Archive for Backup

SBS 2011, Windows Server Backup, and VSSAdmin List Writers Issue

One of my customers runs a SBS 2011 server with Exchange 2010. I consider it a very clean server. Suddenly, after three years, I had issues with the Windows Server Backup.

Opening the WSB console, I would get the message Reading Data, please wait….

I knew that the first thing I should check was the VSS writers. When I tried to run vssadmin list writers from an admin level command prompt,  I would get the message: Waiting for responses. These may be delayed if a shadow copy is being prepared.

Rebooting the server didn’t help.

I tried the wbadmin delete catalog command, but that didn’t help.

I then found this blog post from which provided instructions for stopping specific services, reregistering VSS related DLL’s, and then restarting service. Eventually this solution worked for me!

Here’s a look at each of the looking at each of these three parts of the solution:

Step 1 – Stop specific services

You can run these commands one at a time from a command line prompt, or put them into a  batch file and run them:

net stop “System Event Notification Service”
net stop “Background Intelligent Transfer Service”
net stop “COM+ Event System”
net stop “Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider”
net stop “Volume Shadow Copy”
net stop VSS
net stop SWPRV

Note #1: Stopping the COM+ Event System will also cause several other dependent services to be stopped. Take a note of these dependent services so you can make sure they are restarted later on

Note #2: When I ran these commands, the COM+ Event System service did not successfully stop — it will have a status of  “Stopping…”. But it needs to be successfully stopped for the rest of the solution to work. If this happens to you, here’s how to stop it:

    • Open up another command prompt window
    • Type: sc queryex eventsystem and press Enter
    • Note the associated PID# for this service. Let’s say the PID# is 408
    • Next type:  taskkill /pid 408 /F  and press enter’’

Step 2 – Reregister DLLs

Now copy the following commands into a batch file and run it from the command line

regsvr32 /s ATL.DLL
regsvr32 /s comsvcs.DLL
regsvr32 /s credui.DLL
regsvr32 /s CRYPTNET.DLL
regsvr32 /s CRYPTUI.DLL
regsvr32 /s dhcpqec.DLL
regsvr32 /s dssenh.DLL
regsvr32 /s eapqec.DLL
regsvr32 /s esscli.DLL
regsvr32 /s FastProx.DLL
regsvr32 /s FirewallAPI.DLL
regsvr32 /s kmsvc.DLL
regsvr32 /s lsmproxy.DLL
regsvr32 /s MSCTF.DLL
regsvr32 /s msi.DLL
regsvr32 /s msxml3.DLL
regsvr32 /s ncprov.DLL
regsvr32 /s ole32.DLL
regsvr32 /s OLEACC.DLL
regsvr32 /s OLEAUT32.DLL
regsvr32 /s PROPSYS.DLL
regsvr32 /s QAgent.DLL
regsvr32 /s qagentrt.DLL
regsvr32 /s QUtil.DLL
regsvr32 /s raschap.DLL
regsvr32 /s RASQEC.DLL
regsvr32 /s rastls.DLL
regsvr32 /s repdrvfs.DLL
regsvr32 /s RPCRT4.DLL
regsvr32 /s rsaenh.DLL
regsvr32 /s SHELL32.DLL
regsvr32 /s shsvcs.DLL
regsvr32 /s /i swprv.DLL
regsvr32 /s tschannel.DLL
regsvr32 /s USERENV.DLL
regsvr32 /s vss_ps.DLL
regsvr32 /s wbemcons.DLL
regsvr32 /s wbemcore.DLL
regsvr32 /s wbemess.DLL
regsvr32 /s wbemsvc.DLL
regsvr32 /s WINHTTP.DLL
regsvr32 /s WINTRUST.DLL
regsvr32 /s wmiprvsd.DLL
regsvr32 /s wmisvc.DLL
regsvr32 /s wmiutils.DLL
regsvr32 /s wuaueng.DLL

Step 3 – Scan these DLL’s

Next, we will check the integrity of the following three DLLs

sfc /SCANFILE=%windir%\system32\catsrv.DLL
sfc /SCANFILE=%windir%\system32\catsrvut.DLL
sfc /SCANFILE=%windir%\system32\CLBCatQ.DLL

Step 4 – Restart Services

Finally, let’s restart the services we stopped

net start “COM+ Event System”
net start “System Event Notification Service”
net start “Background Intelligent Transfer Service”
net start “Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider”
net start “Volume Shadow Copy”

Step 5 – Rerun VSSADMIN

Go ahead and try to rerun the vssadmin list writers command and see if it works.

StorageCraft Announces TA Investment

I’ve never posted about financial business dealings with vendors before. Home

However, when I read the press release that StorageCraft had signed an agreement to a rather large $$$ investment with a private equity firm, I thought “Good for you!”.


I’ve been a long time (+10 years) user and proponent of StorageCraft for backup and disaster recovery solutions. Their solutions have been reliable and trustworthy. Makes me happy to see that a vendor that I’ve relied on is still successful and moving forward.

That’s all.

SBS and Essentials External Backup Drives Compatibility List

I recently encountered an issue with an external drive connected to a SBS 2011 server. The backup had errored and the issue was with the external drive.

Finally, I was reminded about the Technet blog post on Windows Small Business Server – External Backup Drives Compatibility List. The post has two parts:

  • Guidelines on proper formatting requirements of the external drive, with an explanation of why 512 Bytes sectors are required.
  • List of external drives for a variety of vendors, with a rating table that indicates if it works on the various versions of SBS and Essentials 2012/R2.

The post also documents a simple command that you can use to check the sector size of your external drive. Be sure to do it from an elevated command prompt. The command is:

fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo X:

Here’s an example of the results:


Hotfix for Server Essentials Windows Backup


“You cannot restore files and folders from Server Essentials Backup on a Windows-based computer”

Backup fails in Windows Server 2012 Essentials

I have a customer running Windows 2012 R2 Essentials with Windows Server Backup scheduled to do twice daily backups. Recently it started reporting that the backup “Completed with warnings”.


I opened up Event Viewer, and under Application logs, I found this event 547 warning:

“The backup operation that started at {date & time) has encountered errors for the volumes ‘X:’. Log of files not successfully backed up at ‘C:\Windows\Logs\WindowsServerBackup\Backup_Error-{date & time}.log’


So, I go to the specified log folder, and open up the log file and it reports that it could not back up some files – Error [0x80070005] Access Denied.


With this information in hand, I check Microsoft ‘s Support website, and sure enough, I found KB 2747459 that identifies this exact problem and lists two workarounds:  Server backup process fails and “0x80070005” errors are logged in Windows Server 2012 Essentials

I chose to implement option 2 (Registry Edit). Please note that after editing the registry, you will need to reboot the server in order to implement the change.

Here are the steps as outlined in KB 2747459:

  1. In Registry Editor, locate the following registry subkey:


  2. Right-Click FilesNotToBackup, point to New, and then click Multi-String Value
  3. Type IgnoreNTFS, and then press Enter
  4. Right-click IgnoreNTFS, and then click Modify
  5. In the Value data box, type \$Extend\* /s
  6. Click OK, and then close Registry Editor.
  7. Restart the server.


World Backup Day

I just found out that March 31st has been designated as World Backup Day!

Click on the image below to go to the World Backup Day website, and take the pledge to backup your data. And, if you need help doing so, let me know!


The shared protection point operation failed with error 0x81000101

This is the first time that I’ve seen this error on any Windows server I manage. This is an SBS 2008 server that has been in production for 6 years. The error was associated with a failed Windows backup of this server last night.

Full error message: Creation of the shared protection point timed out. Detailed Error: The shared protection point operation failed with error 0x81000101.


A quick web search led me to this blog post by David J Steele who encountered the same issue. The solution changes the default timeout from 10 minutes to 20 minutes.

Although his process is correct, there is one error in the information he posted. The value for the registry key should be 1200000 (5 zeroes) and not 12000000 (6 zeroes).

Here are the correct instructions:

  • Run regedit.exe on the server
  • Navigate to HKLM –> Software –> Microsoft –> windows NT –> CurrentVersion –> SPP
  • Create a new registry key (type DWORD) with the name “CreateTimeout”
  • Modify the value of the key to decimal 1200000. Be sure to click the radio box for Decimal before entering the value.


Netgear Backup Appliance using StorageCraft ShadowProtect

imageStorageCraft and Netgear are teaming up to release a new set of products called ReadyRECOVER Backup Appliance. It’s designed for small and medium-sized businesses, and leverages the legendary reliability of StorageCraft ShadowProtect to simplify backup and recovery of Windows systems.

With ReadyRECOVER, incremental snapshots, taken as often as every 15 minutes, generate full backups instantly.  Each point in time backup is ready to quickly and reliably recover Windows systems, including Microsoft SQL, Exchange, and SharePoint servers, into production mode on any platform – physical or virtual.  Each backup is also ready for fast, simple recovery of files or folders.

Cloud Backup Calculator

Backing up your business data to the cloud should be a point of discussion with each and every one of your customers. I’m not saying that it’s necessary to do cloud backup, but it should be addressed.

One of the first questions that is generally asked is: “How long will it take me to backup my data?”


The folks at Highly Reliable systems posted an Upload Time Calculator which you may find useful. For example, it will take 8 days to backup 100GB of data on a T-1 line (1.5Mbps). But that time reduces to 2 1/2 days if your Internet upload speed is 5Mbps.


Not Enough Disk Space SBS 2008 Backup

My normal experience is that the built in backup for SBS 2008 generally just works … that is, until now. I returned from vacation to find backup errors on an SBS 2008 customer’s server. The error message was: “Failed – There is not enough space on the disk”


So, I hunted around for a solution to get things running, and here’s what I found that worked for me. What we will be doing is to manually delete the oldest shadow partition(s) from the USB drive, thus making room for newer backups. Here’s the process we will follow:

  1. Temporarily assign a drive letter to your USB drive being used for backup
  2. Use the DiskShadow utility to delete the oldest shadow partition(s) to free up enough disk space
  3. Remove the temporary drive letter assignment
  4. Rerun the backup

So, let’s get started:

  1. Open up Disk Management (Start –> Run –> DiskMgmt.msc)
  2. Right click on the USB Drive being used for backups, then click Change Drive Letter and Paths

    Remember: by default, the USB drive being used for SBS Backups is generally hidden.
    We can, however, assign a drive letter temporarily to make room on the drive.
  3. I mounted my USB drive to X:

    Keep the disk Management window open, as you will be needing it.

  4. Next, open up a command prompt with administrator rights
    1. Type: diskshadow and press enter
    2. Type: delete shadows OLDEST x: and press enter
    3. Repeat the delete shadows command several time until you have freed up enough disk spac
    4. Then close the command prompt window
  5. Return to the Disk Management window, click Change Drive Letter and Paths… and remove the drive letter assignment.
    Note: removing the drive letter may take a few minutes, so do not panic!
  6. Next, rerun your scheduled backup, and hopefully your backup will successfully complete!

Finally, you will find some helpful information in this blog post from the Microsoft Storage Team on backups and space management for Windows Server 2008/2008R2.