Tag Archives: vssadmin

VSS Writers Names and Services That Go With It – KB10392284


Description:  This will give you the list of the common writers you will see and the services that go with it to restart

Steps to resolve:

This can be used for any backup that might have an issue with writers

1. Run the Command Prompt as an Administrator

2. Type vssadmin list writers. This will populate a list of the writers.


3. To find if a writer is having an issue, look at the state, it will say Failed and the reason for it

Failed Writer

4. Usually, you would have to reboot the server to “reset” the writers but there is an easier way to do that. Instead of rebooting the server, try yo restart the service that corresponds with the writer.

Here is the list:

*Not all the writers will be covered in this list*

 Writer Name Service Name
ASR Writer Volume Shadow Copy
BITS Writer Background Intelligent Transfer Service
COM+ REGDB Writer Volume Shadow Copy
DFS Replication service Writer DFS Replication
DHCP Jet Writer DHCP Server
FRS Writer File Replication
FSRM writer File Server Resource Manager
IIS Config Writer Application Host Helper Service
IIS Metabase Writer IIS Admin Service
Microsoft Exchange Writer Microsoft Exchange Information Store
Microsoft Hyper-V VSS Writer Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management
NTDS Active Directory Domain Services
OSearch VSS Writer Office SharePoint Server Search
OSearch14 VSS Writer SharePoint Server Search 14
Registry Writer Volume Shadow Copy
SPSearch VSS Writer Windows SharePoint Services Search
SPSearch4 VSS Writer SharePoint Foundation Search V4
SqlServerWriter SQL Server VSS Writer
System Writer Cryptographic Services
Task Scheduler Writer Task Scheduler
TermServLicensing Remote Desktop Licensing
WINS Jet Writer Windows Internet Name Service (WINS)
WMI Writer Windows Management Instrumentation

Also refer to these articles: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb968827(v=vs.85).aspx#remote_desktop_services__terminal_services__gateway_vss_writer and https://support.software.dell.com/appassure/kb/129774

Additional considerations: If this does not correct the issue, then a reboot of the server would be necessary, contact the customer and see when it would be convenient for them to reboot the server. Remind them that their backups will not work until the server gets rebooted to reset the writers.



Backup Exec Job Failed: Writer status failed – KB10391039


Description:  Received an alert that the backup failed due to the writer status — Backup job had an issue with one of the writers during the job

Common customer description: Backups failed last night

Received an email that my backup job failed

Probing questions: Was the server rebooted during the backup job?

Were there any network issues?

Steps to isolate: Use command prompt to check the writers

Look at previous tickets to make sure the server wasn’t rebooted

Steps to resolve:

1. Determine if they have Backup Monitoring (This should always be the first step)

  • Backup Monitoring = Not billable
  • No Backup Monitoring = Billable (need approval first)

2. Check the Backup Job Log — it will tell you which writer had an issue

Writer error

3. Open command prompt

4. Type in this command vssadmin list writers —- it will populate all the writers with their statuses


writer list

5. If the command comes back with no errors, the backup job had an issue at  that time and can be re-tried on it regular schedule.

  • If the job won’t happen for a couple of days, re-try the backup job if it will not interfere with their work day (will cause the network to be slow)

What if one or more of the writers show a failed state?

  • If a writer shows a failed state, there are two options you can do:

1. Restart the service for the writer. This article will help figure out which services you need to restart (https://support.software.dell.com/appassure/kb/129774)

2. Reboot the server

Normally, you could restart the service and the writer will return to normal but some require a server reboot to fix

6. Monitor the backups for about a week. We want to make sure that the backups can consistently run successfully and/or complete with exceptions (exceptions can be for many reasons) during that week. If the backups fail within that week period, work on the backups again and continue to monitor the backups for another week (again we need to have a week of consistent successful backups)

7. If the backups completed successful for a week, you can close the ticket

  • If you billed the customer for the changes (no backup monitoring), put the ticket to “To Be Billed” instead of “Closed”

Additional considerations: Refer to Symantec’s article about this: http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH27875.

If the writer has consistent errors, call Symantec at 1-888-780-7962 (Press 2 then 1)