Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

unable to backup system state or shadow coy

Level 6

NBU, Windows Server 2008 R2

i have a backup policy for a DFSR enabled drive. i have finally isolated the causes of my previous backup errors and now for two days i have backup status of zero. however, in the detailed status i'm still getting this errors:

1/10/2017 2:07:06 AM - Error bpbrm(pid=26320) from client fs01: ERR - Unable to backup System State or Shadow Copy. Please check the state of VSS and associated Writers.

i checked VSS state and writers and they return with no errors. btw, i have added a dedicated drive X: for shadow storage and have exempted ~*.* files from the backup.


Level 6
Partner    VIP    Accredited Certified

What is in Backup Selection of DFSR policy?

Do you have bpfis and bpbkar logs on the file server?
Logging level 3 should be fine. 

the backup selection is "Shadow Copy Components".

i have bpbkar logs but it's almost 1GB in size. no bpfis. so i changed log level to 3, created bpfis folder and will check tomorrow for the logs.

Level 6
Partner    VIP    Accredited Certified

What was logging level before you set it to 3?

1GB is very big for a plain text file.
You will need to sift through the log yourself or else log a Support call with Veritas (they WILL ask for level 5 logs).

Here is my version of how to read logs:



Considering that you have made a file level exclusion, have you tried replacing shadow copy components with all_local_drives directive?

I have had some situations where this resolved the system state errors.

This blog:

Contains a lot of information about causes for shadow copy backup to fail.

The standard questions: Have you checked: 1) What has changed. 2) The manual 3) If there are any tech notes or VOX posts regarding the issue

I have observed that when bpbkar32 calls for a snapshot and bpfis returns an error, then bpbkar muddles on without a snapshot. If the remainder of the backup succeeds, I've seen bpbkar return status 0, even though it may not have captured items that can only be gotten from a snapshot. Sorry about being vague, but I didn't chase down the details at the time.

The bpbkar log before you turned down the logging level would be interesting, as will the bpfis log when you get it. You can reduce the bpbkar log by pulling out one pid. If it's still too big, you can split it up and look for the segment that calls bpfis. Likely, you want the first part of the log.

Newer versions of NetBackup will give you several 50 MB logs rather than one huge log.


I would say enable windows backup and attempt a shadow copy backup to alternate drive. Also have you sent the output of vssadmin list writers?  If not can you send that over? Also do you have disk quota set dedicated snapshot volume or other local volumes?

Also run vssadmin list shadows and check for any leftover snapshots


If so set the limit to 300 Meg attempt a backup, if it fails then set it back to unlimited