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Volume Shadow Copying errors though it is disabled!

    Question

  • Hi guys.

    I'm having failed backup jobs in Backup Exec and although it sounds like the issue is with Symantec, they've pushed me to look into Windows errors, as the errors appear to be with Volume Shadow Copying.

    The error in Backup Exec (for informational purposes) is:

    Backup- E:Directory SQL databases\XX\XX\FULL\PROD\XX\XX\ was not found, or could not be accessed.
    None of the files or subdirectories contained within will be backed up.

    From Event Viewer; the error appears as:

    Backup Exec Alert: Job Failed
    (Server: "CMXX1") (Job: "SQL XX") TH SQL server - b2t - XX -- The job failed with the following error: Corrupt data encountered. See the job log for details.

    The system logs in Event Viewer also complain about VSS "volsnap":

    The shadow copies of volume E: were aborted because the shadow copy storage failed to grow.

    and

    The shadow copy of volume E: could not grow its shadow copy storage on volume E:.

    But VSS is not enabled on any disk on the server, let alone the E: volume!

    Can anyone help? Is there any other way to view what VSS is running? Maybe it's hidden?

    Thanks,
    Christian


    Christian Summerfield MCSA since 2009

    • Moved by Bruce-Liu Wednesday, April 25, 2012 11:04 AM (From:General)
    Monday, April 23, 2012 10:08 AM

Answers

  • Just had the exact problem and i corrected it by doing the following.

    1. At a cmd prompt, enter "VSSadmin List Shadowstorage".  Make note of the Usead and allocated sizes.

    2.  In the GUI for each of your drives, go to the shadow copy tab, select drive, then settings, change from "no limit" to "use Limit" default is like 10% of total storage.  I went from 1GB to 330GB.  Select OK and OK again to apply. Repeat for all drives.

    3. Repeat step one to notice the increase in "Allocated Shadow Space".  Also, "Maximum shadow copy storage space" matches the GUI limit from step 2.  regardless of what is in it.

    4. Go Back In the GUI, go to the shadow copy tab, select drive, then settings, change from "Use limit" to "No Limit". Select OK and OK again to apply. Repeat for all drives.

    5. Repeat step one and notice the increase in "Allocated Shadow Space".  Also "Maximum shadow copy storage space" is reset to UNBOUNDED.

    6. Go into the GUI, Shadow copy tab and highlight a Volume then select "Create Now", then select OK, then return in and select the shadow copy you just created and select "Delete now". Repeat this step for each Volume (mine were C and D).

    7.  You never have to "enable" a volume in the previous steps.

    8. The volumes are set to auto expand, but because of some corruption that fails.  Resizing with a larger fixed allocated limit resets the size and corrects the growing problem.  While creating and deleting a shadow, even though you don't use the GUI version, deletes the underlying shadow that the backup software uses and therefore eliminates any corrupt shadows that may have cause the issue to begin with.  Our corruption started when the file data grew from 50% to 74%  of drive capacity in a day.

    9. Now our Backups run without failing and a new shadow has replaced the old one for the locked files. Again we never enabled shadow copy on the drives.

    Regards, and hope this helps.

    Monday, April 30, 2012 10:02 PM
  • As you know Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) offers two important features:

    • Shadow copying of files in shared folders   Allows you to configure volumes so that shadow copies of files in shared folders are created automatically at specific intervals during the day. This allows you to go back and look at earlier versions of files stored in shared folders. You can use these earlier versions to recover deleted, incorrectly modified, or overwritten files.

    • Shadow copying of open or locked files for backups   Allows you to use backup programs, such as Windows Server Backup or NTBackup, to back up files that are open or locked. This means you can back up when applications are using the files and no longer have to worry about backups failing because files were in use. Backup programs must implement the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) API.

    According to above statement, the service that backup tools (like Symantec Backup Exec) use for backing up open files is Volume Shadow Copy and creating shadow copying of files in shared folder is another feature that relies on the Volume Shadow Copy Service. And also, when you use, for example, Windows Server Backup to back up data, it uses shadow copy storage in that target volume to store shadows of files you have backed up...

    To start troubleshooting your problem, please install Windows Server Backup feature on the problematic server and try to back up some data and report back the result of backup operation (success or fail)...


    Please VOTE as HELPFUL if the post helps you and remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.





    • Edited by R.Alikhani Wednesday, April 25, 2012 8:43 PM
    • Marked as answer by Bruce-Liu Friday, April 27, 2012 9:09 AM
    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 2:50 PM

All replies

  • Hello,

    Since Backup Exec is not a Microsoft solution, I would recommend asking them in Backup Exec forums or contacting Symantec Technical Support for assistance.

    You can also ask them here: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsbackup/threads


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees , and confers no rights.   

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    • Proposed as answer by Sachin Gadhave Monday, April 23, 2012 11:14 AM
    Monday, April 23, 2012 10:50 AM
  • Hi Mr X,

    I understand that the failed backup is not a MS problem but a Symantec problem, however, my thread is really asking about VSS - why am i seeing errors for VSS when it is disabled.

    Is there any way to have a VSS error when it is disabled in the first place?

    Thanks,
    Christian


    Christian Summerfield MCSA since 2009

    Monday, April 23, 2012 12:10 PM
  • Is this Operating System 32 bit or 64 bit? What the size of the E: drive?

    If it’s Windows Server 2003 x86, 5TB is a safe size for VSS creation. Meanwhile, please have a look at this thread:

    Not Resolve ID 2019 Details: An existing connection was forcibly closed by the remote host (0x80072746)

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/dpmtapebackuprecovery/thread/2f9007c5-3c92-4484-8d9b-1cb3704eb723

    Memory Management - Understanding Pool Resources

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/askperf/archive/2007/03/07/memory-management-understanding-pool-resources.aspx

    Regards,

    Bruce

    • Proposed as answer by BriFT Tuesday, May 14, 2013 1:56 AM
    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 11:03 AM
  • Can you please provide us the the result of executing vssadmin list shadowstorage command? Also please execute diskpart and then use list volume subcommand and provides us the output of it, too.

    Please feel free to let us know if you have any question or concern.


    Please VOTE as HELPFUL if the post helps you and remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 1:07 PM
  • Hi Bruce,

    The OS is Windows 2008 R2 Standard Edition. The problematic volume is 18TB.
    My point is, VSS is not enabled, so why am i seeing errors for it. Is this normal?

    Thanks,
    Christian


    Christian Summerfield MCSA since 2009

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 2:30 PM
  • Hi R.Alikhani,

    After running command vssadmin list shadowstorage, i get the result "no items found that satisfy your query". I assume this is normal, having stated that VSS is not enabled on *ANY* volume.

    Here is the result from "diskpart list volume":

      Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
      ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
      Volume 0     D                       CD-ROM          0 B  No Media
      Volume 1         System Rese  NTFS   Partition    100 MB  Healthy    System
      Volume 2     C                NTFS   Partition    465 GB  Healthy    Boot
      Volume 3     E   B2D          NTFS   Partition     18 TB  Healthy

    Does this give you any useful insight into what may the problem be? I cannot help but believe you think i have a problem with VSS - no, that's not my reason for this thread. I am seeing errors for VSS, though VSS is DISABLED. I hope this does however give you some information that may help me.

    Thanks,
    Christian


    Christian Summerfield MCSA since 2009

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 2:37 PM
  • As you know Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) offers two important features:

    • Shadow copying of files in shared folders   Allows you to configure volumes so that shadow copies of files in shared folders are created automatically at specific intervals during the day. This allows you to go back and look at earlier versions of files stored in shared folders. You can use these earlier versions to recover deleted, incorrectly modified, or overwritten files.

    • Shadow copying of open or locked files for backups   Allows you to use backup programs, such as Windows Server Backup or NTBackup, to back up files that are open or locked. This means you can back up when applications are using the files and no longer have to worry about backups failing because files were in use. Backup programs must implement the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) API.

    According to above statement, the service that backup tools (like Symantec Backup Exec) use for backing up open files is Volume Shadow Copy and creating shadow copying of files in shared folder is another feature that relies on the Volume Shadow Copy Service. And also, when you use, for example, Windows Server Backup to back up data, it uses shadow copy storage in that target volume to store shadows of files you have backed up...

    To start troubleshooting your problem, please install Windows Server Backup feature on the problematic server and try to back up some data and report back the result of backup operation (success or fail)...


    Please VOTE as HELPFUL if the post helps you and remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.





    • Edited by R.Alikhani Wednesday, April 25, 2012 8:43 PM
    • Marked as answer by Bruce-Liu Friday, April 27, 2012 9:09 AM
    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 2:50 PM
  • Hi R.Alikhani,

    Thanks for the detailed reply. So you suggested i try backing up with NTBACKUP to see if the problem persists. Well, i have about 40 jobs in Backup Exec that run and it seems out of those 40 jobs, 1 or 2 will fail and according to Event Viewer it's because of the VSS error:

    The shadow copy of volume E: could not grow its shadow copy storage on volume E:.

    How do i get round this error, since the error is apparently with the OS. Why is it not able to grow?

    Likewise, Symantec are saying it's an OS error and refuse to assist me until i resolve the issue with VSS.

    Thanks,
    Christian


    Christian Summerfield MCSA since 2009

    • Proposed as answer by mxm323 Monday, April 30, 2012 9:12 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by mxm323 Monday, April 30, 2012 9:12 PM
    Monday, April 30, 2012 9:13 AM
  • Just had the exact problem and i corrected it by doing the following.

    1. At a cmd prompt, enter "VSSadmin List Shadowstorage".  Make note of the Usead and allocated sizes.

    2.  In the GUI for each of your drives, go to the shadow copy tab, select drive, then settings, change from "no limit" to "use Limit" default is like 10% of total storage.  I went from 1GB to 330GB.  Select OK and OK again to apply. Repeat for all drives.

    3. Repeat step one to notice the increase in "Allocated Shadow Space".  Also, "Maximum shadow copy storage space" matches the GUI limit from step 2.  regardless of what is in it.

    4. Go Back In the GUI, go to the shadow copy tab, select drive, then settings, change from "Use limit" to "No Limit". Select OK and OK again to apply. Repeat for all drives.

    5. Repeat step one and notice the increase in "Allocated Shadow Space".  Also "Maximum shadow copy storage space" is reset to UNBOUNDED.

    6. Go into the GUI, Shadow copy tab and highlight a Volume then select "Create Now", then select OK, then return in and select the shadow copy you just created and select "Delete now". Repeat this step for each Volume (mine were C and D).

    7.  You never have to "enable" a volume in the previous steps.

    8. The volumes are set to auto expand, but because of some corruption that fails.  Resizing with a larger fixed allocated limit resets the size and corrects the growing problem.  While creating and deleting a shadow, even though you don't use the GUI version, deletes the underlying shadow that the backup software uses and therefore eliminates any corrupt shadows that may have cause the issue to begin with.  Our corruption started when the file data grew from 50% to 74%  of drive capacity in a day.

    9. Now our Backups run without failing and a new shadow has replaced the old one for the locked files. Again we never enabled shadow copy on the drives.

    Regards, and hope this helps.

    Monday, April 30, 2012 10:02 PM
  • Hi mxm323,

    Thanks for your detailed response! I didn't actually see that VSS was occupying any disk, but now i do. I've asked our backup guy to check how big the failed jobs were, as the VSS size at the moment is 1.9TB and i suspect a few jobs were running concurrently that were larger that 1.9TB. I think from here i will be able to resolve the issue. I'll come back if not.

    Many thanks,
    Christian


    Christian Summerfield MCSA since 2009

    Thursday, May 03, 2012 8:01 AM
  • You are awesome. It fixed VSS failures.

    Thanks

    David

    Friday, December 14, 2012 2:27 AM