VSS Based Backups Failing (0x8000FFFF) On Legacy O/S

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This post was originally published on December 4, 2016
The latest update to this post was made 5 years ago.

VSS Based Backups Failing (0x8000FFFF) On Legacy O/SVSS Based Backups Failing (0x8000FFFF) On Legacy O/S

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Editors note: Although this article is intended for Windows XP and Server 2003 family products, which are all defunct operating systems as of now, we are publishing this support article because we know there are still many of these legacy operating systems out there.  Systems not connected to the internet, used in test labs, etc.  Is is important that this articles resolution steps only be used on these legacy operating systems (Windows XP and Server 2003) as running this resolution on newer operating systems can cause unrepairable damage, possibly requiring O/S re-installation.

Issue: You are receiving a VSS error similar to the following: “The VSS application writer or the VSS provider is in a bad state. Either it was already in a bad state or it entered a bad state during the current operation. (ID 30111 Details: Catastrophic failure (0x8000FFFF))” with a recommended action of: “Please check that the Event Service, the VSS service and the shadow copy provider service is running, and check for errors associated with these services in the Application Event Log on the server ‘server.domain.ext’. Please allow 10 minutes for VSS to repair itself and then retry the operation.”

Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 using shadow copy services for backup operations, such applications may include DPM 2007 and DPM 2010.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS FIX IS FOR WINDOWS XP AND 2003 SERVER ONLY (LEGACY SYSTEMS), DO NOT USE THIS FIX ON VISTA, 2008 SERVER, 2012 SERVER OR ANY NEWER OPERATING SYSTEMS. The newer operating systems do not use this method for VSS, following these directions on the newer O/S may require a full re-install of the operating system.

This error is typically caused by a bad or non-existent volume shadow writer.  See resolution suggestions on page 2 of this article.

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