Troubleshooting VSS Problems

It is obviously preferable, and conducive to more reliable restores, for all applications to be closed at the backup time, but there are many cases where this is not possible, thus Microsoft has created the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to backup open files on the local machine in a crash resistant state, i.e. files that are open and in use by applications at the backup time.  So, our software utilizes VSS by default, though it can be turned off in GUI or via the INI file using the css option as described below.

On some machines you will encounter VSS errors or warnings during backup such as “Warning, VSS [StartSnapshotSet returned VSS_E_BAD_STATE].”   These VSS problems sometimes result from (a) multiple different backup solutions, (b) something wrong with the configuration of VSS on the local computer, and (c) other reasons.   Microsoft has several KB (Knowledge Base) articles that describe the cause of VSS issues and offer fixes and solutions.  We’ve created a hot fix from the Microsoft articles that can specified in our INI file with the option called vssfix or by launching the GUI in expert mode and choosing the following on the Expert Settings tab.

This fix effectively runs the following commands (there are some variations based on what operating system the client is running on) prior to invoking a VSS snapshot and correct most (but not all) VSS problems:

cd /d "%windir%\system32" & net stop "Background Intelligent Transfer Service" /y
cd /d "%windir%\system32" & net stop "COM+ Event System" /y
cd /d "%windir%\system32" & net stop "Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider" /y
cd /d "%windir%\system32" & net stop "Volume Shadow Copy" /y
cd /d "%windir%\system32" & net stop vss
cd /d "%windir%\system32" & net stop swprv
cd /d "%windir%\system32" & regsvr32 /s ole32.dll
cd /d "%windir%\system32" & regsvr32 /s oleaut32.dll
cd /d "%windir%\system32" & regsvr32 /s vss_ps.dll
cd /d "%windir%\system32" & vssvc /register
cd /d "%windir%\system32" & regsvr32 /s /i swprv.dll
cd /d "%windir%\system32" & regsvr32 /s /i eventcls.dll
cd /d "%windir%\system32" & regsvr32 /s es.dll
cd /d "%windir%\system32" & regsvr32 /s stdprov.dll
cd /d "%windir%\system32" & regsvr32 /s vssui.dll
cd /d "%windir%\system32" & regsvr32 /s msxml.dll
cd /d "%windir%\system32" & regsvr32 /s msxml3.dll
cd /d "%windir%\system32" & regsvr32 /s msxml4.dll
cd /d "%windir%\system32" & net start "Background Intelligent Transfer Service"
cd /d "%windir%\system32" & net start "COM+ Event System"
cd /d "%windir%\system32" & net start dhcpserver

If you have tried the vssfix and you do not need to backup open files then you can turn off our software’s usage of VSS but setting vss to zero in the INI file or by launching the GUI in expert mode and choosing the following on the Expert Settings tab:

If you do need to backup open files on your local computer and vssfix doesn’t resolve your problem(s) we recommend you have an experienced IT professional investigate the problem on your computer in more depth.

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