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Failed to create snapshot

russmd :

Apr 29, 2015

I am configured for once a day automatic backup. Why do I frequently, but not always, get a "failed to create snapshot" of the source drive? When I then run it, it works fine. Something to do with the computer waking up from standby? I've tried the various shadow copying options and makes no difference.
Thanks,
Russ

Alex Pankratov :

Apr 30, 2015

What does the backup log show in the line below the error message?

You can open the log panel with Menu/Options/Show Log Panel. Then select the backup in question, find the error message and then use [+] next to it to see the details.

russmd :

May 03, 2015

I have a screen snapshot of the error log if I can get it to you, tell me how. Basically, it says
Taking snapshot of source volume
Available VSS writers
Components used
Bunch of stuff, writers
Volume path
snapshot ID
TIMED OUT
TIMED OUT
ERROR:FAILED TO CREATE A VSS SNAPSHOT

Alex Pankratov :

May 04, 2015

The timeout is 5 minutes by default. From what I've seen this is typically enough for the VSS to complete its snapshot taking process. In some extreme cases, when a system is under extreme load for example, it may not be, so you can try and increase it.

To do that, right-click on the backup job, select Open Location / Config & Logging, then in the location that opens use Notepad to create file called override.ini and put the following line in it -

        conf.vss_timeout_sec   900

At the risk of stating the obvious, this sets VSS timeout to 900 seconds, 3 times the default. Save, exit Notepad, restart Bvckup and re-run the backup in question.

But all in all, the chance are that you've got something odd going on with the VSS. Perhaps you have too many existing shadow copies. If you are OK with the command line, there's vssadmin utility that allows inspecting various VSS details -

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc754968.aspx

russmd :

May 12, 2015

Changed the timeout but still have the error occasionally. vss admin says I have one shadow copy.

gep2 :

Feb 04, 2016

I had been running with an override to 10000 seconds (!) and that was successful for a long time, but now that's timing out too.  I reset the timeout to 25000 seconds but it's still timing out after 10000 seconds (2hr 46 mins).  Is it ignoring the timeout I configured as "too big"?  Is that a small-int or something?  I've tried resetting it to 16000 seconds to see if that works better.  (I'm backing up a 2Tb hard drive and presently I'm showing 967.89 Gb, 746350 files, and 59004 files (and those numbers were not increasing just before I got the "failed to create snapshot of the source location" error message.))

Alex Pankratov :

Feb 04, 2016

This should NOT be happening. There's no copying involved when a snapshot is created, so the file count doesn't really matter. You may occasionally see a snapshot taking 10 minutes to create on a very busy server, but it should typically be completing in few minutes tops. Two hours is absolutely out of whack.

You have something fundamentally messed up in your volume shadow service setup. I have no idea what it is though, sorry. I'd start by giving a close look to everything you can dig up with "vssadmin", perhaps there's something obviously out of place there.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc754968.aspx

PS. There's no cap on the vss_timeout value. I'd guess that the app was still lingering in the background when you were changing settings.ini, so your edits were lost and overwritten.

Brenda :

Feb 09, 2016

I, too, cannot create a copy of my C drive.  Here's what happens:  

2016.02.09 14:16:53.681 (UTC-4) 3 3             Snapshot ID : 7077d796-690d-4692-a7cb-1e2037e32ef4
2016.02.09 14:16:53.761 (UTC-4) 0 3             IVssBackupComponents::AddToSnapshotSet() failed with 8004230f
2016.02.09 14:16:53.792 (UTC-4) 0 2         Error: failed to create a VSS snapshot
2016.02.09 14:16:53.792 (UTC-4) 2 1     Completed in 1.05 sec with 2 errors

Brenda :

Feb 09, 2016

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.

C:\>vssadmin list shadows
vssadmin 1.1 - Volume Shadow Copy Service administrative command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2001-2005 Microsoft Corp.

Contents of shadow copy set ID: {0ea14b96-7fb7-4388-bf62-777b38a779de}
   Contained 1 shadow copies at creation time: 2/9/2016 12:42:23 AM
      Shadow Copy ID: {e09d10d1-ce65-4647-ade2-182d3e1cfac6}
         Original Volume: (C:)\\?\Volume{9788eac5-ae9c-11e2-ad35-806e6f6e6963}\
         Shadow Copy Volume: \\?\GLOBALROOT\Device\HarddiskVolumeShadowCopy2
         Originating Machine: Laptop2
         Service Machine: Laptop2
         Provider: 'Microsoft Software Shadow Copy provider 1.0'
         Type: ClientAccessibleWriters
         Attributes: Persistent, Client-accessible, No auto release, Differentia
l, Auto recovered


C:\>

Alex Pankratov :

Feb 09, 2016

Error 0x8004230F (or VSS_E_UNEXPECTED_PROVIDER_ERROR) means "The shadow copy provider had an unexpected error while trying to process the specified operation." Beyond that I have no insight into what can be causing this, sorry.

From what I've seen VSS typically returns more specific errors when it runs out space, when the snapshot is vetoed by one of the components, etc. What you have however is a generic "pants on fire" error when something inside the VSS contraption fails without warning. My wild guess would be that you might have a buggy or corrupt installation of a 3rd party VSS writer or provider on the machine, perhaps left behind by some other backup software.

Lionel :

Mar 12, 2016

I've got the same thing happening. "failed to create VSS snapshot".  The log says: "Snapshot ID : 757ab391-6e2e-43eb-8977-668c1ea923d7
2016.03.12 11:16:38.932 (UTC+0) 0 3             Snapshot cannot be created -- vetoed by provider
2016.03.12 11:16:38.932 (UTC+0) 3 4                 Error code is 0x80042306 / VSS_E_PROVIDER_VETO
2016.03.12 11:16:38.979 (UTC+0) 0 2         Error: failed to create a VSS snapshot

Alex Pankratov :

Mar 15, 2016

OK, for this one I have an answer that another person in the same situation has shared not long ago -

<quote>
The problem was in the fact of having an outdated Bootcamp installation. Problem is Apple in their great wisdom have decided that Macs older than 2012 shouldn’t have Windows 10 installed so you can’t have Bootcamp 6. Long story short I have a late 2011 macbook pro and installed Windows 10 without knowing this so needed to upgrade manually.

Link talking about VSS and Bootcamp:
http://www.tenforums.com/general-support/4556-cannot-make-system-image-vss-error-12289-a.html

Forum about updating Bootcamp 6 on an earlier machine (including downloads etc):
http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/apple-released-w10-bootcamp-support-bootcamp-6-no-support-for-systems-before-2012.1907386/

So my advice for people who are receiving VSS errors and are running W10 via bootcamp, ask them to ensure they are running the latest version.
</quote>

Courtesy of James B., via email.

Other than this, I have no ready answer for you, but I would guess that it's called by a presence (and interference) by 3rd party software that works closely with the storage stack. It can be a system backup software, it can be some sort of disk scanner or something similar. If you do have this kind of program installed, try and disable it temporarily and see if it alleviates the issue.

aewasey :

May 05, 2016

unable to take snapshot in red  the Microsoft software shadow copy provider what do I do

Alex Pankratov :

May 06, 2016

@aewasey: https://bvckup2.com/support/forum/topic/574/3355

aewasey :

May 06, 2016

failed to create snapshot of source location         in red   the microsolft shadow copy provider             erro failed to create a vss snapshot       do I unestall and re down load  the program again

Alex Pankratov :

May 07, 2016

This is a problem with your Windows configuration and it is completely external to the app. You can't fix it by changing any settings in the app nor by reinstalling it.

gep2 :

Sep 01, 2020

I've added the override.ini file you said, but I'm still timing out (almost always) after 5-6 minutes trying to create the snapshot of the source volume.   :-(((  Again, this is a notebook computer with a 2Tb hard drive... it's about 90% full...   I'm gep2@****.com....  I'm trying to back up to a 6Tb external USB hard drive.

gep2 :

Sep 01, 2020

After logging:  "Taking snapshot of the source volume..."
it's logging (in red) "Timed out" and up on top in the backup item...
It's saying (again in red) "Failed to create snapshot of source location".

Alex Pankratov :

Sep 01, 2020

Not much I can help you with here. It's some sort of an issue with the state of the VSS on your machine. The only thing of relevance that I am aware of is that making a snapshot may take a very long time when the target volume is in a very active use and the machine is generally stressed.

I'd probably take a look in the system logs, see if there's anything of relevance. Also, for the sake of an experiment, set the timeout to few hours and check if a snapshot ever gets created... but, from what I've seen, it shouldn't take longer than 1-2 minutes max, usually much less.

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