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Volume Shadow Copy Error 0x8004230f - unexpected provider error

Last modified on: 01st Aug 2013
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BA910 Volume Shadow Copy Error 0x8004230f - unexpected provider error


Problem 1

A VSS provider has malfunctioned and is stopping the creation of a VSS snapshot.

A VSS provider is a component that manages volumes and creates clones and snapshots. Microsoft supplies a default provider with VSS.

Additional providers from other vendors may be installed on a system.

We have found the Microsoft default provider to be reliable overall, and does not cause this particular VSS error. We believe that this error is caused by other 3rd party providers that may be installed on the system.

Problem 2

This issue was raised by one of our resellers, Michael, from Ashpoint Pty Ltd:

The VSS error occurred because a disk partitioning utility (Acronis in this instance) had been used to clone the server drive to a bigger drive. The cloning process broke the VSS system.

A fix for this issue is detailed below, under the heading 'Resolution 2'. Many thanks to Michael for providing us with this information.

Problem 3

We have found that some USB hard drives being connected to the machine BackupAssist is installed on can also cause this VSS error. The USB hard drive only needs to be connected, it doesn't need to be part of the backup process at all to generate this error.


Resolution 1

1. Ensure that all the drives that are being backed up are local drives. Certain Network Attached Storage devices, such as the NetGear Storage Central 101 device, may install software such that the storage device appears to be a local drive even though it is a remote drive.

2. List the available VSS providers on your system. To do this, run the Command Prompt, and type in the following:

vssadmin list providers

This will give you a list of providers. The list on a typical Windows SBS 2003 system is shown below.



If you see that 3rd parties have installed their own providers, then we recommend uninstalling these 3rd party software packages.

We have recently had instances where one particular 3rd party snapshot provider, installed with some disk imaging software, caused this VSS error. Furthermore, that 3rd party software was in trial mode, and the trial had expired. As soon as it was uninstalled, the BackupAssist backups worked perfectly.

Resolution 2

Please note: the following steps were reported to us by one of our resellers (Michael from Ashpoint Pty Ltd). The BackupAssist support team has not verified these steps, and cannot guarantee that they will resolve the issue on your system.

Many thanks to Michael for providing us with the following un-named information that he located:

The problem is to do with the fact that the cloned drive still has the same signature as the old drive, therefore windows assumes that all the old VSS data is still present on the drive, which it is not unless you did a sector-by-sector image of the entire drive, rather than an image of the file system which is the default. What you need to do is change the signature of the drive so that Windows thinks that it is a new volume and re-initialises VSS.

  • Download MbrFix from http://www.sysint.no/en/Download.aspx
    Create a BartPE boot CD from http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/
  • Boot into BartPE and open cmd.
    Plug in some kind of usb storage device to backup your old mbr to.
  • Use mbrfix to find the drive you want to update
    mbrfix /drive 0 listpartitions
    mbrfix /drive 1 listpartitions

Try some different drive numbers -0,1,2 until you have found the hard drive you want to update.
Note: Be careful you have the right drive. My USB hard drive was actually drive 0, my internal hard drive was drive 1.

  • Backup the old mbr
    mbrfix /drive 0 savembr backupmbr0.bin
  • Generate a new signature
    mbrfix /drive 0 generatesignature
  • Reboot from your hard drive.
    When windows restarts, leave it for a few minutes and it will ask to reboot again, reboot and you will now be able to go back in to drive properties and re-enable shadow copies for which ever drives you need.

Thanks to the contributors in this thread for the information http://www.techspot.com/vb/showthread.php?p=563391#post563391

For information, this thread also lists two other fixes:

  1. Updating the generic volume drivers.
  2. Uninstalling the generic volume drivers.

These fixes did not work for me, but the mbrfix worked first time. My nightly backup is now successful.

After following the above process and rebooting, Michael found he had to initialise the VSS system by running the following DOS commands, as outlined in our Knowledge Base article http://kb.backupassist.com/articles.php?aid=2898:


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 sxml3.dll

regsvr32 /s msxml4.dll

Net start vss

Net start swprv

Resolution 3

We have found that the only way to resolve this VSS error when it's being caused by a USB drive that's connected to the system is to remove the USB drive from the system.

Microsoft have also provided additional information regarding issues with advanced format drives (including hotfixes) at 

A blog which one of our support team has written also raises additional help for this particular error. The blog can be found here.

Resolution 4

Volume Shadow Copy Service errors can arise from backups to an advanced format based drive on a system that does not support it (pre-Server 2012/Windows 8). The easiest way to be able to tell if you're drive is an advanced format drive is to run the following command using the command prompt: fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo

Now look for the bytes per sector output. If the sector size is anything larger than 512 (typically 4096 will be the result) the drive is an advanced format drive.

Unfortunately, this is on the actual hardware level and a format of the drive will not change this. To resolve the issue, try to run the seed to a USB drive which has a value of 512 for Bytes Per Sector.

Applies To

BackupAssist v4 onwards

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