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Volume Shadow Copy Error 0x800423f4 - writer error: non retryable

Last modified on: 15th Nov 2009
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BA954 Volume Shadow Copy Error 0x800423f4 - writer error: non retryable


We have heard of this error previously, and it is caused when you use VSS in your backup and have one or more of your SQL databases running in non-simple recovery mode, even if you are not backing them up at the time. Below are a few options you can consider to resolve this issue.

This error has also been experienced when running multiple backup solutions on the one system.


First, try running the following pre-backup script in BackupAssist to re-start the Volume Shadow Copy Service:

If you are using BackupAssist Version 3:-

1. Go to the advanced tab of BackupAssist and click the "Modify scripts..." link
2. Enter the following into the pre-backup section:

net stop vss
net start vss

If you are using BackupAssist Version 4:-

Please go into advanced job settings (edit menu) > Scripts > Pre-backup scripts :-
net stop vss
net start vss

Secondly, Microsoft have documented the error in this article - http://support.microsoft.com/?id=828481 and released a hotfix (also included in Windows 2003 sp1). However, while this will make your backups successful, the copy of SQL in your back-up will be corrupted and not available for restore.

The third option is to change your SQL databases to simple, by using the SQL Manager. You simply find the databases (Microsoft SQL Servers > SQL Server Group > SERVERNAME > Databases. Right click and choose the properties on each database. On the Options tab, change the Recovery Mode from "Full" to "Simple". This essentially turns off up-to-the-minute restore (ie no log files). NTBackup will successfully backup your SQL databases, and will be able to restore it up to the time of the backup (which is pretty consistent with the rest of the SBS server). Unfortunately though, you will not be able to recover up to the minute of the failure. This is by far the easiest to configure.

The fourth option is to move your SQL databases to a volume that is not included in the backup. It has to be a separate volume all together (not just a removed folder) since NTBackup evokes VSS writers based on what applications are installed on that volume. You can then use the SQL backup tools in the SQL enterprise manager to backup the SQL databases to a volume that 'is' included in the backup, and then backup the backup files from the SQL backup. This of course makes the recovery of SQL somewhat time consuming.

If the above does not resolve your issue please follow the steps below to re-register the VSS DLL files, as this has been successful for some of our customers in the past.

According to Microsoft Premier Support this is the correct procedure to follow when re-registering the Volume Shadow Copy service DLL's.

Open a command prompt session

CD to Windows\System32

Net stop vss

Net stop swprv

regsvr32 ole32.dll

regsvr32 vss_ps.dll

Vssvc /Register

regsvr32 /i swprv.dll

regsvr32 /i eventcls.dll

regsvr32 es.dll

regsvr32 stdprov.dll

regsvr32 vssui.dll

regsvr32 msxml.dll

regsvr32 msxml3.dll

regsvr32 msxml4.dll

Reboot your server.

After reboot, open a command prompt and run:

vssadmin list writers

Ensure that all your writers are displayed w/o errors.

If you are running
multiple backup solutions:

Please take a look at the following online blog as it outlines some of the conflicts that can be caused by running two or more backup solutions on the one machine (one of which is VSS issues): http://www.backupassist.com/blog/support/other-backup-software-can-cause-interfere-with-backupassist/

Apparently other 3rd party backup solutions uninstall process unregisters the sqlvdi.dll file before it completes successfully.
Based on feedback from Bj Marowitz: The suggestions on the following Microsoft KB also known to fix this error: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/830575.

Applies To

BackupAssist Version 3 onward

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