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URGENT - Hyper-V VSS writer problem

Posted on 2011-05-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
about two weeks ago the Hyper-V VSS writer started failing so my Windows Bakckup that I used to backup the VMs stopped working, other software (BackupExec) can't backup either because it used the same writer. I updated to SP1 (W2K8 R2) but that didn't resolve the issue. I can see error 521 and 22 in my event log

What can I do to resolve the issue? It's critical as it impacts my backup

Thank you
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Question by:piotrmikula108
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Expert Comment

by:Svet Paperov
ID: 35716378
I had the same error not so long time ago. It was caused by the fact that the default timeout of 10 minutes of Backup Server admin was expiring before the VSS was ready.

The fix was simple:
In HKLM \ Software \ Microsoft \ WindowsNT \ CurrentVersion \ SPP create a DWORD (32-bit) value CreateTimeout and set it to 12000000 (2*10*60*1000 = 20 min.)

I hope this helps
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Author Comment

by:piotrmikula108
ID: 35716401
did that but each time I run the backup Hyper-V VSS writer goes into Waiting For Completion State and Last Error: Unexpected Error. Event Log logs erro 521
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Expert Comment

by:Svet Paperov
ID: 35716427
Do you have enough free disk space to create shadow copies? You can use the tool DiskShadow to list and delete shadow copies. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc772172%28WS.10%29.aspx
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Author Comment

by:piotrmikula108
ID: 35716466
I've got 80GB free on C and 1TB on D where the virtual machines reside

I went head also and registered the Hyper-V writers by following this article

http://www.virtualizationadmin.com/articles-tutorials/microsoft-hyper-v-articles/backup-recovery/installing-configuring-windows-server-backup-hyper-v.html

however other Hyper-V server I use don't have that entry and WB works fine

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Author Comment

by:piotrmikula108
ID: 35716494
I also reinstalled WSB (it fixed the issues for others) but that didn't help in my case
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Accepted Solution

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Svet Paperov earned 2000 total points
ID: 35716519
The Hyper-V VSS writer allows Virtual Shadow Copy to integrate with the virtual machine. Basically, it is required for backup of live virtual machines. You could still take a backup without using Hyper-V VSS writer but it will be in inconsistent state and you could experience problems trying to restore from it.

Hyper-V VSS writer could exit with unexpected error, also, if there is a problem with the configuration of a virtual machine.

You could try one of the following:
    •   Look for unexpected errors in the virtual machines when the writer fails
    •   Stop all virtual machines and try to perform the backup; then start them one by one to find which makes it to hung

The problem you have is with Virtual Shadow Copy and reinstalling Windows Backup won’t help.
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Author Closing Comment

by:piotrmikula108
ID: 35725947
when I stopped one of the servers I found the backup worked, I removed AppAssure ReplaySoftware that was causing this issue
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