Skip to content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer

Error: VSS Snapshot Creation Failed


Image for Windows is configured to use VSS instead of PHYLock to obtain the snapshot of the drive. The VSS snapshot fails and reports an error in the IFW.log file. Two examples are shown below:

Error: VSS Snapshot Creation Failed (1h)

Error: VSS Snapshot Creation Failed (80042308h)
  (80042308h: VSS Object not found - VolumeName does not correspond to an existing volume)

Errors will also be reported by VSS in the Windows Event Log. There may be multiple events logged for a single failure (e.g. Event ID 12293, 8193, 8194, 4001, etc.).

Source: VSS, Event ID: 12293
Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Error calling a routine on a Shadow Copy Provider {GUID}. Routine details EndPrepareSnapshots ({GUID}) [hr = 0x80042302, A Volume Shadow Copy Service component encountered an unexpected error.].

Source: VSS, Event ID: 12293
Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Error calling a routine on a Shadow Copy Provider {GUID}. Routine details EndPrepareSnapshots ({GUID}) [hr = 0x80070015, The device is not ready.].

Source: VSS, Event ID: 8194
Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Unexpected error querying for the IVssWriterCallback interface. hr = 0x80070005, Access is denied. This is often caused by incorrect security settings in either the writer or requester process.

Source: VSS, Event ID: 8193
Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Unexpected error calling routine Cannot find anymore diff area candidates for volume \\?\Volume{GUID}\ [0]. hr = 0x8000ffff, Catastrophic failure

Source: VSS, Event ID: 4001
Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Cannot find diff areas for creating shadow copies. Add at least one NTFS drive to the system with enough free space. The free space needed is at least 32 Mb for each volume to be shadow copied.

Note that error details will vary.


Error is reported along with Event ID 12293

This error can be caused by one of the partitions included in the backup being set offline. For example, the System Reserved partition of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, which is usually not assigned a drive letter, has been changed from online to offline. Windows will normally automatically bring this type of partition online. However, if automount is disabled or a third-party program has affected the system, it's possible the partition will remain in the offline state.

To check or change the state of automount, start an Administrator Command Prompt, then type DISKPART and press Enter. Run the applicable commands at the DISKPART prompt:

  • To check the state of automount: Type automount and press Enter. The current state will be displayed.
  • To enable automount: Type automount enable and press Enter.
  • To disable automount: Type automount disable and press Enter.

In most cases, you will want to have automount enabled.

Note: If automount has been disabled for a specific reason (e.g. an installed program requirement), the partition can be brought online manually before performing the backup. It will return to the offline state when the system restarts.

To view or change the online status of a partition, run the applicable commands at the DISKPART prompt:

  • Type list volume and press Enter. This will list the volumes (partitions) on the system. Make note of the volume number assigned to the partition in question. The Info column should indicate if the partition is offline.
  • Select the volume (Volume 1 will be used in this example): Type select volume 1 and press Enter.
  • To view volume details: Type detail volume and press Enter.
  • To set the partition online: Type online volume and press Enter.
  • To set the partition offline: Type offline volume and press Enter.
  • To exit DISKPART: Type exit and press Enter.

Once the partition is online you can attempt to create the backup again.

Error is reported along with Event ID 4001

See KB article Backup Fails with VSS Event 4001.

Other Solutions:

The following list contains other possible causes for this problem and steps to resolve them:

  • File system errors
    Snapshot creation may fail if file system errors are encountered. You can perform error checking on a volume by running chkdsk /f or chkdsk /r on it.

    For example, to check the C: drive, open an Administrator Command Prompt and run the following command:
    chkdsk c: /f

    Make sure to check each partition that is being backed up.

    For help on running a file system check in Windows directly from Explorer, please see:

  • Source volume being backed up is not formatted NTFS
    VSS only supports NTFS formatted volumes. Use PHYLock instead of VSS if the volume is not formatted NTFS. As an example, a Dell utility partition being included in the backup can cause VSS to fail. Exclude the partition from the backup.

  • Multiple simultaneous use of the VSS provider
    Ensure the system is not running another service using the VSS provider at the same time as the backup is to be run. The VSS provider may not support multiple snapshots being created at the same time.

  • Insufficient free space on volume
    Depending on the version of Windows being used and the size of volume, there may need to be 300MB to 1GB of free space available on the volume. Make more space by deleting unnecessary files and/or moving files to another drive.

  • High disk activity
    High disk activity at the time of the backup may cause VSS to fail. Try running the backup during times of low or normal disk activity.

  • System is in "setup mode"
    Ensure the system isn't in setup mode by checking the following registry key:

    The values SystemSetupInProgress and UpgradeInProgress should be set to 0 (zero) or not exist.

  • Conflict with third-party program or service
    If the problem started after installing a new program or service, try uninstalling the new program or service to resolve the problem.

  • Non-Microsoft VSS providers
    Providers that are created by parties other than Microsoft may cause problems.

    To view the list of installed providers, open an Administrator Command Prompt (right click command prompt and choose run as administrator) and run the following command:
    vssadmin list providers

    Consider uninstalling the software that installed any of the third party providers you find and try the backup again.

If none of these solutions have solved the problem, try searching the Microsoft site for the error number you received.

Google example: vss 80042308

Was This Article Helpful?