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VSS Writers fail

Created: 12 Jun 2013 • Updated: 13 Jun 2013 | 4 comments


I'm doing a MS Exchange 2010 backup, I got the next error:

V-79-57344-6404 - Snapshot Technology: Initialization failure on: "\\ANGEL\Microsoft Information Store\Direccion". Snapshot technology used: Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). Snapshot technology error (0xE0001904): A failure occurred querying the Writer status. 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 prepare snapshot operation (8). Check the Windows Event Viewer for details.

After this, the next backup shows the same error, until I restart the Exchange Server the backcup works fine, but after a couple of day tha problem comes again.

Exhange 2010: Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard SP1

BE 2012 with  all the patches in a Windows server 2008 R2 Standard SP1

If some one can help me, I'll appreciate.


Operating Systems:

Comments 4 CommentsJump to latest comment

Dyneshia's picture

From a command line :

vssadmin list writers

vssadmin list providers

Donald Eady's picture

Hey Joaquin, 

        Take a look at the following document..


I hope this posting was helpful


lmosla's picture

Have you checked windows events for errors that occurred during the time the backup ran?

along with Donald's document

take a look at this one

Exacting CYnic's picture

Sorry guys, nothing constructive from my end. Just a useless rant, that made me want to register.

5 years of supporting various clients with various environments who have purchased Symantec Backup Exec (various versions), usually with Tape solutions. (although one with ver 2010 which supports VMWare snapshots, backing up to external NAS).

Conclusion: not worth the trouble. Unlike 5 years ago, there are now cheaper, more reliable (guess wha? the solutions you can install, configure with alerting, and then forget about it until you do your DR testing actually exist!!) alternatives out there that backup to tape or NAS or whatever you need.

The time and effort in troubleshooting these types of errors, with no conclusive causes, no systematic processes to address the issues, result in higher admin costs (tired of nursing this product), and more importantly, loss of trust from the client. I only have 2 clients left using this terrible product, and I'll be oh so happy when they get the budget approval for upgrading.

Sorry Symantec. I don't recomend your backup products anymore. I don't even know how you could possibly salvage the situation. Good luck to you.