SBS 2008 Windows Server Backup failure

SBS 2008.  When the nightly backup to a USB drive occurs (withiout issues for the past three years), I am now getting:

"Backup ended before completing. A volume shadow copy service operation failed with error 0x800423F4. View the event log for more information."

The event log says:

"Backup started at '25/03/2015 2:06:21 PM' failed as Volume Shadow copy operation failed for backup volumes with following error code '2155348129'. Please rerun backup once issue is resolved."

It looks like it's possibly SQL related.  I ran VSSAdmin List Writers, and the only error is:

Writer name: 'SqlServerWriter'
   Writer Id: {a65faa63-5ea8-4ebc-9dbd-a0c4db26912a}
   Writer Instance Id: {2a4a190c-a909-4867-8c2b-d3fe5c834407}
   State: [8] Failed
   Last error: Non-retryable error

The server was restarted about a week ago, but this did not resolve it.

Any recommendations on how to resolve this?
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DaveWWWAsked:
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DaveWWWAuthor Commented:
The backup works fine by disabling the VSS service.  Seems counterintuitive.
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Bill WoodCommented:
We were having similar problems. There is apparently a compatibility problem with some of the newer hard drives and shadow copy. I am using WD Elements external usb hard drives for my backups now and everything is running well.
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rindiCommented:
Have you checked the state of your RAID arrays? Have you used the diagnostic utility for the disks you are backing up to? Have you run a chkdsk /f /r on all drive-letters, including the external ones you are backing up to?
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DaveWWWAuthor Commented:
Bill, these are the same set of USB drives we've used for the past 3 years without an issue.

Rindi, I'll be remoting in today to check the RAID arrays. Last time I was on their system, there were no errors apparent.
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Bill WoodCommented:
We outgrew our old drives and had to go from 1 TB to 2 TB. The first couple times backup failed and after a little searching I found out about the problem. I went back to the store and bought an old school "basic" 2 TB drive and that worked out. So I bought some others and backup has been fine since then. I don't know where the cutoff is, but it looks like it was a backup size issue for us. We also installed a USB 3 card in the server to speed up data transfer but I don't think that was the issue.
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DaveWWWAuthor Commented:
Bill, what "old school" drive model do you use? I have another server that has a backup too big for a 1tb drive.
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rindiCommented:
The disks need to have a 512 sector size. New, large disks have 4096 sector sizes.
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DaveWWWAuthor Commented:
Understood, hence my question re "old school" drives. Surely someone is still manufacturing a 512 byte/sector drive of 2tb capacity?
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Bill WoodCommented:
I found Western Digital Elements work by trial and error. The problem is that at the shop, most of the boxes don't show details other than total size. We are currently using 2TB backup disks.
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DaveWWWAuthor Commented:
Rindi, I checked the RAID arrays, and yes, there was a problem.  One of the disks had failed.  I replaced it yesterday and rebuilt the array. Thanks for that tip.

Unfortunately, it has not resolved the backup issue.  This client does not use Sharepoint at all. They use the server to store files in just a few folders, plus it is their Exchange server.  There are about 12 users.

The Application Event Viewer is absolutely filled with Sharepoint/SQL errors.  This server was all\ready set up when I took over the customer, so I don't know if these errors have always been there or not.

At the time of backup (11:00pm), these error messages occur:

1. SQL Database 'SharePoint_Config_29c26fca-17b8-48c1-9704-b869932abcb6' on SQL Server instance '<servername>\Microsoft##SSEE' not found. Additional error information from SQL Server is included below.

Cannot open database "SharePoint_Config_29c26fca-17b8-48c1-9704-b869932abcb6" requested by the login. The login failed.

2. Backup started at '31/03/2015 2:00:08 AM' failed as another backup or recovery is in progress. Please re-run backup.

Other info: If I try the "Backup once" feature in Windows Server Backup, and select, say, just the data drive, the USB backup drive (which I de-select as a source) does not show up as a destination.

Do you think the SQL, Sharepoint, and Backup issues could be related?
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rindiCommented:
After having fixed your RAID array, you should run chkdsk like I suggested earlier. This repairs file-system errors. You should do that during weekends while the server isn't being used as it can take a long time, and the server can't be used during that time.

Besides that SBS servers come with sharepoint, exchange etc., and all those things should be setup properly with the SBS wizards, even if they aren't going to be used.  If they aren't setup properly your SBS is "broken" and the errors you get can be normal. I'd make sure everything is setup properly the "SBS" way.
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DaveWWWAuthor Commented:
Just wanted to finalize close this question properly by saying the actual solution was to disable the SQL Server VSS Writer (SQLWriter) service.  Don't know why this works, but it does.
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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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