VSS Snapshot provider error (Exchange 2007, BEWS 12)


Greetings,
   We are experiencing the following issue, not every day, sometimes the job runs fine. Server names / domain altered....


V-79-57344-34110 - AOFO: Initialization failure on: "\\exchange.server.local\Microsoft Information Store\First Storage Group". Advanced Open File Option used: Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS).
Snapshot provider error (0xE000FED1): A failure occurred querying the Writer status.

Check the Windows Event Viewer for details.

Writer Name: Exchange Server, Writer ID: {76FE1AC4-15F7-4BCD-987E-8E1ACB462FB7}, Last error: The VSS Writer failed, but the operation can be retried (0x800423f3), State: Failed during prepare snapshot operation (8).
 


Architecture

Windows Server 2003 using Backup Exec 12 (file.server.local)

Windows Server 2003 x64 Standard and Exchange Server 2007 (exchange.server.local)

file.server.local runs a B2D job to collect the Exchange 2007 data, GRT is disabled.


Can anyone shed any light on this? I've checked various posts and some reference a hotfix for the VSS, but the files are already later versions on exchange.server.local.

There does not appear to be any real pattern to the failures, it's very hit and miss. We are suspecting possible resource issues, memory perhaps, but cannot see any high useage.


Many thanks!

James
5 Replies

http://seer.entsupport.symant

http://seer.entsupport.symantec.com/docs/275975.htm

The technote posted above has

The technote posted above has nothing to do with this issue, so you can disregard it.

The issue you are running across has to do with the Exchange VSS writers. Exchange 2007 backups have to use the VSS writers to complete. A lot of times they are very hard to find the resolution to.  When you get that error in the job, check the event viewer on the Exchange server to see if it can give a bit more detail to the error.  Also run VSSADMIN LIST WRITERS from a command prompt on the exchange server to make sure that the exchange writers are in a stable status.  If they are not in stable status, most times either restarting the information store service or rebooting the server can reset the writer (a bit of a pain, I know).

I've suggested to a few customers to run backups with BETest (a microsoft utility) to verify that the Exchange VSS writers are working correctly.  If you aren't able to reproduce the issue with BETest you may want to give a call into support to have someone look at the system.  Also since the error is hit or miss with Backup Exec, the same issue will come up for BETEST. You may need to run it more then once.

Thanks Ben L. Essentially,

Thanks Ben L.

Essentially, restarting the IS as a scheduled task may resolve this?

Here are the four critical

Here are the four critical events from the Exchange server at the time this attempts to start.


------------------------------------------
Event Type: Error
Event Source: MSExchangeIS
Event Category: General
Event ID: 9840
Date: 20/04/2009
Time: 19:30:10
User: N/A
Computer: EXCHANGE
Description:
An attempt to prepare the storage group 'First Storage Group' for backup failed because the storage group is already in the process of being backed up. The error code is -2403. (Note that if a backup was recently aborted, then it may take several minutes for the system to detect the aborted backup and initiate backup cleanup procedures, so this message may be generated if an attempt was made to backup a storage group before a previous backup attempt had fully terminated.)
 ------------------------------------------
Event Type: Error
Event Source: MSExchangeIS
Event Category: Exchange VSS Writer
Event ID: 9814
Date: 20/04/2009
Time: 19:30:10
User: N/A
Computer: EXCHANGE
Description:
Exchange VSS Writer (instance 76c22147-5b3f-4c1e-b935-9226737e510e:4) failed with error code -2403 when preparing the database engine for backup of storage group 'First Storage Group'.
---------------------------------------------
Event Type: Error
Event Source: ESE
Event Category: ShadowCopy
Event ID: 2007
Date: 20/04/2009
Time: 19:30:10
User: N/A
Computer: EXCHANGE
Description:
Information Store (328) Shadow copy instance 4 aborted.
----------------------------------------------
Event Type: Error
Event Source: MSExchangeIS
Event Category: Exchange VSS Writer
Event ID: 9609
Date: 20/04/2009
Time: 19:30:10
User: N/A
Computer: EXCHANGE
Description:
Exchange VSS Writer (instance 76c22147-5b3f-4c1e-b935-9226737e510e:4) failed with error code -2403 when preparing for Snapshot.
-----------------------------------------------


Subsequently, the second storage group is backed up successfully.


I'm going to try the IS restart thing and will post up the results.



http://support.microsoft.com/

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/930800