Standalone backup agent for Microsoft Windows servers and workstations (formerly Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE)
Post Reply
AlexLeadingEdge
Expert
Posts: 279
Liked: 32 times
Joined: Dec 14, 2015 9:42 pm
Contact:

A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by AlexLeadingEdge » May 26, 2016 11:57 pm

I installed a program called ACT! Premium yesterday which uses SQL Server 2014 and since then the backups have failed 55 times (retries).
27-May-16 9:52:43 AM :: Error: Failed to create snapshot: Backup job failed. Cannot create a shadow copy of the volumes containing writer's data. A VSS critical writer has failed. Writer name: [SqlServerWriter]. Class ID: [{a65faa63-5ea8-4ebc-9dbd-a0c4db26912a}]. Instance ID: [{76301a1a-85cf-46df-ae7c-b30efafe3afc}]. Writer's state: [VSS_WS_FAILED_AT_PREPARE_SNAPSHOT]. Error code: [0x800423f4].
Running "vssadmin list writers" in command prompt gives this error message:
Writer name: 'SqlServerWriter'
Writer Id: {a65faa63-5ea8-4ebc-9dbd-a0c4db26912a}
Writer Instance Id: {76301a1a-85cf-46df-ae7c-b30efafe3afc}
State: [8] Failed
Last error: Non-retryable error

AlexLeadingEdge
Expert
Posts: 279
Liked: 32 times
Joined: Dec 14, 2015 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by AlexLeadingEdge » May 27, 2016 12:16 am 1 person likes this post

A reboot of the machine has fixed this error. Backup has completed successfully.

Dima P.
Product Manager
Posts: 10002
Liked: 796 times
Joined: Feb 04, 2013 2:07 pm
Full Name: Dmitry Popov
Location: Prague
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by Dima P. » May 27, 2016 2:19 pm

AlexLeadingEdge,

I guess, SQL writer might be stuck in 'pending for reboot' state and that’s why you got a backup error. Thanks for sharing!

AlexLeadingEdge
Expert
Posts: 279
Liked: 32 times
Joined: Dec 14, 2015 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by AlexLeadingEdge » May 29, 2016 9:33 pm

Hi Dmitry,

It was working on Friday after a reboot but it is no longer working again this Monday morning :cry: The machine was off over the weekend.
30-May-16 8:45:36 AM :: Creating VSS snapshot Error: Failed to create snapshot: Backup job failed. Cannot create a shadow copy of the volumes containing writer's data. A VSS critical writer has failed. Writer name: [SqlServerWriter]. Class ID: [{a65faa63-5ea8-4ebc-9dbd-a0c4db26912a}]. Instance ID: [{a2c4b548-3a8b-4942-a341-00088397b26e}]. Writer's state: [VSS_WS_FAILED_AT_PREPARE_SNAPSHOT]. Error code: [0x800423f4].
Veeam Support - Case # 01811311

Dima P.
Product Manager
Posts: 10002
Liked: 796 times
Joined: Feb 04, 2013 2:07 pm
Full Name: Dmitry Popov
Location: Prague
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by Dima P. » May 30, 2016 6:03 pm

Thanks. Please do not forget to update the thread with the investigation results. Cheers!

AlexLeadingEdge
Expert
Posts: 279
Liked: 32 times
Joined: Dec 14, 2015 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by AlexLeadingEdge » May 31, 2016 10:21 pm 1 person likes this post

From Konstantin (VEEAM):
I see that you have (or had) another backup software installed, which uses its own provider:

Provider name: 'StorageCraft Volume Snapshot Software Provider'
Provider type: Software
Provider Id: {24602736-bed9-4619-91b0-243447c6409c}

We do not recommend using another backup software side-by-side with Veeam. Please remove this StorageCraft software (if any), or use this link to remove Provider manually - http://hyper-v-backup.backupchain.com/h ... -provider/ (please check that you're removing the correct Id).

Additionally, please run the following command:

vssadmin delete shadows /all

Also there are a lot of errors in Application log with access denied errors.

Please check that SYSTEM account has full permissions to C:\ drive according to this article - https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/lib ... s.10).aspx

Then restart VSS service once again and try to run a backup.
SYSTEM has Full Control access so nothing to do. I have uninstalled Shadow Protect (old version, not used anyway) and rebooted. VEEAM Endpoint Backup is now running correctly. :)

Dima P.
Product Manager
Posts: 10002
Liked: 796 times
Joined: Feb 04, 2013 2:07 pm
Full Name: Dmitry Popov
Location: Prague
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by Dima P. » Jun 01, 2016 11:29 am

Perfect. It appears that a third party VSS provider caused the issue – thanks for sharing with the community.

AlexLeadingEdge
Expert
Posts: 279
Liked: 32 times
Joined: Dec 14, 2015 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by AlexLeadingEdge » Jun 15, 2016 12:06 am

I restarted the SQL Server and it still failed, then rebooted the machine and the whole machine became unresponsive, most likely losing USB keyboard and mouse. By the looks of it a file was installed to C:\ as "Program" and it caused all third party programs in "Program Files" to fail to start (including the Microsoft Keyboard and Mouse software!). I crashed the computer on restart three times and managed to get it to roll back to before the latest "Critical Update" (two days ago) and it went back to normal. I have renamed the random offending file to "Program1" and it seems to be fine now.

Backup has now run successfully.

Dima P.
Product Manager
Posts: 10002
Liked: 796 times
Joined: Feb 04, 2013 2:07 pm
Full Name: Dmitry Popov
Location: Prague
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by Dima P. » Jun 15, 2016 10:46 pm

AlexLeadingEdge,

Wow, that’s odd. Check this directory with some AV to make sure it’s safe too keep.

AlexLeadingEdge
Expert
Posts: 279
Liked: 32 times
Joined: Dec 14, 2015 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by AlexLeadingEdge » Jun 16, 2016 2:28 am

I have just uploaded it to Virus Total (https://www.virustotal.com/) to scan the file with all the major antivirus products. Only one said it was a threat (DrWeb called it "DLOADER.Trojan") but all the rest say it is ok. Virus Total gave it a 100 out of 100 for safety.

It says it is related to WRDATA, which is the folder that Webroot Antivirus uses to store its database and update files. By the looks of it Webroot has tried to update and failed, leaving a badly formed install :(

AlexLeadingEdge
Expert
Posts: 279
Liked: 32 times
Joined: Dec 14, 2015 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by AlexLeadingEdge » Jun 16, 2016 4:44 am

It has done it again :(
16-Jun-16 3:23:41 PM :: Error: Failed to create snapshot: Backup job failed. Cannot create a shadow copy of the volumes containing writer's data. A VSS critical writer has failed. Writer name: [SqlServerWriter]. Class ID: [{a65faa63-5ea8-4ebc-9dbd-a0c4db26912a}]. Instance ID: [{c2950dc7-2afe-4bd0-8c0e-6e1fe062b780}]. Writer's state: [VSS_WS_FAILED_AT_PREPARE_SNAPSHOT]. Error code: [0x800423f4].

AlexLeadingEdge
Expert
Posts: 279
Liked: 32 times
Joined: Dec 14, 2015 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by AlexLeadingEdge » Aug 11, 2016 12:03 am

Going into Services and turning off SQL Server VSS Writer allows VEEAM to run.

mcrape
Veeam Vanguard
Posts: 53
Liked: 20 times
Joined: Jun 27, 2011 7:39 pm
Full Name: Matt Crape
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by mcrape » Aug 11, 2016 2:12 am 1 person likes this post

I had a similar issue, but mine involved the SQL VSS writer failing at install (see here).

My issue turned out that I had an old and / or corrupt dll (msvcr100.dll) in c:\windows\system32\. I ended up renaming that file re-installing without issue. Not sure if it is the same issue, but it sounds similar so I thought I would chime in.

AlexLeadingEdge
Expert
Posts: 279
Liked: 32 times
Joined: Dec 14, 2015 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by AlexLeadingEdge » Aug 11, 2016 4:33 am

mcrape wrote:I had a similar issue, but mine involved the SQL VSS writer failing at install (see here).

My issue turned out that I had an old and / or corrupt dll (msvcr100.dll) in c:\windows\system32\. I ended up renaming that file re-installing without issue. Not sure if it is the same issue, but it sounds similar so I thought I would chime in.
Thank you, any help is always appreciated :) It appears to be related to a program we use called ACT! Premium, that installs SQL Server. It seems to install it badly, and when ACT! Premium is uninstalled it leaves the SQL Server in place so removing ACT! Premium doesn't even fix the issue :shock:

cmeis
Lurker
Posts: 1
Liked: never
Joined: Aug 17, 2016 10:25 am
Full Name: Christian Meis
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by cmeis » Aug 17, 2016 10:29 am

Hello AlexLeadingEdge,

I'm fighting with the same problem, which is also occuring on workstations which have Act installed and are to be backuped by Veeam Endpoint Backup.

What did you do to make the VSS errors go away? Or do you have any further information about what the Act installer does "badly" when installing the SQL server (express)?
I have about 15 machines with failing backups due to this error now :-/

Any hints are warmly welcomed! ;-)

Best regards,
Christian

Dima P.
Product Manager
Posts: 10002
Liked: 796 times
Joined: Feb 04, 2013 2:07 pm
Full Name: Dmitry Popov
Location: Prague
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by Dima P. » Aug 17, 2016 9:52 pm

Christian,

Any chance you opened a support case?

AlexLeadingEdge
Expert
Posts: 279
Liked: 32 times
Joined: Dec 14, 2015 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by AlexLeadingEdge » Aug 19, 2016 2:53 am 1 person likes this post

I uninstalled ACT; I wish I were kidding but it was a constant headache. I didn't have the time or the inclination to figure it out, the trial period had expired and it couldn't do everything we wanted it to do in the trial period time, and ACT were unwilling to give us an extension to the trial time. I then turned off the Sql Server VSS Writer under Services. VEEAM seems to need it running (without ACT) or turned off (maybe it turns it back on using its own conditions?), no idea why this works. A simple reboot didn't seem to fix the error.

I also found that ACT blocked certain mapped drive folders from opening, giving me an eternal "Working on it...". Uninstalling ACT fixed that problem too.

Dima P.
Product Manager
Posts: 10002
Liked: 796 times
Joined: Feb 04, 2013 2:07 pm
Full Name: Dmitry Popov
Location: Prague
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by Dima P. » Aug 20, 2016 1:33 pm

Out of curiosity what SQL version this ACT uses? Does it have any other components installed with SQL?

AlexLeadingEdge
Expert
Posts: 279
Liked: 32 times
Joined: Dec 14, 2015 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by AlexLeadingEdge » Aug 22, 2016 11:19 pm

As I have uninstalled it I am not sure. Just going by the ACT! website:
Act! Premium uses SQL Server® 2014 Express or your existing installation of SQL Server® 2008 R2.

Caveman
Novice
Posts: 3
Liked: never
Joined: Apr 14, 2016 11:21 am
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by Caveman » Oct 28, 2016 3:52 pm

Any update on this?
We are experiencing the same issue, however on our exchange server. ATM they are stating its a Microsoft error with the Hyper-V Vss writer.

case 01895883

Dima P.
Product Manager
Posts: 10002
Liked: 796 times
Joined: Feb 04, 2013 2:07 pm
Full Name: Dmitry Popov
Location: Prague
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by Dima P. » Oct 28, 2016 5:41 pm

Hi Caveman,

Are you using ACT! software too?

BuckTussa
Lurker
Posts: 1
Liked: never
Joined: Dec 22, 2015 8:05 pm
Full Name: Bruce
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by BuckTussa » Jan 25, 2017 12:48 am

ACT! software is total garbage. It is a [censored] and is a pain to install. Thanks for the SQL VSS writer solution.

Dima P.
Product Manager
Posts: 10002
Liked: 796 times
Joined: Feb 04, 2013 2:07 pm
Full Name: Dmitry Popov
Location: Prague
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by Dima P. » Jan 25, 2017 10:08 pm

Bruce,

Share you pain – our support team has to fix issues cause by this tool from time to time. Glad you are up and running now.

Bellsys2765
Lurker
Posts: 1
Liked: 2 times
Joined: Apr 06, 2017 2:01 am
Full Name: Artie Maas
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by Bellsys2765 » Apr 06, 2017 2:16 am 2 people like this post

I know this is a old post but I recently ran in to the same issue with ACT, I was able to find this simple fix at the ACT forum Thanks to Andyman49 :D
https://community.act.com/t5/Act/Instal ... 748/page/2
The problem is with permission set for ACT SQL instance needs to be change to Local Service from Local System

Control Panel

Administrative Tools

Computer Management

Services and Applications

SQL Server Configuration Manager

SQL Server Services

SQL Server(ACT7)



Change Log On from Built-in account: Local System to Built-in account: Local Service

brewcrew
Lurker
Posts: 1
Liked: never
Joined: May 22, 2017 8:14 pm
Full Name: brewcrew
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by brewcrew » May 22, 2017 8:17 pm

Thank you for posting this here! I was having this problem since we setup a new ACT server on our VMWare host. The old ACT server backed up fine, but the new one would error out with this error. Changing the service did the trick for us!

LeifGunnar
Lurker
Posts: 1
Liked: never
Joined: Jun 12, 2017 8:46 am
Full Name: Leif Gunnar Einmo
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by LeifGunnar » Jun 12, 2017 8:51 am

Hi AlexLeadingEdge & cmeis

Did you manage to resolv this issu regerading Veeam Endpoint Backup and the ACT software ??
Have a issue with one window 7 WS with ACT installed.

Thanks
Leif Gunnar

Mike Resseler
Product Manager
Posts: 5655
Liked: 589 times
Joined: Feb 08, 2013 3:08 pm
Full Name: Mike Resseler
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by Mike Resseler » Jun 13, 2017 5:28 am

Hi Leif,
The solution from BellSys2756 seems to work fine. If not, you can always contact our support department. (In that case, post the case ID and follow-up here) as they have fixed these already a few times (see post of Dima)

Cheers
Mike

Justin Hemming
Lurker
Posts: 1
Liked: never
Joined: Apr 19, 2018 2:16 pm
Full Name: Justin Hemming
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by Justin Hemming » Apr 19, 2018 2:18 pm

I had a similar issue and this KB solved it for me https://www.veeam.com/kb2326

stubbint
Service Provider
Posts: 5
Liked: 1 time
Joined: Oct 13, 2011 2:14 pm
Full Name: Trevor Stubbins
Contact:

Re: A VSS critical writer has failed: SqlServerWriter

Post by stubbint » Apr 11, 2019 5:04 pm

The same thing just happened to me. I've been backing up my laptop with Veeam for years and today is the first time I've seen this error. As far as I know, nothing has changed on the laptop. A reboot didn't fix it, but stopping the SQL VSS writer service allows Veeam backup to run.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests