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Windows Server 2016 Essentials Backup Fails (Windows Server Storage VSS Writer - The writer's timeout expired between the freeze and thaw events)

    Question

  • Hi everyone!

    I recently purchased and set up a Windows Server 2016 Essentials machine and want to perform regular backups.  These backups however keep failing.  I'm going to try to include all of the specifics below:

    So, it fails at Sytem State and Bare Metal Recovery...

    The error for System State and Bare Metal Recovery is: One of the system components is not consistent in the shadow copy created for backup.

    The error for all of the others is: The writer's timeout expired between the freeze and thaw events.

    This happens every time I try to do a backup...

    I am backing up to an external hard drive.  When I start the backup, it advises that the external drive is included in the backup and asks me if I want to omit it (which is fine because that is a backup drive and shouldn't be backed up also).  I choose "Yes" and the backup proceeds.  The following morning though and I have all of these errors and a backup that, presumably, is worthless...

    Has anyone seen this error or know how I can fix it going forward?  I backup important data separately, but would like a backup of the actual server too.

    I have searched online, and while I've seen some discussion of similar issues, I haven't found an actual solution anywhere.

    Thanks again for your help!

    Thursday, December 27, 2018 6:31 PM

All replies

  • 1. How much free space do you have left on volume. (HD)

    2. Try selecting each item form a list and not omit the drive in the wizard. 

    3. Have you tried different backup media ?

    Thursday, December 27, 2018 7:24 PM
  • 1. How much free space do you have left on volume. (HD)

    2. Try selecting each item form a list and not omit the drive in the wizard. 

    3. Have you tried different backup media ?

    Thank you very much for your response!

    1) There is currently 3.23 TB free on the external backup drive.  The estimated backup size in the backup wizard is 306.54 GB.

    2) I will try this tonight.

    3) I have tried two different external hard drives so far.  I don't have any other options at the moment, but I can see what else I can try.

    I will post back tomorrow to update this once I see how # 2 goes.

    Thanks Again,

    Thursday, December 27, 2018 7:31 PM
  • Thank you for your help ComputerScott.  I did try doing another backup last night by selecting each item from the list, but this failed with the same errors as above...

    The errors are all the same.

    Is there anything else I should try?  There is no 3rd party backup software installed, etc. either.  In fact, there's actually very little installed beyond Windows Server and SQL Server.  The server is used exclusively for file storage and database storage.

    Thanks again!

    Friday, December 28, 2018 3:14 PM
  • Hello everyone,

    I just wanted to post back to see if anyone has any other ideas for fixing this.  It seems like the backup mechanic in Windows Server 2016 Essentials is broken if I'm being honest...

    This is a very important issue though, so I would like to try to get this resolved so that I can make backups of the server.

    Thanks Again for all of your help.

    Wednesday, January 2, 2019 6:42 PM
  • I have same problem, Windows Backup on Windows 2016 Essentials..

    This is the first time I see this error on Windows Backup :((


    Lorenzo

    Thursday, January 3, 2019 1:47 PM
  • I've been wrestling with the same problem.  There's plenty of free space and I've increased the VSS timeout to 20 minutes.  I'm seriously considering pulling the drives and reinstalling and configuring the system from scratch onto a new drive.  And if that doesn't work, since I'm using the system primarily for fileserving and network backups, the next step is to give up and turn the system into Linux-based system.
    Friday, January 4, 2019 6:13 PM
  • We have the same issue too. The strange thing is, the backup works fine if I run it manually, but as soon as it runs on a schedule I get VSS inconsistency errors

    I suspect an update is to blame as it was running fine until recently. Someone must have a solution or workaround?

    

    Friday, January 25, 2019 9:08 AM
  • I am having the same problem on one of our Customer servers for the Windows Backup - but in our case we were are also running the Veeam Agent (for Server) which runs into our own Veeam Cloud Connect service, so we have windows doing the local backup to an internal Backup drive, and a full image cloud backup as well. 

    To check if a VSS Backup is likely to run it's helpful to run the command from a command prompt (run as administrator)

    vssadmin list writers

    Tip: use | more to see each page

    vssadmin list writers | more


    All writers should show ready, with no error 

    e.g.

    Writer name: 'Task Scheduler Writer'
       Writer Id: {d61d61c8-d73a-4eee-8cdd-f6f9786b7124}
       Writer Instance Id: {1bddd48e-5052-49db-9b07-b96f96727e6b}
       State: [1] Stable
       Last error: No error

    If any writers show the state as Failed then backups will fail - this seems to be true for all backup products, as they cannot start the VSS Copy process for that writer.

    e.g.

    Writer name: 'SqlServerWriter'
       Writer Id: {a65faa63-5ea8-4ebc-9dbd-a0c4db26912a}
       Writer Instance Id: {b22617cd-14d5-4525-bb0d-9ffe49df07c8}
       State: [9] Failed
       Last error: Timed out

    A reboot of the server, or restarting failed writer services will clear up the Errors. Then at least you are seeing if it's the backup that's causing the writers to be left in an error state.




    Sunday, January 27, 2019 12:33 PM
  • In our case, this particular error seemed to resolve itself after a reboot, and has run a windows backup OK.  
    Monday, January 28, 2019 9:45 AM
  • We have the same issue too. The strange thing is, the backup works fine if I run it manually, but as soon as it runs on a schedule I get VSS inconsistency errors

    I suspect an update is to blame as it was running fine until recently. Someone must have a solution or workaround?

    

    OK, we have resolved this. It was indeed an update, but not the update itself - it was the fact that the update was stuck. This was clearly causing inconsistencies in the VSS. Once I fixed the stuck update, it has run fine since.
    Saturday, March 9, 2019 5:14 PM