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Documentation on restarting NPS and IIS Config writers in failed state

    Question

  • We are using DPM 2012 to protect several servers.  Periodically (one to two times per week), VSS writers will get in a failed state.  Rebooting the server always clears up the issues but it seems to me that there should be a way to restart services or processes to re-initialize the writers.  For example, when the SQL Server writer is in a failed state, you simply restart the SQL Server VSS Writer service and the issue is fixed most times.  Rebooting production servers two to three times per week just to clear up VSS issues doesn't make sense.  The ones I can't figure out how to fix without a reboot are these:

    1. NPS VSS Writer
    2. IIS Config Writer (IIS is not currently installed and iisreset doesn't fix it)

    All the other writers are pretty easy to figure out, although I'm not sure why "System Writer" is really the Cryptographic service.

    Anyone provide some clarification on what service to restart to clear up these VSS writers?


    Rob

    Saturday, July 21, 2012 3:23 PM

Answers

  • Found a handy reference linking VSS Writers to Services. I'd love to give credit but I lost the link and haven't been able to locate it. Unfortunately, NPS is not among them.

    VSS Writer Service Name Service Display Name
    ASR Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
    BITS Writer BITS Background Intelligent Transfer Service
    COM+ REGDB Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
    IIS Config Writer AppHostSvc Application Host Helper Service
    IIS Metabase Writer IISADMIN IIS Admin Service
    Microsoft Exchange Writer MSExchangeIS Microsoft Exchange Information Store
    Microsoft Hyper-V VSS Writer vmms Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management
    Registry Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
    Shadow Copy Optimization Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
    System Writer CryptSvc Cryptographic Services
    WMI Writer Winmgmt Windows Management Instrumentation
    • Proposed as answer by Dominik Gauß Friday, December 7, 2012 12:23 PM
    • Marked as answer by ip-rob Friday, January 18, 2013 7:28 PM
    Monday, August 20, 2012 2:50 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Based on the current situation, I would like to suggest you test the issue in Clean Boot to check if there is any third party software conflict.

    How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista or in Windows 7

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135

    What’s the result in Clean Boot?

    Regards,


    Arthur Li

    TechNet Community Support

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012 8:50 AM
    Moderator
  • Arthur,

    The question wasn't trying to find a cause for anything.  The question I asked was what services can be restarted to reset these two VSS writers.  So the Clean Boot isn't really applicable. 


    Rob

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:45 PM
  • Hi,

    Please launch Services.msc, double click on the services what you want to check and switch to Dependencies tab to check the depending services.

    Regards,


    Arthur Li

    TechNet Community Support

    Tuesday, July 31, 2012 2:10 AM
    Moderator
  • this isn't a Window 101 question on how to restart a service.  it is a question on which services are associated with these VSS writers. Please read the question before posting such a simplistic response that doesn't apply.

    Rob

    Tuesday, July 31, 2012 2:37 AM
  • Hi,

    To better answer your question, you may need to ask your question in SQL Server forum below:

    SQL Server

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-us/category/sqlserver

    Regards,


    Arthur Li

    TechNet Community Support

    Monday, August 6, 2012 2:10 AM
    Moderator
  • Why would the SQL Server forum be more appropriate?  The machine is not running SQL Server.  The NPS and IIS Config VSS writers are no assocated with SQL Server.  I gave an example of what DOES work with the SQL Server VSS writer and simply want to know what services are related to the NPS and IIS Config services.  Your responses don't really have anything to do with my questions so far.  So to clarify:

    What Windows services need to be restarted to reset the following two VSS writers:

    1. NPS VSS Writer
    2. IIS Config Writer (IIS is not currently installed and iisreset doesn't fix it)


    Rob

    Monday, August 6, 2012 12:58 PM
  • For better support regarding IIS, ask your question in:

    http://forums.iis.net/

    And for better support regarding NPS, ask your question here:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverNIS/threads


    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.

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012 8:04 PM
  • IIS is not installed...so does that mean I still should ask the question in the IIS forum?  The IIS Config writer does not require that IIS be installed.  I doubt anyone there will help more than anyone here.

    NPS might be better suited to NIS forum...but I doubt anyone will answer there either. 

    I think this is because there is no service that allows these writers to be reset.  It requires a reboot which is ridiculous. 


    Rob

    • Proposed as answer by RandyB1 Monday, August 20, 2012 10:34 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by RandyB1 Monday, August 20, 2012 10:34 AM
    Tuesday, August 7, 2012 8:12 PM
  • Spent too much time on this problem, but found a way to get all the writers to a stable state.  Not sure about the IIS writer, since the servers I was working on did not have that writer.  You can remove it, by deleting the key in HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\VSS\Diag.  As for the NPS VSS Writer, I discovered that if I run the Windows backup app, and select only system state for backup, the writer will go to a stable state, after the backup fails.  I can then get a system state backup using NetBackup.


    Server Admin

    Monday, August 20, 2012 10:53 AM
  • Thanks for the tip.  I wish there was an easy way to restart the NPS writer!  I'll keep your tips in mind for the future.  For now, we still have to reboot the servers occasionally for the writers so we can get a good backup.  We're using Windows backup as part of DPM 2012.

    Rob

    Monday, August 20, 2012 12:17 PM
  • Found a handy reference linking VSS Writers to Services. I'd love to give credit but I lost the link and haven't been able to locate it. Unfortunately, NPS is not among them.

    VSS Writer Service Name Service Display Name
    ASR Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
    BITS Writer BITS Background Intelligent Transfer Service
    COM+ REGDB Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
    IIS Config Writer AppHostSvc Application Host Helper Service
    IIS Metabase Writer IISADMIN IIS Admin Service
    Microsoft Exchange Writer MSExchangeIS Microsoft Exchange Information Store
    Microsoft Hyper-V VSS Writer vmms Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management
    Registry Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
    Shadow Copy Optimization Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
    System Writer CryptSvc Cryptographic Services
    WMI Writer Winmgmt Windows Management Instrumentation
    • Proposed as answer by Dominik Gauß Friday, December 7, 2012 12:23 PM
    • Marked as answer by ip-rob Friday, January 18, 2013 7:28 PM
    Monday, August 20, 2012 2:50 PM
  • Thanks alot for these services, rescued me today.... 

    Btw, if you have cluster environment you will need another vss writer " Cluster database", if this one is not working restart the cluster service.

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 4:36 PM
  • EDIT: found the NPS inf:

    NPS VSS Writer

    The NPS writer is responsible for enumerating the Network Policy Server (NPS) configuration files for servers that have the Network Policy and Access Services role installed.

    Linked to this is mostly the Remote Desktop Gateway. so think twice before restarting :)

    I have not found what service is linked to the NPS Writer, but I do have found a bigger list with VSS Writers. source: https://support.software.dell.com/appassure/kb/129774


    • Find each of the VSS writers in a failed state by issuing this command in an elevated command prompt - vssadmin list writers.
    • Make a list of all the failed VSS writers or take a screenshot.
    • Find the VSS writer's associated Service Display Name in the table below and restart the service.
    • Issue the command again to confirm the status has changed Stable with no Error - vssadmin list writers.
    • Attempt to perform another snapshot.
    • If the VSS writers fail again, it will be necessary to restart the server.
    VSS Writer Service Name Service Display Name
    ASR Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
    BITS Writer BITS Background Intelligent Transfer Service
    COM+ REGDB Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
    DFS Replication service writer DFSR DFS Replication
    DHCP Jet Writer DHCPServer DHCP Server
    FRS Writer NtFrs File Replication
    FSRM writer srmsvc File Server Resource Manager
    IIS Config Writer AppHostSvc Application Host Helper Service
    IIS Metabase Writer IISADMIN IIS Admin Service
    Microsoft Exchange Writer MSExchangeIS Microsoft Exchange Information Store
    Microsoft Hyper-V VSS Writer vmms Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management
    NTDS NTDS Active Directory Domain Services
    OSearch VSS Writer OSearch Office SharePoint Server Search
    OSearch14 VSS Writer OSearch14 SharePoint Server Search 14
    Registry Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
    Shadow Copy Optimization Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
    SPSearch VSS Writer SPSearch Windows SharePoint Services Search
    SPSearch4 VSS Writer SPSearch4 SharePoint Foundation Search V4
    SqlServerWriter SQLWriter SQL Server VSS Writer
    System Writer CryptSvc Cryptographic Services
    TermServLicensing TermServLicensing Remote Desktop Licensing
    WINS Jet Writer WINS Windows Internet Name Service (WINS)
    WMI Writer Winmgmt Windows Management Instrumentation



    • Edited by RSudmeijer Monday, May 4, 2015 10:28 AM
    Monday, May 4, 2015 10:22 AM
  • I realize this is an old thread, but as this is consistently the first result when I Google this problem hopefully this info will help someone else.  After much searching I found this link http://www.focusedit.co.uk/resolve-vss-errors-without-rebooting/ which correctly indicates that the NPS VSS Writer is managed by "eventsystem" ("COM+ Event System").

    I had about a dozen stuck writers, and restarting COM+ Event System cleared them all; so if a VSS writer is not listed elsewhere, restarting COM+ may be a good place to start.

    Thursday, August 6, 2015 3:08 PM
  • So the question is, did rebooting not solve your issue to begin with?  Because so far that is what is happening for us, we rebooted the server, and it did not resolve the VSS writers for IIS Config and WMI, even after a reboot.
    Monday, January 18, 2016 9:19 PM
    1. NPS VSS Writer = Com+ Event System
    2. IIS Config Writer = Application Host Helper Service
    • Proposed as answer by Tech Werks Tuesday, February 2, 2016 7:42 PM
    Tuesday, February 2, 2016 7:40 PM
  • The COM + Event System  handles the following services:

    System Event Notification Service

    File Replication Service

    DHCP Server

    DFS Replication

    Background Intelligent Transfer Service

    Restarting this helps a few of the VSS writers that may fail.


    Jon Miller, Systems Engineer CMTG 



    • Edited by jlmiller Thursday, April 28, 2016 3:25 AM
    Thursday, April 28, 2016 3:24 AM
  • This is the true answer to this question. It was a simple question, and it has a simple answer. The fact that Microsoft does not have an easily accessible list of What Services run which VSS writers (And one that is COMPLETE) is utterly baffling to me. 
    Monday, February 6, 2017 3:40 PM
    1. NPS VSS Writer = Com+ Event System
    2. IIS Config Writer = Application Host Helper Service

    This is the correct answer.

    • Proposed as answer by Amos Folz Friday, January 11, 2019 4:46 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Amos Folz Friday, January 11, 2019 4:46 PM
    Friday, January 11, 2019 4:45 PM
  • EDIT: found the NPS inf:

    NPS VSS Writer

    The NPS writer is responsible for enumerating the Network Policy Server (NPS) configuration files for servers that have the Network Policy and Access Services role installed.

    Linked to this is mostly the Remote Desktop Gateway. so think twice before restarting :)

    I have not found what service is linked to the NPS Writer, but I do have found a bigger list with VSS Writers. source: https://support.software.dell.com/appassure/kb/129774


    • Find each of the VSS writers in a failed state by issuing this command in an elevated command prompt - vssadmin list writers.
    • Make a list of all the failed VSS writers or take a screenshot.
    • Find the VSS writer's associated Service Display Name in the table below and restart the service.
    • Issue the command again to confirm the status has changed Stable with no Error - vssadmin list writers.
    • Attempt to perform another snapshot.
    • If the VSS writers fail again, it will be necessary to restart the server.
    VSS Writer Service Name Service Display Name
    ASR Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
    BITS Writer BITS Background Intelligent Transfer Service
    COM+ REGDB Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
    DFS Replication service writer DFSR DFS Replication
    DHCP Jet Writer DHCPServer DHCP Server
    FRS Writer NtFrs File Replication
    FSRM writer srmsvc File Server Resource Manager
    IIS Config Writer AppHostSvc Application Host Helper Service
    IIS Metabase Writer IISADMIN IIS Admin Service
    Microsoft Exchange Writer MSExchangeIS Microsoft Exchange Information Store
    Microsoft Hyper-V VSS Writer vmms Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management
    NTDS NTDS Active Directory Domain Services
    OSearch VSS Writer OSearch Office SharePoint Server Search
    OSearch14 VSS Writer OSearch14 SharePoint Server Search 14
    Registry Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
    Shadow Copy Optimization Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
    SPSearch VSS Writer SPSearch Windows SharePoint Services Search
    SPSearch4 VSS Writer SPSearch4 SharePoint Foundation Search V4
    SqlServerWriter SQLWriter SQL Server VSS Writer
    System Writer CryptSvc Cryptographic Services
    TermServLicensing TermServLicensing Remote Desktop Licensing
    WINS Jet Writer WINS Windows Internet Name Service (WINS)
    WMI Writer Winmgmt Windows Management Instrumentation



    This link was dead... Here's an updated list I found https://support.arcserve.com/s/article/209606286?language=en_US


    • Edited by Amos Folz Friday, January 11, 2019 4:54 PM
    Friday, January 11, 2019 4:54 PM