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Windows Server 2008 SP2 - backup - Reading data, please wait

    Question

  • Problem: I open Windows Server Backup and it remains at "Reading data, please wait".

    I've waited for a good 30 minutes - nothing. have tried numerous times.

    *

    When did this start:

    This week. Yes, it has worked for years (literally) without the slightest problem.

    *

    What changed:

    I installed Windows updates over the weekend and rebooted the server. These were the September and October updates.

    *

    What is running on the server:

    - Exchange 2007 SP3 RU11

    - Sophos Antivirus - Endpoint control and PureMessage

    - Ultrabac 9.1 (we use this to back up the Exchange database -just the database - to a network location).

    *

    So besides the nightly backup of the database to a network location, I will perform a full server backup (all drives: C, E, F - D being the CD/DVD) to a set of external hard drives.

    Note: the nightly backup of the Exchange database to the network location was successful. I believe this software still performs "streaming backups" and does not use VSS (which may be useful to know).

    *

    - We do not use DPM

    - Performance Monitor shows CPU usage is 1-5%

    - There are no error / warning messages about this - at least not in the App and Sys logs - or the Admin Events filter (only error and warnings).

    - Otherwise, the server seems to function fine.

    - At least 90 GB of free space on any drive.

    - No difference if media is attached or not.

    *

    Reading other posts about *similar* issue, I'm wondering if I should try to restart the VSS service.

    But what effect would that have on normal server operations?

    As I said, I (normally) perform a full server backup, with bare metal restore, of drives C, E, F to an external hard drive (usually D). VSS is Full. I wonder if the command line equivalent would work?

    Probably not if VSS is not working. I tried this:

    C:\>vssadmin list writers
    vssadmin 1.1 - Volume Shadow Copy Service administrative command-line tool
    (C) Copyright 2001-2005 Microsoft Corp.

    Waiting for responses.
    These may be delayed if a shadow copy is being prepared.

    ...

    No response.

    This same command produces output within several seconds when I enter it on another server. So I'm guessing the syntax is correct.

    ***

    Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

     


    Please mark as helpful if you find my contribution useful or as an answer if it does answer your question. That will encourage me - and others - to take time out to help you.


    Tuesday, October 22, 2013 2:24 PM

Answers

  • Thanks Mandy.

    Yes, re-registering the vss writers was next on my list - I was considering a call to MS PSS just in case.

    Note that the directions say to backup the server first - which I could not do (!).

    Restarting several services (besides VSS) was another suggestion I found and a simple very early morning reboot seems to have solved the problem - probably because those services were rebooted.

    FYI (anyone facing the same situation), these are the services that apparently needed to be restarted:

    "Restart the services: COM+ System Application Service, Distributed Transaction Coordinator Service, and Volume Shadow Copy Service".

    Another recommendation is to delete old - or all - shadow copies:

    vssadmin delete shadows /all

    But I did not need to resort to either that or a dll re-register.

    Now I'm getting some breakfast!

    Thanks for the suggestion - as that may be useful to someone else in the future.


    Please mark as helpful if you find my contribution useful or as an answer if it does answer your question. That will encourage me - and others - to take time out to help you.

    Thursday, October 24, 2013 10:01 AM

All replies

  • I restarted the VSS service - no improvement.

    *

    Also disabled antivirus scanner, restarted VSS Service, still no results.

    *

    wbadmin get versions...

    shows a number of backups. At least that command produces output.

    *

    C:\>vssadmin list providers
    vssadmin 1.1 - Volume Shadow Copy Service administrative command-line tool
    (C) Copyright 2001-2005 Microsoft Corp.

    Provider name: 'Microsoft Software Shadow Copy provider 1.0'
       Provider type: System
       Provider Id: {b5946137-7b9f-4925-af80-51abd60b20d5}
       Version: 1.0.0.7

    *

    I've deleted the files (made copies first) in the C:\windows\Logs\WindowsServerBackup folder

    (An .etl file is created but at 0 bytes).

    *

    Still the same problem.

    So just what data is Windows Server Backup trying to read?


    Please mark as helpful if you find my contribution useful or as an answer if it does answer your question. That will encourage me - and others - to take time out to help you.




    Wednesday, October 23, 2013 1:28 PM
  • Hi,

    According to your description, the issue may occurs when VSS was failing and therefore Backup did not continue. Please try to re-register the vss writers. It will show some errors if specific file is missing/service is corrupted.

    For more detailed information, you could refer to the article below:

    How to repair VSS in Windows 2008?

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/csstwplatform/archive/2012/05/03/how-to-repair-vss-in-windows-2008.aspx

    Regards,


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    Thursday, October 24, 2013 9:18 AM
  • Thanks Mandy.

    Yes, re-registering the vss writers was next on my list - I was considering a call to MS PSS just in case.

    Note that the directions say to backup the server first - which I could not do (!).

    Restarting several services (besides VSS) was another suggestion I found and a simple very early morning reboot seems to have solved the problem - probably because those services were rebooted.

    FYI (anyone facing the same situation), these are the services that apparently needed to be restarted:

    "Restart the services: COM+ System Application Service, Distributed Transaction Coordinator Service, and Volume Shadow Copy Service".

    Another recommendation is to delete old - or all - shadow copies:

    vssadmin delete shadows /all

    But I did not need to resort to either that or a dll re-register.

    Now I'm getting some breakfast!

    Thanks for the suggestion - as that may be useful to someone else in the future.


    Please mark as helpful if you find my contribution useful or as an answer if it does answer your question. That will encourage me - and others - to take time out to help you.

    Thursday, October 24, 2013 10:01 AM