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How to restart VSS writers without rebooting RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello fellow teckies.

    I'm having this problem when backing up with Symantec Backup Exec 11d where it generates errors about not being able to backup VSS sections on the C drive.

    I've already posted with Symantec.  https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/forums/vss-c-drive-errors-when-backing-server

    They're saying to re-register and restart the services.  My question is, can the services be restarted without rebooting?

    Unfortunately rebooting is not an option as this is a critical production server.

    If anyone can answer, please let me know.

    Thanks :)

    Monday, August 29, 2011 5:05 PM

Answers

  • What Santhosh mentioned is on the right direction. To restart a VSS writer, you need to restart the services or process that hosts the writer. Generally speaking, we will take the following steps when encountering VSS writer related issues:

    1. Retry the backup or restore operation that caused the error condition.
    2. If this does not resolve the issue, restart the service or process that hosts the writer, and retry the operation.
    3. If this does not resolve the issue, open Event Viewer as described in the "Open Event Viewer and view events related to VSS" section and look for events related to the service or process that hosts the writer. If necessary, restart the service or process, and retry the operation.
    4. If this does not resolve the issue, restart the computer, and retry the operation.
    5. If restarting the computer does not resolve the issue, provide the Event Viewer information to the vendor whose application is indicated in the event text.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee264212(WS.10).aspx

     

    As for the impact of the restart, it generally will not cause bad effect. However, it depends on the service which is restarted. Generally speaking, a service should handle all the related task, such as writing all data in memory into disk and committing the transaction, etc, when a properly restart operation is performed. If there are any particular requirement or order to follow to restart a service or application, you should follow the recommended restart procedure.

     

    Meanwhile, it is reported that when performing Shadow Copy Components backups with the File Server Resource Manager (FSRM) installed you may encounter this issue. Please refer to the following Symantec article:

    http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH48419

     

    NOTE: This response contains a reference to a third party World Wide Web site. Microsoft is providing this information as a convenience to you. Microsoft does not control these sites and has not tested any software or information found on these sites; therefore, Microsoft cannot make any representations regarding the quality, safety, or suitability of any software or information found there. There are inherent dangers in the use of any software found on the Internet, and Microsoft cautions you to make sure that you completely understand the risk before retrieving any software from the Internet.



    Laura Zhang - MSFT

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 7:04 AM

All replies

  • Identify the service or process that hosts the writer using Vssadmin and restart the service.  You can just restart the service. 

    http://portal.sivarajan.com/2009/12/vss-and-vssadmin-tool.html


    Santhosh Sivarajan | MCTS, MCSE (W2K3/W2K/NT4), MCSA (W2K3/W2K/MSG), CCNA, Network+ Houston, TX
    Blogs - http://blogs.sivarajan.com/

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    This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties,and confers no rights
    Monday, August 29, 2011 5:10 PM
  • Seeing how this is a production server with reads/writes going constantly, if I find out the service names and re-start them, is this going to kill any existing reads/writes that are in progress?  What sort of issues should I look for or what should I be concerned about?
    • Proposed as answer by sbrys Thursday, March 26, 2015 9:12 PM
    Monday, August 29, 2011 6:42 PM
  • What Santhosh mentioned is on the right direction. To restart a VSS writer, you need to restart the services or process that hosts the writer. Generally speaking, we will take the following steps when encountering VSS writer related issues:

    1. Retry the backup or restore operation that caused the error condition.
    2. If this does not resolve the issue, restart the service or process that hosts the writer, and retry the operation.
    3. If this does not resolve the issue, open Event Viewer as described in the "Open Event Viewer and view events related to VSS" section and look for events related to the service or process that hosts the writer. If necessary, restart the service or process, and retry the operation.
    4. If this does not resolve the issue, restart the computer, and retry the operation.
    5. If restarting the computer does not resolve the issue, provide the Event Viewer information to the vendor whose application is indicated in the event text.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee264212(WS.10).aspx

     

    As for the impact of the restart, it generally will not cause bad effect. However, it depends on the service which is restarted. Generally speaking, a service should handle all the related task, such as writing all data in memory into disk and committing the transaction, etc, when a properly restart operation is performed. If there are any particular requirement or order to follow to restart a service or application, you should follow the recommended restart procedure.

     

    Meanwhile, it is reported that when performing Shadow Copy Components backups with the File Server Resource Manager (FSRM) installed you may encounter this issue. Please refer to the following Symantec article:

    http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH48419

     

    NOTE: This response contains a reference to a third party World Wide Web site. Microsoft is providing this information as a convenience to you. Microsoft does not control these sites and has not tested any software or information found on these sites; therefore, Microsoft cannot make any representations regarding the quality, safety, or suitability of any software or information found there. There are inherent dangers in the use of any software found on the Internet, and Microsoft cautions you to make sure that you completely understand the risk before retrieving any software from the Internet.



    Laura Zhang - MSFT

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 7:04 AM
  • Thanks for the reply:

    When I run the vssadmin list writers command, I get the following output:

    It looks like I found the service name for the FSRM Writer, BITS Writer, and WMI writer, but I cannot figure out the service name under services for System Writer.  Does anyone have any ideas?

    Writer name: 'FSRM Writer'
       Writer Id: {12ce4370-5bb7-4c58-a76a-e5d5097e3674}
       Writer Instance Id: {fd5c0fda-f928-4610-b9d7-b4c241f78d6f}
       State: [5] Waiting for completion
       Last error: No error

    Writer name: 'System Writer'
       Writer Id: {e8132975-6f93-4464-a53e-1050253ae220}
       Writer Instance Id: {78dd05e8-f91f-4024-a5b8-84969d61dee9}
       State: [5] Waiting for completion
       Last error: No error

    Writer name: 'BITS Writer'
       Writer Id: {4969d978-be47-48b0-b100-f328f07ac1e0}
       Writer Instance Id: {fbc55bea-8df3-4862-a353-366259ede227}
       State: [1] Stable
       Last error: No error

    Writer name: 'WMI Writer'
       Writer Id: {a6ad56c2-b509-4e6c-bb19-49d8f43532f0}
       Writer Instance Id: {239fe11a-5490-4ac0-b8ab-d1d279bfc8ba}
       State: [5] Waiting for completion
       Last error: No error

    Writer name: 'MSDEWriter'
       Writer Id: {f8544ac1-0611-4fa5-b04b-f7ee00b03277}
       Writer Instance Id: {c575a742-29a8-4f19-b33f-8a54321a61a6}
       State: [1] Stable
       Last error: No error

    Writer name: 'Registry Writer'
       Writer Id: {afbab4a2-367d-4d15-a586-71dbb18f8485}
       Writer Instance Id: {37ee6da8-de16-41f8-99b8-d290f2dc12a3}
       State: [1] Stable
       Last error: No error

    Writer name: 'Event Log Writer'
       Writer Id: {eee8c692-67ed-4250-8d86-390603070d00}
       Writer Instance Id: {bcda955f-7e04-4a41-a626-5a8f544a40a6}
       State: [1] Stable
       Last error: No error

    Writer name: 'COM+ REGDB Writer'
       Writer Id: {542da469-d3e1-473c-9f4f-7847f01fc64f}
       Writer Instance Id: {cb3b2025-a3e3-4ca5-99b1-5af457b40333}
       State: [1] Stable
       Last error: No error

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 3:02 PM
  • Ok, looks like Google was more friendly to me this morning as I did another search and found the following information link.

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb968827(v=vs.85).aspx

    According to this, cryptographic services control the system writer.

     

    So if I were thinking about restart FSRM, Cryptograhic Services,BITS, and WMI, im wondering what I should be concerned about, considering this is a 24/7 production file server.

    Any ideas?

    • Proposed as answer by RadoP Friday, April 27, 2012 10:28 AM
    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 3:42 PM
  • Hi Anthony,

     

    Considering that there is a known issue with FSRM, I’d like to suggest that you first follow the suggestions in the Symantec article to resolve the issue. To isolate whether this issue is related to the compatibility issues of FSRM and Symantec backup, you may disable the FSRM service to perform the test. When the FRSM service is stopped, you will not be able to use the features provided, such as quota, etc.

     

    Meanwhile, as the Cryptographic and WMI services are rather core service which many features and functions depend on, it is recommended to first perform test in the lab environment, including restarting services and accessing file server, before you perform the operation in the production environment. If it is possible, you should do this during a non-busy period.


    Laura Zhang - MSFT
    Thursday, September 1, 2011 9:31 AM
  • What I've did so far, I've created a VM with server 2003 and installed the services.  My biggest concern was that restarting the services could cause issues with transferring/saving of files.  So, I chose a file, 2GB approx, and transferred it.  While transferring I stopped and restarted the services, one by one, and this didnt affect the transfer at all :)  Next Ill test by opening files, i.e Word/Excel docs from the server, restart the services, and then try and save docs.  I have a suspicion that everything will be ok, but better to be sure.

    Either way, ill keep you guys posted :)

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 2:37 AM
  • Hey I have restarted the WMI service a couple of times on the production boxes and there were no issues. But I agree restarting WMI service can have it's effects especially if the service fails to start. :)
    Tuesday, February 7, 2012 6:10 PM
  • I highly suggest scheduling maintenance and rebooting the server. Restarting the Volume Shadow Copy service, even though it works most of the time, can cause some serious side effects. Especially when you have backup software like Veeam backing up host VMs.

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014 10:27 PM