Troubleshooting VSS Backup Issues
What is VSS?
Volume Shadow Copy Service (aka VSS, Shadow Copy, or Volume Snapshot Service) is a technology included in Microsoft Windows that allows snapshots of computer files or volumes to be taken, even when they are in use. Most backup software programs rely on this technology to perform their core backup/restore operations.
There are many reasons why VSS might not work properly, which can cause your backup software to fail. When that happens, diagnosing the problem can be a tricky task, even for the most experienced IT professional. Given the number of system components involved, there are countless things you need to check.
Diagnose and repair
Configuration and status of VSS-related services: Volume Shadow Copy, Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider, COM+ Event System
Configuration of VSS providers
Access rights for VSS (not supported for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003)
VSS COM-interface registration (not supported for Windows XP)
Configuration of VSS shadow storages (not supported for Windows XP)
Access rights for NTFS volumes
List of faulted VSS writers
Free space available on disks. Provides drive letter assignment for “hidden” volumes.
Current I/O load of disks
List of VSS-related errors/warnings from Windows Event Log
Diagnostics results can be saved as a plain-text report for sharing or future analysis.
Advantages of Acronis VSS Doctor
One-click diagnostic of all VSS components
Automatically collects data from scattered sources into a single report
Easily spots the weak places in the VSS infrastructure
Generates a report with the results of the tests performed
Fixes issues with one-click when a pre-defined solution is available
Why you need a VSS repair tool
If you encounter Volume Shadow Copy Service error or snapshot-like error messages like the ones below, it means the VSS of your backup software failed … and you’ll want to the Acronis VSS Doctor free tool for your shadow copy troubleshooting.
"Volume Shadow Copy Error ..."
"Error returned while creating the volume shadow copy ..."
"Failed to create a snapshot" / "Unable to create volume snapshot"
"VSS writer ... has failed to process the snapshot"
"Snapshot preparation failed"
How to use VSS Doctor Tool
- Download the Free VSS repair tool
- Launch the tool (local administrator rights are required)
- Click Start Diagnostic and wait until it finishes
- Check out sections marked as
- Click Save Report if you want to save diagnostic results as a plain-text report
- If a Fix Issues button is available, click on it to see the exact solutions proposed by the tool and proceed if you agree
- After fixing the found issues, click Start Diagnostic again to check if all the issues were corrected
- Retry the backup operation that failed
Download and system requirements
Acronis VSS Doctor is a free tool, and will continue to be offered as a free download.
VSS TOOL FAQ
Q: Is there any functional difference between .NET 3.5 and .NET 4.5 versions?
A: No, both versions are identical. The different versions of .NET Framework were simply built in order to avoid the additional installation of a specific version.
Q: Why does the list of errors in the Event Log section change from run to run?
A: The list of errors in the Event Log section is a subset of Windows Event Log items, which only contain errors and warnings that have been logged during last 24 hours. Older items are removed as time passes and fresh items replace them.
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