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How to Resolve VSS Writer Errors Without Rebooting

How to Resolve VSS Writer Errors Without Rebooting Scenario 1: Failed VSS Writers • There are instances when backups are failing due to an agent's VSS writers being in a failed state, but it is impossible or not desirable to restart the server until at least after business hours. Scenario 2: VSS Writers Not Started • There may also be a writer that is not running and needs to be. Running the command vssadmin list writers will only show a list of writers that are currently started Scenario 3: Using VShadow for Windows Server 2003 or XP • VSS is available in the Volume Shadow Copy Service 7.2 SDK, which you can download from the Windows Download Center. Troubleshooting Troubleshooting Scenario 1: Failed VSS writers Find the failed VSS writers and their associated services, and restart them: 1. Run Command Prompt as Administrator (Start > Command Prompt > right click on Command Prompt and Run as Administrator) 2. Find each of the VSS writers in a failed state by issuing this command - vssadmin list writers. Figure 1 3. If the vssadmin list writers command hangs and does not return any output, this is an indication that the Volume Shadow Copy service itself, or one of its dependent tasks, might be in a bad state, causing the VSS writer audit to fail. Restarting this service will typically clear this state. If the service will not restart, a reboot of the production machine is likely required. 4. Make a list of all the failed VSS writers or take a screenshot. 5. Find the VSS writer's associated Service Display Name in the table below and restart the service (helpful table below). Figure 2 6. Open services.msc (Start > Run > services.msc), and stop any VSS related service that are running. 7. Run the command vssadmin list writers again in elevated command prompt to confirm the status has changed to Stable with No Error. Figure 3 8. Try another backup 9. If the VSS writers fail again, you must reboot the machine.

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