Disclaimer: The steps mentioned in this article should be performed only after consulting your System Admin. VSS is an OS component, hence it is advisable to consult Microsoft or your system admin before proceeding.
While performing a backup from an inSync client, Windows XP or Windows 7, the backup fails with the below VSS related errors in the inSyncClient.log:
[2013-10-30 12:22:50,405] [WARNING] Snapshot creation returned result = 4,rc = 8000ffff. Retrying..
[2013-10-30 12:23:20,405] [WARNING] Snapshot creation returned result = 4,rc = 8000ffff. Retrying..
[2013-10-30 12:23:50,405] [WARNING] Snapshot creation returned result = 4,rc = 8000ffff. Retrying..
[2013-10-30 12:24:20,405] [INFO] Windows VSS failed to create a snapshot for C:\ at step 4, status 0x8000ffff[Catastrophic failure]. (#100000036). Backing up live data.
Cause and troubleshooting
1. “Volume Shadow Copy Service” is found missing if checked in Services console.
2. Running the below commands will throw Error 0x8000ffff
Vssadmin list writers
Vssadmin list providers
Vssadmin list shadows
3. Also re-registering DLL files by following the Microsoft KB (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/940184), will not bring the writers back.
To resolve this issue, we first need to get the VSS service back under the services console.
1. Find a working machine running the same OS as the affected machine, wherein the “Vssadmin” commands do not give any errors and the “Volume Shadow Copy Service” is present under Services.
Note: Please do not use Windows XP key on Windows 7 machine and vice versa.
2. Open the registry editor and export the below key -
3. Import the key on the affected machine and reboot it. After the reboot, the “VSS” service should be back in the services console. Also the writers, providers and shadow commands would complete without any errors. Now inSync backups should run successfully.