Thursday, October 8, 2009

Volume Shadow Copy (VSS) failing

I was getting all kinds of errors that occurred when Volume Shadow Copy (VSS) was called. I originally saw this in the Windows Event log on my SharePoint server. I then noticed that the Volume Shadow Copy service would not start. I noticed there were errors like “Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Unexpected error LookupAccountName(NULL, domain\username, NULL, p, NULL, p, p). hr = 0x800706fc”. I right-clicked on the my c drive and went to the Shadow Copies tab and it gave me an error of “Initialization failed. Error 0x80080005 Server execution failed.

And finally the easy test to reproduce the error is to go to a command prompt and type vssadmin List Writers. When I run this, I get the following error: “Unexpected failure: Catastrophic failure”.

All this points to VSS being broken and having serious issues. The last command points to the list of writers for VSS not being invalid. In my case, the server was moved from another domain to a new domain. I found out that one of the writers only existed in the old domain and thus could not be found in the current active directory. This makes sense that the LookupAccountName() was generating an error.

To determine what the writers for VSS are, you need to open up the registry and look at the following path:


When I went to the key, I saw that there was a key for a user that does not exist anymore because we switched domains. After I deleted the key, I ran the vssadmin List Writer command line and it worked great. Also, everything else started working also.


Anonymous said...

This was very helpful! Thank you so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

This helped Thanks

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Easy and simple steps, this had been bugging me for weeks.

Anonymous said...

Even after all these years.

Thank you so much!