ShadowProtect problem

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by nexstar, May 14, 2007.

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  1. nexstar

    nexstar Registered Member

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    Although I am happy with my Rollback/Drive Snapshot setup now, I decided to give ShadowProtect a go as it is getting good reports at the moment. However, I've hit a snag. I installed it on my test laptop with just a fairly basic XP Pro installation. I configured it to take snapshots every 15 minutes and all seemed to be running fine.

    I then closed the laptop lid, putting it into standby mode. On opening again, the first scheduled snapshot failed with the following report:

    service 100 service (build 27) started job by incremental trigger
    service 300 trial period has 29 days left
    service 100 backup volume C:\ (NTFS)
    service 102 creating snapshot for \\?\Volume{8396b8c3-fb75-11db-b3f9-806d6172696f}
    service 199 try snapshot by VSS API by STC provider
    service 302 Cannot take snapshot. Error: The remote procedure call failed.. Method: VSS API by STC provider. Volumes count: 1.
    service 301 Cannot take snapshot (The remote procedure call failed.) - retry in 30 seconds
    service 199 try snapshot by VSS API by STC provider
    service 302 Cannot take snapshot. Error: Unknown error 0x8004230F(2147754767). Method: VSS API by STC provider. Volumes count: 1.
    service 105 snapshots were destroyed
    service 501 Cannot create snapshots Unknown error 0x8004230F(2147754767)
    service 508 Incrementals are not supported on unmounted volumes
    service 101 Cannot execute job (The parameter is incorrect.)



    Every subsequent snapshot has then failed with the following report:

    service 100 service (build 27) started job by incremental trigger
    service 300 trial period has 29 days left
    service 100 backup volume C:\ (NTFS)
    service 102 creating snapshot for \\?\Volume{8396b8c3-fb75-11db-b3f9-806d6172696f}
    service 199 try snapshot by VSS API by STC provider
    service 302 Cannot take snapshot. Error: Unknown error 0x8004230F(2147754767). Method: VSS API by STC provider. Volumes count: 1.
    service 301 Cannot take snapshot (Unknown error 0x8004230F(2147754767)) - retry in 30 seconds
    service 199 try snapshot by VSS API by STC provider
    service 302 Cannot take snapshot. Error: Unknown error 0x8004230F(2147754767). Method: VSS API by STC provider. Volumes count: 1.
    service 105 snapshots were destroyed
    service 501 Cannot create snapshots Unknown error 0x8004230F(2147754767)
    service 508 Incrementals are not supported on unmounted volumes
    service 101 Cannot execute job (The parameter is incorrect.)

    The only difference being the error generated.

    It has given me a chance to test out the email notification of a failed snapshot though. That works fine :)

    Any input would be appreciated.

    Graham
     
  2. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

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    Due to similar problems using it from within windows i uninstalled the app. instead using the recovery CD to backup and restore and then everything went smooth and nice.As to your question PM storagecraft hope they can help !
     
  3. silver0066

    silver0066 Registered Member

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    I hope they can solve this. Booting to the CD everytime you want to do a backup is unacceptable.
     
  4. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Graham
    Did you let one complete backup occur before you closed the lid. I had one schedule job running, when I did an uninstall,reinstall of some software, requiring reboot. I had an initial full snapshot, and several incrementals and happened to reboot during one of them. It did mess up that incremental, but on the next go round, it just did a full image. THen the incrementals restarted.

    Pete

    Two other things. What is your image target. Also try it first without closeing the laptop lid.
     
  5. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

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    not for me,using bootback for systemcredibillity and backing up my databases and documents with karen powertools on daily basis so my system stays updated and if i screw everything to pieces then SP comes to the rescue.
    You are right SP not working on my system is no good but its just a little inconvenience, ultimately i am protected
     
  6. nexstar

    nexstar Registered Member

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    Thanks for the responses. Pete, yes I did a manual full backup initially before I played around with the scheduling. I set up the schedule and it carried out another full backup (which I think is what it is supposed to do) and then I left it running for just over an hour so it had accumulated 4 incremental snapshots. That all seemed to go fine although I haven't tried to restore anything yet as I think I need the evaluation version for that (?).

    So I think it was happily underway when I closed the lid and I made sure it wasn't during a backup when I did close it.

    The image target is a second partition on the same drive. There is a second drive in the machine but it is not currently directed at that.

    On a couple of general points, does it verify the snapshots/images automatically and do the incrementals fall into my understanding of the term in that they are good providing that all of the previous ones are ok since the last image?

    Thanks:)

    Graham
     
  7. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Graham

    1st, yes you do need the evaluation to do the restore.
    2nd, no there is no automatic verification. Version 3 will have verification in the gui. Don't know yet if you can job schedule it. Also you are correct about the incrementals. They all have to be good. I have restored, and collapsed with over 15 incrementals.

    I don't know if hibernating would be any different than shutting down a desktop. On that we will have to wait for grnxmn to step in. I can't off hand see anything you've done wrong.

    Pete
     
  8. grnxnm

    grnxnm Registered Member

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    That is strange. Hybernation should not be a problem. It looks more like the VSS framework is in a bad state. This does happen sometimes (there are so many components that participate in a VSS-based backup that it's easy for one of them to cause a problem). The error you received was: VSS_E_VOLUME_NOT_SUPPORTED_BY_PROVIDER.

    Here's a post in the StorageCraft forum with some instructions on how you can get VSS into a good state:

    http://forums.storagecraft.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=518

    We've noticed that some of our competitors ignore VSS errors when they occur and take the backup anyway. In version 3 we've made a similar change. The errors will be logged, so that you know that VSS is in a bad state, but the backup will still be taken with our snapshot driver, so you still get a nice point-in-time backup with flushed file system. Backups taken in this case are taken when some of the VSS writers may not be fully quiesced. For home users (most of the Wilders crowd) this will solve any problems you have with VSS. For enterprise users you'll want to monitor your logs and if you discover that VSS is in a bad state you'll want to resolve it as enterprises are often running VSS writers (IIS/Exchange/SQL Server/etc) and it's a good idea to have these writers in a quiesced state when your backups occur.
     
  9. nexstar

    nexstar Registered Member

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    Thanks grnxnm. I'll lie in a darkened room for a while and then run through the suggestions ;) If it makes any difference, it was Standby mode rather than Hibernation mode. It was also an image of a fresh installation of XP that I had set up specifically for testing various software.

    I'll report back when I have tried the solutions.

    Thanks again.

    Graham
     
  10. grnxnm

    grnxnm Registered Member

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    Okay, cool. Standby or hibernation - power states shouldn't be an issue. We've tested that stuff a lot. That's why I think it's something else and my gut feeling is that it's a VSS state issue, although I could be wrong.
     
  11. nexstar

    nexstar Registered Member

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    No, I think you are probably right :). I ran through the things to do on the link and when I ran <vssadmin list writers>, one of the entries was:

    Writer name: 'WMI Writer'
    Writer Id: {a6ad56c2-b509-4e6c-bb19-49d8f43532f0}
    Writer Instance Id: {39af3aa9-a9dc-4cf4-bd07-93b094985a56}
    State: [9] Failed

    I went through the Windows update procedure but I could only do so much without activating the XP installation. As this was just for testing purposes that was a bridge too far :) .

    A file which appeared to be missing on my system was msxml4.dll and although I manually downloaded this and put it into the System32 directory, it would come up with an initialisation error when I tried <regsvr32 msxml4.dll>.

    However, I suspect if could update XP fully then the problem might well go away. It does have SP2 installed but that's obviously not enough.

    After the limited updating I did, the <vssadmin list writers> command showed all being stable and so I gave ShadowProtect another go but got the same results. ie it was ok at first but failed after standby mode. Once it failed then vssadmin also showed 'WMI Writer' as failed.

    Not to worry. I'll give it best for the time being but look forward to (hopefully) testing out version 3 when it comes available :)

    Graham
     
  12. grnxnm

    grnxnm Registered Member

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    Wow, I wonder if the WMI writer has a problem with standby mode. That's odd. I'll have our QA guys look into this and see if I can provide more information. For version 3 it won't be an issue because in version 3 if VSS has problems we just ignore VSS errors (we log the errros) and continue to make the snapshot and take the backup. VSS state issues have been one of the two primary support issues with ShadowProtect. The other one is that when users create "Destination Objects" (which are basically a network path with the associated credentials necessary to access that path) they often fail to enter the credentials (especially the username) in the proper format (fully domain or machine qualified username). Thanks for the info. I believe msxml4.dll is part of the latest IE update, so if it's not present on your system you don't need to bother bouncing it (re-registering it). It's just on the list in case a user does have it installed. The re-registration of these various VSS components does more than register interfaces - it actually resets states. I mention this because I was puzzled myself why re-registration was the process for resetting various VSS component states - reboot can also help. Those steps came directly from Microsoft's VSS support team.
     
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