Acronis VSS Doctor

Free tool for diagnosing and repairing Volume
Shadow Copy Service issues


start-menu-icon-windows-1-0_99887.pngWindows XP/Vista/7/8/10 
Windows Server 2003/2008, 2012 and later

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.

Free tool for diagnosing and repairing Volume Shadow Copy Service issues


Acronis’ free tool, Acronis VSS Doctor, helps everyday users, IT professionals and support specialists quickly identify the problem and efficiently fixes the most common Volume Shadow Copy Service issues.

Key features


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


Diagnose only



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


Report generation



Diagnostics results can be saved as a plain-text report for sharing or future analysis.

Advantages of Acronis VSS Doctor


Icon.png One-click diagnostic of all VSS components

Icon.png Automatically collects data from scattered sources into a single report

Icon.png Easily spots the weak places in the VSS infrastructure

Icon.png Generates a report with the results of the tests performed

Icon.png 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


  1. Download the Free VSS repair tool
  2. Launch the tool (local administrator rights are required)
  3. Click Start Diagnostic and wait until it finishes
  4. Check out sections marked as  icon_notifications_warning.png
  5. Click Save Report if you want to save diagnostic results as a plain-text report
  6. If a Fix Issues button is available, click on it to see the exact solutions proposed by the tool and proceed if you agree
  7. After fixing the found issues, click Start Diagnostic again to check if all the issues were corrected
  8. Retry the backup operation that failed

Download and system requirements 

Acronis VSS Doctor
for .NET Framework 3.5 


For Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008
For Windows XP/Vista, Windows Server 2003 Please install .NET Framework 3.5

Download Free


Acronis VSS Doctor
for .NET Framework 4.5


For Windows 8 and later / Windows Server 2012 and later

Download Free


Acronis VSS Doctor is a free tool, and will continue to be offered as a free download.



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.

Acronis True Image

Looking for complete data protection?

Acronis True Image 2021 is the fastest, most secure backup and recovery solution available. With disk cloning, full image and file/folder backups, bootable media and more, it ensures you can quickly recover your system while safeguarding your treasured photos, videos, and important documents.


© 2003-2021 Acronis International GmbH. All rights reserved.
Legal Info | Privacy Policy