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SCCM Backup not running correctly because 'SMS Site Backup could not find the SMS Writer in the list of writers provided by the VSS'

    Question

  • I have 3 primary servers all running Windows 2008 R2 64 bit with SCCM 2007 SP1 R2. All have local databases on SQL server 2008 64 bit.

    The internal SCCM backup routine has been running perfectly on all three for weeks. Now, for reasons unknown, one of them is failing every time with the following error written in the log: "SMS Site Backup could not find the SMS Writer in the list of writers provided by the VSS. Aborting the backup operation. Please verify that the SMS Writer service is up and running."

    If I list the VSS writers, SMS Writer is indeed missing. I can manually add it back in, or restarting the VSS Writer component adds it back in too - but the backup still fails with the same error next time round.

    There have been no changes to this one server that could affect it, and the other two servers are still backing up fine. Any ideas please??

     

    Friday, March 18, 2011 8:47 AM

Answers

  • Hackmuss,

    You mentioned that you have not installed any other vss writers. I saw something similar to this when Symantec's Backup Exec System Recovery was installed on the same system.

    Is there anything in the event viewer on the server in question?


    Kind Regards, Tom Ziegler http://www.sccmguy.com | Twitter @Tom_Ziegler
    • Marked as answer by Robinson Zhang Wednesday, April 06, 2011 3:10 AM
    Friday, March 18, 2011 11:15 AM
  • Here's a blog post (that may or may not help) with some troubleshooting information on the VSS Writer for ConfigMgr: http://blogs.technet.com/b/configmgrteam/archive/2009/04/21/how-configuration-manager-backup-uses-the-volume-shadow-copy-service.aspx.
    Jason | http://myitforum.com/cs2/blogs/jsandys | http://blogs.catapultsystems.com/jsandys/default.aspx | Twitter @JasonSandys
    • Marked as answer by Robinson Zhang Wednesday, April 06, 2011 3:10 AM
    Friday, March 18, 2011 12:24 PM
    Moderator
  • Did you check Event Log?

    A local VSS corrupt issue also can cause the same issue. Please try to register all related dll files or reinstall VSS to troubleshoot this issue.

    Hope it helps.


    Please 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.
    • Marked as answer by Robinson Zhang Wednesday, April 06, 2011 3:10 AM
    Friday, March 25, 2011 2:44 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Have you installed any other VSS writers? there is i hotfix applicable when using more VSS writers on the SCCM server.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/981640

    Regards,
    Jörgen


    -- visit my System center blog at http://ccmexec.com --
    Friday, March 18, 2011 9:25 AM
    Moderator
  • No, there is just the Microsoft one. See below:

    C:\Windows\system32>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


    C:\Windows\system32>

    Friday, March 18, 2011 9:38 AM
  • Hackmuss,

    You mentioned that you have not installed any other vss writers. I saw something similar to this when Symantec's Backup Exec System Recovery was installed on the same system.

    Is there anything in the event viewer on the server in question?


    Kind Regards, Tom Ziegler http://www.sccmguy.com | Twitter @Tom_Ziegler
    • Marked as answer by Robinson Zhang Wednesday, April 06, 2011 3:10 AM
    Friday, March 18, 2011 11:15 AM
  • Here's a blog post (that may or may not help) with some troubleshooting information on the VSS Writer for ConfigMgr: http://blogs.technet.com/b/configmgrteam/archive/2009/04/21/how-configuration-manager-backup-uses-the-volume-shadow-copy-service.aspx.
    Jason | http://myitforum.com/cs2/blogs/jsandys | http://blogs.catapultsystems.com/jsandys/default.aspx | Twitter @JasonSandys
    • Marked as answer by Robinson Zhang Wednesday, April 06, 2011 3:10 AM
    Friday, March 18, 2011 12:24 PM
    Moderator
  • Hey Tom, you're right - it looks like our enterprise backup guys have installed Symantec Netbackup client on the SCCM servers. But backups are still working OK on the other two. Any ideas what the issues were with this and if there's anything I can do?

    Have seen Jason's comment too, and that link sugests that you always backup to a different volume. I've backing up to the same volume as the database at the moment - and then pulling it to tape from there. Maybe I'll try switching to another volume first and see if that works. Again, bit mystified why its not affecting the other servers though as they are all set the same...  

    Friday, March 18, 2011 2:22 PM
  • Did you check Event Log?

    A local VSS corrupt issue also can cause the same issue. Please try to register all related dll files or reinstall VSS to troubleshoot this issue.

    Hope it helps.


    Please 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.
    • Marked as answer by Robinson Zhang Wednesday, April 06, 2011 3:10 AM
    Friday, March 25, 2011 2:44 AM
  • I had a similar issue and this thread helped me, but my resolution was different.  In the end I deleted and recreated the SCCM backup folder and the backup started working again.  Below are some details.

    Status messages were showing these errors:

    • Site Backup could not find the SMS Writer in the list of writers provided by the VSS. Aborting the backup operation. Please verify that the SMS Writer service is up and running.
    • Site Backup failed while reading the VSS writers meta data. Aborting the backup operation.
    • Site Backup failed. The error reported by the service is Error: GatherWriterMetadata failed.. Backup operation is not completed. Please see smsbkup.log for more information

    SMSBKUP.log was showing these errors and significant entries:

    Registered connection to SQL server SERVER1.contoso.com and database CM_PRI.
    Registered connection to master database on SQL server SERVER1.contoso.com
    Starting backup...
    Verified that backup folder E:\Backup\SCCM\Last exists.
    Verified backup service has permission to access the backup folder E:\Backup\SCCM\Last
    Sql Writer service is running.
    Starting VSS initialization...
    Starting Asynchronous GatherWriterMetadata.
    Number of writers that responded: 13.
    Error: SMS Writer service either does not exist or is not running .
    Error: GatherWriterMetadata failed.
    SMS_SITE_BACKUP failed. Please see previous errors.
    Raised backup task failure alert.
    The logs show that the folder existed and had proper security, but obviously something wasn't right with it.

    http://chadstech.net/sccm-backup-failing-with-vss-error

    Wednesday, May 29, 2013 10:03 PM
  • Hi2All!

    We have the same Issue's with SCCM 2012 when Symantec NetBackup is performing File-Backup on the Site Server.
    We figured out that NetBackup Agent uses per default VSS to create consistend File-Backup's. Since we disabled the VSS-Feature in Netbackup-Agent-Config the SMS_SITE_BACKUP is running fine all the time. ;-)

    Bye,
    Christian

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013 1:40 PM
  • We had the same issue with 2012 as well.

    We had disabled the Shadow Copy on some servers and ended up needing to re-enable as the backup uses.  Wanted to re-direct the shadow copy from drive and specify max size.  Needed CLI to do it...

    What I ended up doing...

     
      • Enable, via VSSADMIN, the volume shadow copies and redirect to NON-shadow copy enabled drive
      • To view current config via CLI:     
      •      "VSSADMIN list shadowstorage"
      • Create shadow storage on alternate drive via CLI: 
      •       "VSSADMIN Add ShadowStorage /FOR=D: /ON=E: /MAXSIZE=10000MB"
      • Restart the SMS_Site_VSS_WRITER when needed 
        • Implement script restart when necessary
        • net.exe stop “SMS_SITE_VSS_WRITER” && net.exe start "SMS_SITE_VSS_WRITER”
        • net start sms_site_backup
      • Monitor DB and Site Backup Logs


    Jay D

    Thursday, December 26, 2013 7:00 PM
  • For 2012, there's no really need (or reason) to use the built-in backup, just use a SQL backup along with a few key directories (like the contentlib, source files, reports).

    Jason | http://blog.configmgrftw.com

    Thursday, December 26, 2013 7:14 PM
    Moderator
  • Jason,

    I realize this post is old but still relevant in regards to the subject because still happens... If I am reading this correctly you suggest not to use the standard ConfigMgr 2012 Database Backup Maintenance Task but instead use a SQL Maintenance Plans and create one to backup the items you mentioned above?... I just need some clarification. My reason behind looking into this further is that I am currently experiencing mixed results in the process I use.... in a lab with only one Primary I use Adam Bertram's PowerShell script to backup the database using the Maintenance Task plus additional data How to Create a Robust ConfigMgr Backup with Powershell and when I use this data to recover my primary on a DR scenario it works nice.... however, I am currently expanding the process to test it on a multiple site servers hierarchy scenario and in some cases the initial step of the process fails due to the error message somewhat stated in the title of the post, in my SMSbkup.log I find 1) SMS Writer either does not exist or is not running 2) Error: GatherWriterMetadata failed. 3) SMS_SITE_BACKUP Failed. Please see previous error.... and goes on with several errors.... for what I am reading it has to do with this "SMS_SITE_VSS_WRITER" service not running .... and this is a second question on my post, I am using for testing ConfigMgr SP2 ... is this a bug on this version?... any help that leads to the comprehension of this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks


    edthefixer

    Friday, February 26, 2016 1:29 PM
  • "you suggest not to use the standard ConfigMgr 2012 Database Backup Maintenance Task but instead use a SQL Maintenance Plans "

    Correct.


    Jason | http://blog.configmgrftw.com | @jasonsandys

    Friday, February 26, 2016 3:08 PM
    Moderator
  • Jason,

    Thanks for your prompt reply!

    I have two small final questions that derive from your answer, If could answer them at your leisure I would appreciate it.

    So when the Task Maintenance runs simply copies that database to the location selected in the configuration section for the Task maintenance.... in essence a copy of the *.mdf files, *.ldf files, and you know the rest ... when the Maintenance Plan from SQL runs it creates a .bak file so the questions are:

    1 - Can this .bak file in that format be used to restore the site (haven't try it yet)?
    2 - Since I am not an SQL expert, is there a way to save the above mentioned files and other components from the SQL database saved in individual files when creating the maintenance plan?

    Again, all your help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Ed


    edthefixer

    Friday, February 26, 2016 5:55 PM