There have been some blogs on VSS backups in the past. Over last few months, we have worked on several cases where troubleshooting VSS was required. Seeing that the documentation around how to troubleshoot this is somewhat lacking, we decided to put together this blog post. This post will give you VSS troubleshooting tips using publicly available tools. Introduction Exchange-aware VSS backups are supported for both the active and passive storage groups and databases. The passive copy backup solution we provide is VSS-only, and it is implemented by the Exchange Replica VSS Writer that is part of the Replication service. Streaming backups are only supported from the active storage groups. You cannot use streaming backup APIs to back up the replica database. A VSS backup program must be used with a VSS Requestor for the Exchange writer. With Exchange Server 2007, it is possible to run two separate VSS backup jobs against the same Exchange server. With Streaming Backups in Exchange Server 2003, while it was possible to run two backups at the same time versus two different Storage Groups, it was not possible with VSS. With VSS in Exchange Server 2003 it was not possible to back up SG2 until the backup completed on SG1. The Exchange 2007 Writer also allows you to restore Exchange data to an alternative location. The Exchange 2003 Writer did not allow retargeting VSS restores to a location other than the original path. VSS backups cannot be restored to the replica location using the Exchange Writer, but they can be restored to an alternate location which could the replica copy folder directory. In Exchange 2007 the store VSS writer allows for restores to ANY storage group, including RSG. It also allows for restores of databases to a folder location (not associated with an SG), where Jet is then used to replay logs into the database to bring it to a consistent and mountable state. Then it can be ported anywhere. Troubleshooting Volume Shadow Copy Service The Volume Shadow Copy Service is installed by default on a Windows Server 2003 server. It is set to start manually and will run if a requester (Backup program) can use the writers in the system. Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 addresses some critical problems affecting the performance of VSS. KB 914962 provides a list of all the updates on the service pack. You can then install just the updates for VSS. However, it is recommended that the full service pack be installed. An update rollup package 940349 is available to resolve some Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) snapshot issues in Windows Server 2003. Additionally, depending on the symptoms, there are many hotfixes/articles that are available to correct top VSS issues. Some of them are listed below:
You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, register and sign in.