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VSS Writers status doesnt reset after a backup.

Created: 20 Jun 2007 • Updated: 09 Nov 2011 | 3 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.
Hi,
 
We are having problems with our Exchange Server backup. The following VSS  Writers display State [5] Waiting for completion after each backup:
 
Writer name: 'System Writer'
Writer name: 'Microsoft Exchange Writer'
Writer name: 'IIS Metabase Writer'
Writer name: 'FRS Writer'
Writer name: 'NTDS'
Writer name: 'WMI Writer'
 
All other Writers are State [1] Stable.
 
The full backup of that server is successful.
If i run another backup, the 'Microsoft Exchange Writer' state change to Retryable Error and the backup fails.
 
I've read lots of forums and tried every possible fix/workaround and we still have the same problem. To be able to backup the server, we have to reboot it each day. If i try to backup the server without resetting the VSS Writers state, the Exchange Server freeze and the backup fails. We can't receive/send emails anymore until the next reboot.
 
We are using:
- Windows Server 2003 Standard Service Pack 2
- Microsoft Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2
- BackupExec 11D with the latest patch
 
To backup the Exchange Server, we use a policy that backup the following to tape:
- C:\*.*
- D:\*.*
- Dell Utility Partition
- First Storage Group
- Shadow Copy Components
- System State
 
For the Exchange Agent, we have to following options checked:
- Enable the restore of individual mail messages...
- Perform consistency check...
- Continue with backup if consistency check fails
- Enable single instance backup for message attachments
 
Some thing i noticed during the backup is in the Event Log of the Exchange Server. Every 10sec or so, i have to following events "ESEUTIL (5032) The database engine stopped.", instantly followed by "ESEUTIL (1024) The database engine 6.05.7638.0002 started."
 
There is no errors in the Application and System event logs.
 
We only have this problem since we upgraded to Backup 11D, everything was OK with version 10. The installation of Backup 11D is a fresh install and i recreated the backup jobs. The jobs imported from the database backup of BE10 was a standalone job and now we created a policy instead. I've tried to recreate the same standalone job but the VSS Writers keeps hanging in Waiting for Completion state.
 
BackupExec is backing up 4 other servers without any problems.
 
Claude

Message Edited by Claude Bilodeau on 06-20-200708:20 AM

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Claude Bilodeau's picture
I've managed to fix my problem. Thanks to Montreal based CDInfo (www.cdinfo.com) that helped me a lot in resolving this issue.
 
Every backups are now working fine even tho the VSS Writers are always at Waiting for Completion.
 
-- STEP 1 --
 
cd /d %systemroot%\system32
net stop vss
net stop swprv
regsvr32 ole32.dll
regsvr32 vss_ps.dll
vssvc /register
regsvr32 /i swprv.dll
regsvr32 /i eventcls.dll
regsvr32 es.dll
regsvr32 stdprov.dll
regsvr32 vssui.dll
regsvr32 msxml.dll
regsvr32 msxml3.dll
regsvr32 msxml4.dll
regsvr32 msxml4.dll
 
-- STEP 2 : Reinstall COM+ and dependencies --
 
 
IMPORTANT: This will uninstall IIS, POP3, SMTP and a bunch of other services. Make sure you have a full backup of you server before uninstalling COM+. I found that i didnt have a backup of the important IIS configuration files after reinstall IIS. Here's the important files to backup to be able to get back the IIS service:
 
C:\WINDOWS\system32\inetsrv\MBSchema.xml
C:\WINDOWS\system32\inetsrv\MetaBase.xml
C:\WINDOWS\system32\inetsrv\History\*.*
 
To be able to backup those files, run: iisreset /stop
 
Add/Remove Windows Components
Uninstall Application Server/Enable network COM+ access
 
Take note of all other services that are uninstalled.
 
Rename the %WinDir%\System32\Clbcatq.dll file to %WinDir%\System32\~Clbcatq.dll
 
Restart in Safe mode
 
Locate and delete the following key in the registry:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\COM3
 
cd %windir%
rmdir /s Registration
 
Restart in Normal mode
 
Reinstall the uninstalled services. In my case: Enable network COM+ access, Active Server Pages, ASP.NET, World Wide Web Service, Application Server Console, SMTP Service, Internet Information Services Manager, Common Files.
 
Clear the Applications and System event logs.
 
Reboot
 
-- STEP 3 : Fix application/system errors --
 
After rebooting, open the Event Logs. Make sure you don't have any errors/warnings. Here's the errors i had and how to fix them:
 
The Microsoft Exchange POP3 service failed to start due to the following error:
The executable program that this service is configured to run in does not implement the service.
 
The Microsoft Exchange Routing Engine service failed to start due to the following error:
The executable program that this service is configured to run in does not implement the service.
 
The Microsoft Exchange IMAP4 service failed to start due to the following error:
The executable program that this service is configured to run in does not implement the service.
 
 
Clear the Applications and System event logs.
 
Reboot
 
==============================
 
The description for Event ID ( 116 ) in Source ( RESVC ) cannot be found. The local computer may not have the necessary registry information or message DLL files to display messages from a remote computer. You may be able to use the /AUXSOURCE= flag to retrieve this description; see Help and Support for details. The following information is part of the event: /LM/RESVC/.
 
Now you'll need that IIS backup. Follow this article to restore IIS to his previous state:
 
Clear the Applications and System event logs.
 
Reboot
 
-- STEP 4 : Anti-Spam software --
 
I find out that our Anti-Spam stopped working after reinstalling IIS and the SMTP services. We are using GFI MailEssentials, so i had to reinstall it.
 
-- STEP 5 : Run a full backup --
 
Using your BackupExec, run a full backup of the Exchange Server. After the backup completed, check the VSS Writers on the server you backed up and make sure they are NOT at Retryable Error.
 
SOLUTION
mcollins's picture

I was wondering if the above steps on the Exchange Server or the server running Exec Backup?  Or is it the same server?

I have recently started to experience this problem.  I am running the following:
- Exec Backup 12.5
- Windows Server 2003 SP2 (two servers, one with Exec Backup and the other with Exchange)
- Exchange 2007

I only notice the "State: [5] Waiting for completion" on the Exec Backup server, the Exchange doesn't show any errors.

Here is the full vssadmin list writers:

Writer name: 'System Writer'
   Writer Id: {e8132975-6f93-4464-a53e-1050253ae220}
   Writer Instance Id: {30145dd8-82ff-49f3-b85d-a310adbf17b0}
   State: [5] Waiting for completion
   Last error: No error

Writer name: 'MSDEWriter'
   Writer Id: {f8544ac1-0611-4fa5-b04b-f7ee00b03277}
   Writer Instance Id: {e3783c04-a1fb-4fe6-955c-763098b8a2e3}
   State: [1] Stable
   Last error: No error

Writer name: 'SqlServerWriter'
   Writer Id: {a65faa63-5ea8-4ebc-9dbd-a0c4db26912a}
   Writer Instance Id: {7337eb00-866b-41d1-99f4-aeb202ceb55e}
   State: [5] Waiting for completion
   Last error: No error

Writer name: 'Registry Writer'
   Writer Id: {afbab4a2-367d-4d15-a586-71dbb18f8485}
   Writer Instance Id: {b496c31c-448d-41f0-ad07-1dd62cb26fd8}
   State: [1] Stable
   Last error: No error

Writer name: 'COM+ REGDB Writer'
   Writer Id: {542da469-d3e1-473c-9f4f-7847f01fc64f}
   Writer Instance Id: {936e899b-4422-44c5-924a-e442166201aa}
   State: [1] Stable
   Last error: No error

Writer name: 'Event Log Writer'
   Writer Id: {eee8c692-67ed-4250-8d86-390603070d00}
   Writer Instance Id: {2604b331-6458-40a2-b4b7-79223b0c4573}
   State: [1] Stable
   Last error: No error

Writer name: 'WMI Writer'
   Writer Id: {a6ad56c2-b509-4e6c-bb19-49d8f43532f0}
   Writer Instance Id: {1bad1089-2228-4361-afca-dbda1a6b6b55}
   State: [5] Waiting for completion
   Last error: No error

Thanks.

sachin Sri's picture

I was also facing the same VSS writer issue for last 10 months.

Previously i was using Symantec Backup exec 12.0 and my Exchange 2007 SP2 backup was failed with the VSS writer (Writer status Failed) and the only solution is to reboot the exchange server and take the backup.

After upgrading from 12 to 12.5 VSS writer problem not occured frequently now we recd this error message once in a month. Now we are taking Shadow copy and Storage group backup seprately i.e with two different selection list with different policies.

Now VSS error ocurred not frequently ,but there is some issue while taking exchange 2007 backup with Symantec Backup exec

If any one have a permanent solution for this issue?

Thanks & Regard
Sachin Srivastava
+91 9891445916