Backups failing due to volume shadow copy

1930 pts.
Backup and Recovery
Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Volume Shadow Copy
Windows Server backup
On a Windows Server 2003 standard machine, I have set up NTbackup to run daily. For the first couple of weeks the backups ran smoothly, but now every single one fails with the error: Volume shadow copy creation: Attempt 1. Timeout before function completed Error returned while creating the volume shadow copy:0x80042319. Error returned while creating the volume shadow copy:80042319 Aborting Backup. If I go to event Viewer I get:

Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Unexpected error DeviceIoControl(?Volume{a5511180-7eba-11d8-bdbf-806e6f6e6963} - 00000198,0x0053c00c,000377C0,0,000387C8,4096,[0]). hr = 0x80070057.
Also in the event viewer throughout the day are other VSS related errors:

7001 VssAdmin: Unable to create a shadow copy: Another shadow copy creation is already in progress. Please wait a few moments and try again. Command-line: 'C:WINDOWSsystem32vssadmin.exe Create Shadow /AutoRetry=5 /For=?Volume{a5511181-7eba-11d8-bdbf-806e6f6e6963}'. 

Volume Shadow Copy Service error: The I/O writes cannot be held during the shadow copy creation period on volume ?Volume{a5511180-7eba-11d8-bdbf-806e6f6e6963}. The volume index in the shadow copy set is 0. Error details: Open[0x00000000], Flush[0x00000000], Release[0x80042314], OnRun[0x00000000]
EventID: 12310

Volume Shadow Copy Service error: The shadow copy could not be committed - operation timed out. Error context: DeviceIoControl(?Volume{a5511180-7eba-11d8-bdbf-806e6f6e6963} - 00000198,0x0053c010,000377C0,0,000387C8,4096,[0]).
Now, I have had similar issues with servers before and have always found a lot of suggested fixes online, but never a definitive solution. Sometimes certain things people suggest work, other times nothing they suggest will work and we only manage to fix the issue by fluke after uninstalling software, resetting backups etc. For the issue I am experiencing now I have found out there is a hotfix available which I have downloaded and will install soon. As always I am not fully confident that this will solve the problem. Can anyone provide any more information on what causes these errors; why shadow copies will work for months without a hitch and suddenly start playing up when nothing at all has been changed on the system?

Answer Wiki

Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.

The hotfixes actually didn’t make a difference. I tried to run manual shadow copies during the day when I knew nothing could be causing a conflict. This still failed so I thought maybe the shadow copies are failing because of disk space (even though just under 1 GB was free)

I checked and the shadow copies for C:\ and D:\ were being stored on their own drives whereas we usually set up a seperate partition to hold shadow copies.

After freeing up a couple of GB the backups now work.

Discuss This Question: 6  Replies

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  • JennyMack
    This question has been marked with a 100 Knowledge Point bonus. Contribute a good answer to this question and we'll add 100 points to your account! Thanks, Jenny Community Manager
    4,280 pointsBadges:
  • JennyMack
    Hi Owen, Since you not only fixed the problem but posted the solution for your issue, you're eligible for the points! Congrats, Jenny
    4,280 pointsBadges:
  • Devth
    Install the VSS Rollup Patch (REBOOT REQUIRED) and then try backups again...
    45 pointsBadges:
  • OwenAmbrose
    Thank you Devth that could be very useful to me as many servers I manage run into VSS problems with backups.
    1,930 pointsBadges:
  • Biyogi

    I'm seeing exactly these errors same OS (Win 2003 SP2), but a VMware virtual server. Have tried the hotfix below but its been superseded by newer patches (I guess SP2) on my server. I still haven yet found any solution to what could be the cause/solution. Would appreciate answers.

    20 pointsBadges:
  • Michael Tidmarsh
    Welcome to ITKE, Biyogi! Could you start a new question so our experts can try to help you with your issue?

    For more information on our community, check out our FAQ.
    65,700 pointsBadges:

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