Occassional system state backup issues (vss snapshot)

Last post 06-25-2020, 3:08 PM by Liam. 5 replies.
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  • Occassional system state backup issues (vss snapshot)
    Posted: 06-22-2020, 11:37 AM

    Am having some occassional problems where the backup of a system is having issues with the system state backup. (Vss snapshot fails)  Filesystem agent (windows server 2012 and 2016).  The initial file scan fails.  Sometimes it takes several attempts to work.  Very occassionally the backup fails, but often it recovers.  It is seeming to occur on a random number of systems, and varies from night to night.  On a couple of occassions I've gone into a system, and restarted the various services as a "vssadmin list writers" will show several that are in a failed state.

    I opened a ticked back in January and the response was that this is an MS problem, and I'd have to talk to them about it.

    I get that, but surely someone has some CV knowledge on what sort of things to look for, and some ideas and/or experience in resolving this sort of problem.

    I recently update from SP16 to SP18 hoping that might help, but it did not.


    Regarding numbers.  Am backing up 200+ servers/systems a night, and the problem only occurs on a handful on a particular day ( less than 5).

    The Windows event logs report VSS failure with "system reserved" volume.

  • Re: Occassional system state backup issues (vss snapshot)
    Posted: 06-22-2020, 12:45 PM

    Related question:

    What would be the best way to get a report, listing backup jobs which had trouble with the file scan process, but ultimately succeeded?

  • Re: Occassional system state backup issues (vss snapshot)
    Posted: 06-22-2020, 1:32 PM

    Ran the event report on the commserver, and after some mangling, noticed that the problem increased after the last Windows patch updates were applied. Went from low single digits, perhaps only one on a given day, to 15-20 somthing on average.

  • Re: Occassional system state backup issues (vss snapshot)
    Posted: 06-22-2020, 1:48 PM

    i Deb,

    if vssadmin list writers shows items in a failed state then that will have to be resolved before looking at commvault side. We need the writers in order to call the snapshot. as support mentioned that side of things is MS.

    there is a KB article from commvault here that may help - http://kb.commvault.com/article/HPV0004

    I would also suggest taking a look here - https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/940184/error-message-when-you-run-the-vssadmin-list-writers-command-on-a-wind#:~:text=Click%20Start%2C%20click%20Run%2C%20type%20cmd%2C%20and%20then%20click,to%20complete%20the%20remaining%20steps.


    Gary Seibak
    Technical Account Manager - Commvault
  • Re: Occassional system state backup issues (vss snapshot)
    Posted: 06-25-2020, 3:03 PM

    There are two similar issues here.

    1. The initial filescan process fails, but at the next retry everything works fine.

    2. The filescan process fails continually.  Running "vssadmin list writers" shows many failed.  Restarting them rairly fixes things.  I have to go into the properties of the backup and turn off "System State" backups.  On occassion, if I go back in a couple of days, I can re-enable it with no issues.


  • Re: Occassional system state backup issues (vss snapshot)
    Posted: 06-25-2020, 3:08 PM
    • Aplynx is not online. Last active: 01-05-2021, 3:13 PM Liam
    • Top 10 Contributor
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    Need to see what file scan reports during failure and correlate with event logs of OS. 

    Same API commands are sent to very machine. Could be AV exclusions might not be in place. 

    Doesn't make sense that they just work without rebooting or cycling crypto and VSS, especially if the issue is the VSS writers. 

    Could be space issue too, but would be reported in logs. 

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