tested. Thanks...

D.Ferry's picture

I had managed to reboot the exchange server and manage to perform the dll reregistration but still i am experiencing a problem with my backup using backup exec. I tried to disable the GRT and VSC of the backup exec but still with no result. I am receiving a "waiting for completion" and my backup always goes with an error V-79-57344-34040 with the message "The exchange store service is not responding. Backup set cancelled" and "The connection to target system has been lost. Backup set cancelled". Maybe you can help me with my issue again this time. Thank you very much guys.

CraigV's picture

...uninstall the RAWS agent and try again.

If a reboot and the VSS *.dll rereg doesn't work, it might be time to start looking at a Microsoft fix for this. See if there are any hotfixes that address this on the MS site. I will hit the support flag anyway for you.

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

D.Ferry's picture

I just want to update the status of this case. I had performed an isolated backup last weekend and comes up with an error same as my last post. The only difference I have this time is the status of the vssadmin list writers with a result of retryable error. Im planning on performing the dll reregistration for the VSS then perform an isolated backup of the information store. Will update this thread once my backup is over. As of now, reboot is really critical for me.

CraigV's picture

...thanks for the update. I've noticed more VSS errors once servers have been virtualised within ESX 4.1. We don't have virtual media servers on these sites, yet get more VSS errors. I've also had to run the VSS *.dll fix a couple of times on servers to get it repaired properly...

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

D.Ferry's picture

Yesterday, I had managed to perform a successfull backup of the information store, systems state, file level and shadow copy component in an isolated backup selection and policies. I perform a dll reregistration on the exchange server and rerun vss and agent services. Then checked my media server logs and found an error relates to ip conflict and the intermittent network connection. During the time that i am performing a backup, the server suddenly reboot without any pop up error message or like. Thats when i think that i should check every logs that i had from the past week. I've found out that the server reboot from time to time. Ill try migrating the backup exec on another sopare server then do a cleanup on the old media server. Ill update this thread once ive completed the cleanup. Wish me luck this time, i hope all of the issues im having right be solved. Thanks for the support everyone... :)

D.Ferry's picture

The configuration i had done is a success... After several try of reregistration, i come up with a successfull backup. I had then decided to isolate jobs permantly from the information store and other level of backup. But im plannin on adding another information store on my backup. An error pops on my screen "Error, Unable to open \\xxxxxxxxx02.xxx.com.ph\Microsoft Information Store\xxxxxxxx because it is currently being backed up by another process.". Anyone experience this error before? any work around or solution. Ill be waiting for your response guys... thanks...

CraigV's picture

...check and make sure the Windows Backup Utility application isn't backing it up.

You can also look at stopping the Information Store service on the Exchange server during scheduled downtime which should fix this.

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

D.Ferry's picture

Well, it seems like the admin for the exchange server decided to just delete the mail storage recieving the said error and create a new mail storage. Thanks for the help everyone. Hope to recieve your help again next time. :)

SOLUTION