Video Screencast Help

VSSADMIN: unable to create a shadow copy

Created: 13 Nov 2012 | 7 comments

I have Backup Exec 2010 R3, ver 13.0 Rev. 5204 (32bit) and have been unable to perform a backup for about 3 weeks now due to the following error in Event Viewer:

VSSADMIN: unable to create a shadow copy: Insufficient storage available to create either the shadow copy storage file or other shadow copy data.

So far I have increased the vss volume size to about 3gb from 2gb, rebooted multiple times to make sure all vsswriters are showing as stable, deleted tmp folder content, defragged HD, run updates for Backup Exec 2010 R3 and all to no avail.  I would appreciate some assistance on this problem since this is a business software.


Comments 7 CommentsJump to latest comment

RLeon's picture

If you are running Win2003 32bit SP1/SP2, the following VSS update tends to fix most VSS related problems:

For the VSS volume location, Backup Exec seems like it better if it is located in the same volume as its source volume. Also when you increase the VSS volume size, do it in 10% increments of volume size.
As an example: For drive D:\, set it so that its VSS volume is located in D:\ (itself).
If D:\ is 700GB (The max volume size, not used size), then try a VSS size of 70GB; then if it is still complaining, try 140GB.

It might also be worthwhile to delete any existing shadow copies (snapshots) using vssadmin before trying everything again from fresh. You will have to make sure that any existing shadow copies you found are safe to delete. I.e., they are not being used by applications other than Backup Exec.

ZeRoC00L's picture

Check for the hofix in the KB article and modify the registry as mentioned.

If this response answers your concern, please mark it as a "solution"

SysAdmin28's picture

I will try these suggestions and respond later.  Thanks

pkh's picture

If you have not started shadows copy on the volume giving the error, start shadows copy.

SysAdmin28's picture

Shadow copy won't even run on my c drive which has 3.45gb free space.  The limit is set to 1050 and was 3000 but didn't work either time.

I just updated the BE software with the following hotfixes today:

hotfix 176937, 180429, 191248, 194471, 195395

This did no good either.  Any suggestions???????

pkh's picture

Shadow copy won't even run on my c drive

This is the souce of your problem.  You got to contact Microssoft and activate shadows copy.

RLeon's picture

Please also post BE's error messages and job details.

Is it Windows 2003? If so, you need to apply the Microsoft hotfix I linked to.

When I said:

when you increase the VSS volume size, do it in 10% increments of volume size

You actually have to have at least that amount of free space on the volume or Windows cannot create a shadow copy, which BE uses during a backup.
The Event Viewer message you saw should have been clear enough on that.

Also, when you set the limit, you don't look at the free space. As I said in my first post, you set it to 10% of the entire volume's max size. Free-space or used-space do not matter.
If your max volume size is 90GB and you have nGB free space, you still have to set the limit to 9GB.

Then, during a backup, if you do not have at least 9GB of free space, shadow copy will likely fail.

TechNet on how VSS works: