VSS Failure Question

I have MS Exchange 2007 running on Windows Server 2008 R1. I have Symantec BackupExec 11.5 running on another server running Windows Server 2003 SP2. The backup failed reporting Catastrophic Failure (see below).

The following day, it ran OK.  Several days later, the same problem.

Please let me know if you know what this problem is and how to prevent it from happening sporadically.


----------- RELEVENT LOG DATA ---------------

Job ended: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 2:00:08 AM
Completed status: Failed
Final error: 0x8000ffff - Catastrophic failure
Final error category: Other Errors

For additional information regarding this error refer to link V-79-32768-65535

Backup- BACKUPV-79-57344-34110 - AOFO: Initialization failure on: "System?State". Advanced Open File Option used: Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS).
Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) snapshot provider returned the error: "Catastrophic failure". To make sure that the VSS is not disabled and can be started, click Control Panel, and then click Administrative Tools. Open the Services, and start Volume Shadow Copy. Check the Windows Event Viewer for details.

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Shreedhar EtteCommented:

Refer this article:

Also update the Backup Exec with the latest updates.

Hope this helps,
akivashapiroAuthor Commented:
Hi Shreedhar,

This is helpful, thanks. I do have all hte proper software and licenses installed on the target machine. What I still don't understand, however, is why it would happen sporadically.

Thx -
akivashapiroAuthor Commented:
Is there a way to check an event log to see when VSS was started/stopped?
Hi akivashapiro,

The Volume Shadow Copy (VSS) service should be in the stopped state with a manual startup type. Symantec will call the service and start it as needed. I advise whenever you have a VSS writer failure problem on a server to restart that server.

You can run the command "vssadmin list writers" in a command prompt, but it's not always reliable to diganose the state of the offending writer, because over time the writers will all show as started even though the offending writer is not running.

If the error continues remove and reinstall the backup agent. Anytime, you update the backup exec media server you need to reinstall the remote backup agents on all of the remote servers. The instability you are experiencing might be caused by a version difference between the backup server and the agent or it could just be a problem with a bad install. If you don't want to do a push install of the agent or you can't you can copy the RAWS32 or RAWSX64 folder to the remote server and install. Don't forget to install all the updates listed in the the updates folder.

If I may ask is there a reason you're till using B/E 11.5? B/E 12.5 SP3 is a far better product than 11.5 and again B/E 13.0 is a better product than 12.5. Anybody with an active support agreement can upgrade to the latest version at no cost.

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akivashapiroAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the info. I'm new to the comany, so I have inherited 11.5. I plan on upgrading soon.
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