Please note the screenshots are taken from different sources of on the internet, therefore the data and time parameters are not correlated. In an actual troubleshooting scenario, these details are correlated.
Check the event log for failure events logged by Windows Server Backup.
Filter and check the VSS event logs to see if any errors are logged which can be correlated to the backup.
Above event log narrow down to a VSS issue of Microsoft Exchange writer.
Get a CMD console with Admin privileges and type “VSSadmin list writers”
As you can see the list of vss writers will appear and we can identify that the Microsoft Exchange writer has failed. This has caused the backup failure. In this instance, you will have to restart the corresponding service of the Microsoft Exchange writer, which is the information store. (This needs to be restarted out of business hours as it will disrupt the email flow)
Also, it is advisable to restart all the writers which are not in a Stable state even though it is not in a failed state.
Following is the list of vss writers and the corresponding services.
|VSS Writer||Service Name||Service Display Name|
|ADAM $instanceName Writer||ADAM_$instanceName||$instanceName|
|ASR Writer||VSS||Volume Shadow Copy|
|BITS Writer||BITS||Background Intelligent Transfer Service|
|Certificate Authority||CertSvc||Active Directory Certificate Services|
|COM+ REGDB Writer||VSS||Volume Shadow Copy|
|DFS Replication service writer||DFSR||DFS Replication|
|DHCP Jet Writer||DHCPServer||DHCP Server|
|FRS Writer||NtFrs||File Replication|
|FSRM writer||srmsvc||File Server Resource Manager|
|IIS Config Writer||AppHostSvc||Application Host Helper Service|
|IIS Metabase Writer||IISADMIN||IIS Admin Service|
|Microsoft Exchange Replica Writer||MSExchangeRepl||Microsoft Exchange Replication Service|
|Microsoft Exchange Writer||MSExchangeIS||Microsoft Exchange Information Store|
|Microsoft Hyper-V VSS Writer||vmms||Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management|
|MSMQ Writer (MSMQ)||MSMQ||Message Queuing|
|MSSearch Service Writer||WSearch||Windows Search|
|NPS VSS Writer||EventSystem||COM+ Event System|
|NTDS||NTDS||Active Directory Domain Services|
|OSearch VSS Writer||OSearch||Office SharePoint Server Search|
|OSearch14 VSS Writer||OSearch14||SharePoint Server Search 14|
|OSearch15 VSS Writer||OSearch15||SharePoint Server Search 15|
|Registry Writer||VSS||Volume Shadow Copy|
|Shadow Copy Optimization Writer||VSS||Volume Shadow Copy|
|SharePoint Services Writer||SPWriter||Windows SharePoint Services VSS Writer|
|SPSearch VSS Writer||SPSearch||Windows SharePoint Services Search|
|SPSearch4 VSS Writer||SPSearch4||SharePoint Foundation Search V4|
|SqlServerWriter||SQLWriter||SQL Server VSS Writer|
|System Writer||CryptSvc||Cryptographic Services|
|TermServLicensing||TermServLicensing||Remote Desktop Licensing|
|WDS VSS Writer||WDSServer||Windows Deployment Services Server|
|WIDWriter||WIDWriter||Windows Internal Database VSS Writer|
|WINS Jet Writer||WINS||Windows Internet Name Service (WINS)|
|WMI Writer||Winmgmt||Windows Management Instrumentation|
Once the appropriate vss writer is restarted the backup can be reinitiated.
Please note if the issue is continuously happening you may need to check the logs to find the root cause of the VSS failure.
Written by: Dulan Chathuranga.