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SBS 2008 Backup fails with "The backup failed on a volume containing system data."

Posted on 2013-05-29
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Last Modified: 2013-06-14
My customer's Small Business Server 2008 started reporting the following error message with the SBS2008 standard backup.

Status failed:

The backup failed on a volume containing system data.


Unfortunately it doesn't seem to provide any further information about which volume and why it failed.

Can anyone help ?
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Question by:Michael Green
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Expert Comment

by:Haresh Nikumbh
ID: 39204061
Multiple reasons for backup failure

1) run check disk and verify if any file system errors on the backup volumes
2) check vss writers status

Go to command prompt type  command Vssadmin list writers

verify Writers status and see all writers are in stable state.

3) also check it out if all vss hotfixs are installed on the servers

•      For Server 2008 and Vista
a)      Firstly, update Volsnap.sys file:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2582068 (Version: 6.0.6002.22698) - LATEST
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/976329  (Version: 6.0.6001.22550 for 2k8 with SP1) – to be installed in case above fails
                                                                                                        6.0.6002.22252 for 2k8 with SP2)

b)      Update for:
Eventcls.dll        
Vssapi.dll            
Vsstrace.dll        

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/975928 (Version: 6.0.6001.22563 for 2k8 SP1) - LATEST
                                                                                                        6.0.6002.22267 for 2k8 SP2)
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/970770 (Version: 6.0.6001.22434 for 2k8 SP1)  - to be installed in case above LATEST fails
                                                                                                        6.0.6002.22137 for 2k8 SP2)

c)      Update for:
Swprv.dll            

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971394 (Version: 6.0.6001.22434 for SP1) - LATEST
                                                                                                        6.0.6002.22137 for SP2)

d)      Update for:
Vssvc.exe          

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/983425 (Version: 6.0.6001.22692 for SP1) – LATEST
                                                                                                        6.0.6002.22405 for SP2)
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/975832 (Version: 6.0.6001.22528 for SP1) – to be installed in case above LATEST fails
                                                                                                        6.0.6002.22230 for SP2)

Restart requirement
===============
You have to restart the computer every time after you apply any of the above mentioned updates.
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Author Comment

by:Michael Green
ID: 39204088
The SBS2008 server is 100% up-to-date with all Microsoft fixes.  Are any of the updates you mention hotfixes or updates what would not already have been applied ?
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Author Comment

by:Michael Green
ID: 39204095
The backup volume is an external USB Hard drive.  Under SBS2008 this doesn't have a drive letter - the backup software wipes it when its configured.

How do I run chkdsk on it ?
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Expert Comment

by:Haresh Nikumbh
ID: 39204101
They are additional hotifix which did not get installed with autoupdate.

check disk need to run on the volume which you are backing up . C: D: or E: not at destination drive.
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Author Comment

by:Michael Green
ID: 39204110
I've not done that before - and I couldn't find a format example.  /? didn't help much.

Here is the server disk configuration.  The backup drive is the last drive....Can I trouble you to help me with the format ?Disk config
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Expert Comment

by:Haresh Nikumbh
ID: 39204126
Okay you need to run check disk on C, D and E volume

Go to command prompt, and type in command for C volume

chkdsk c:  ( this command will run in read only format ) will only display if any corruption is there on the disk

if you found any corruption then you need to repair that.. for repair command will be

chkdsk c: /f   ( It will display message check disk will run in next reboot as its OS volume)

Also i am waiting for VSS writers status

to check vss writers status run command on command prompt

vssadmin list writers
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Author Comment

by:Michael Green
ID: 39204136
I'd already run chkdsk on C:, D:, E: and F: before logged this question.

A small problem was found on E: but fixed.

Now all drives are reporting fine.

It hasn't stopped the backup failing with this message.
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Expert Comment

by:Haresh Nikumbh
ID: 39204141
So after fixing disk error backups are still failing ?

what is vss writers status ?
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Accepted Solution

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Michael Green earned 0 total points
ID: 39215103
The solution to this problem was to disable the backup, reformat the external backup USB HDD and then re-establish/re-configure backup 'as new'.  The obvious downside to this - all backup history was lost....
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Author Closing Comment

by:Michael Green
ID: 39247024
My solution - whilst probably not optimal - worked and got backups working again quickly.
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