Resolving Failed VSS Writer Issues

Look for messages in your Windows Event logs.

Resolving Failed VSS Writer Issues
Resolving Failed VSS Writer Issues

When VSS fails you will always get a corresponding message in your Windows event log.

  1. Right click on ‘My computer’
  2. Select ‘Manage’
  3. Expand the ‘Event Viewer’ node
  4. Look in the ‘Application’ message node for error messages relating to ‘VSS’, ‘Shadow Copy’ or ‘VolSnap’.
  5. If you find any messages then these with give you an ‘Event ID’ and sometimes a ‘Result Code’ or ‘hr’. These two pieces of information can generally pin point the cause of your VSS failure. Try Googling the Event ID(s) and Result Code(s) for more information if the steps below do not resolve the issue.

Make sure that the VSS service isn’t disabled

Changing the startup type of the VSS service and rebooting can often resolve issues.

  1. Right click on ‘My Computer’.
  2. Select ‘Manage’.
  3. Select the ‘Services’ tree node.
  4. Right click on ‘Volume Shadow Copy’
  5. Select Properties
  6. Change the startup type to ‘Automatic’
  7. Reboot

Re-register the VSS components

Sometimes re-registering VSS core components can fix errors. Copy the following commands to Notepad and save the file with a ‘.bat’ extension. Run the .bat file by opening a command prompt and entering the .bat file name.

cd /d %windir%\system32
net stop vss
net stop swprv
regsvr32 /s ole32.dll
regsvr32 /s oleaut32.dll
regsvr32 /s vss_ps.dll
vssvc /register
regsvr32 /s /i swprv.dll
regsvr32 /s /i eventcls.dll
regsvr32 /s es.dll
regsvr32 /s stdprov.dll
regsvr32 /s vssui.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml3.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml4.dll
vssvc /register
net start swprv
net start vss


This program will auto recreate the correct registry setting and re-register all VSS components. Please download one of the below programs to potentially fix VSS issues:

VSSfix 32bit – download
VSSfix 64bit – download

A list of VSS writer services to restart before requiring server reboot. 

VSS Writers and Corresponding Service Table
VSS Writer Service Name Service Display Name
ADAM $instanceName Writer ADAM_$instanceName $instanceName
ASR Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
BITS Writer BITS Background Intelligent Transfer Service
Certificate Authority CertSvc Active Directory Certificate Services
COM+ REGDB Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
DFS Replication service writer DFSR DFS Replication
DHCP Jet Writer DHCPServer DHCP Server
FRS Writer NtFrs File Replication
FSRM writer srmsvc File Server Resource Manager
IIS Config Writer AppHostSvc Application Host Helper Service
IIS Metabase Writer IISADMIN IIS Admin Service
Microsoft Exchange Replica Writer MSExchangeRepl Microsoft Exchange Replication Service
Microsoft Exchange Writer MSExchangeIS Microsoft Exchange Information Store
Microsoft Hyper-V VSS Writer vmms Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management
MSMQ Writer (MSMQ) MSMQ Message Queuing
MSSearch Service Writer WSearch Windows Search
NPS VSS Writer EventSystem COM+ Event System
NTDS NTDS Active Directory Domain Services
OSearch VSS Writer OSearch Office SharePoint Server Search
OSearch14 VSS Writer OSearch14 SharePoint Server Search 14
OSearch15 VSS Writer OSearch15 SharePoint Server Search 15
Registry Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
Shadow Copy Optimization Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
SharePoint Services Writer SPWriter Windows SharePoint Services VSS Writer
SMS Writer SMS_SITE_VSS_WRITER SMS_SITE_VSS_WRITER
SPSearch VSS Writer SPSearch Windows SharePoint Services Search
SPSearch4 VSS Writer SPSearch4 SharePoint Foundation Search V4
SqlServerWriter SQLWriter SQL Server VSS Writer
System Writer CryptSvc Cryptographic Services
TermServLicensing TermServLicensing Remote Desktop Licensing
WDS VSS Writer WDSServer Windows Deployment Services Server
WIDWriter WIDWriter Windows Internal Database VSS Writer
WINS Jet Writer WINS Windows Internet Name Service (WINS)
WMI Writer Winmgmt Windows Management Instrumentation

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