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Unable to create a snapshot... run chkdsk /f/r... RRS feed

  • Question

  •  

    Hi,

     

    I've got an HP MediaSmart with WHS. I can back up 2 XP Pro machines and a Vista Home Premium, but am consistently runing into the "unable to create a snapshot... try running chkdsk /f/r" message. I've posted in another thread (see http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=3016146&SiteID=50) that I think I've tried everything to get it to function properly, from vssadmin, virtual memory, uninstalling/reinstalling (and running chkdsk).

     

    So far, nothing.

     

    I've also got Windows Live OneCare on all the machines, and for awhile, I'd wondered if MsMpEng.exe was hogging the resources. However, even when I turn off all the OneCare services -- and eventually uninstalled OneCare -- the same thing happens. When I re-installed OneCare, just to be certain I could make backups at all, I backed up to a local HD, so I know the machine can back up.

     

    Is there anything I'm missing?

     

    One item that might be of use is that whenever I try running chkdsk, I'm told that some other process is using the machine, and I'll have to reboot to run it. Is there something that could be locking the system from allowing the snapshot?

     

    Thanks for any clues.

     

    Pauly

    Sunday, July 20, 2008 9:56 PM

All replies

  •  pauly tentoes wrote:
    Hi,

     

    I've got an HP MediaSmart with WHS. I can back up 2 XP Pro machines and a Vista Home Premium, but am consistently runing into the "unable to create a snapshot... try running chkdsk /f/r" message. I've posted in another thread (see http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=3016146&SiteID=50) that I think I've tried everything to get it to function properly, from vssadmin, virtual memory, uninstalling/reinstalling (and running chkdsk).

     

    So far, nothing.

     

    I've also got Windows Live OneCare on all the machines, and for awhile, I'd wondered if MsMpEng.exe was hogging the resources. However, even when I turn off all the OneCare services -- and eventually uninstalled OneCare -- the same thing happens. When I re-installed OneCare, just to be certain I could make backups at all, I backed up to a local HD, so I know the machine can back up.

     

    Is there anything I'm missing?

     

    How big is the hard drive on your XP Home machine?  VSS needs some space to create the snapshot.  According to your other post, you only have 6 GB free.  You could try freeing up some more space.

     

     pauly tentoes wrote:
    One item that might be of use is that whenever I try running chkdsk, I'm told that some other process is using the machine, and I'll have to reboot to run it. Is there something that could be locking the system from allowing the snapshot?

     

    Actually, when scanning your OS partition, that's normal.  Are you rebooting it and allowing the chkdsk to run after the reboot?

     

     pauly tentoes wrote:
    Thanks for any clues.

     

    Pauly

    Sunday, July 20, 2008 10:52 PM
    Moderator
  • I've having exactly the same problem with my new HP WHS and I hope someone here has an answer. I have no problem backing up my 3 Vista PCs. But the XP Pro machine will not back up, giving the "unable to create a snapshot..." message. Have already run chkdsk /f/r. There's plenty of free space available (85% of 111GB) on the drive. I also have another internal drive on this PC and a external USB drive. Neither of them will back up either, although they each have more than 50% free space. Finally, another clue...although I seem to have Remote Access set up properly, the XP PRO PC says it's status is "Connection Disabled". I can't find any way to enable or disable it. This continues even after downloading/installing the latest HP Connector update. Maybe this issue is related to the backup failure issue?

    Since starting this post, I've checked the other posts regarding this issue & tried several steps recommended therein. I also halted everything on the PC that wasn't essential. Still...no backup is possible, no remote access possible.

     

    Monday, July 21, 2008 8:45 AM
  •  

    Well, I'm glad to know chkdsk is responding normally.

     

    Actually, I did clean out some of the drive -- moved quite a bit to the shared folders and picked up a gig; so, there's about 7 gigs of free space on the Win XP Home machine. Yet, it's made no difference.

     

    On the other hand, one of the XP Pro machines, which backs up flawlessly, has a 35 gig drive, with only 4 gigs of free space. So, I'm not certain that's the answer.

    Monday, July 21, 2008 10:02 AM
  • Have you checked your event logs? In June I started having this problem with an XP MCE machine that had been backed up without problems for 7 months. I was unable to do a backup and chkdsk did not report any errors. I found a disk controller error in my event logs at startup, but then no further disk-related errors except, of course, the VSS errors when trying to do a backup. I ran diagnostics on the drives and the hardware, and neither reported problems. I was about to start disabling startup jobs when I disconnected a USB hub. The hub seemed to be the root of my problems: no more disk controller events and 4 consecutive days of successful backups. So my advice to you is to disconnect all non-essential peripherals (especially the USB drive) and see if you can just get your C: drive to backup. Note that I was not trying to back up anything on the USB bus -- just two internal SATA drives.

    HTH,
    Joe
    Monday, July 21, 2008 12:02 PM
  • This sounded like an excellent clue, so I shut the PC down, pulled out all USB connections except for mouse & keyboard and also disconnected all other devices except for monitor & speakers. Unfortunately, still no backup is possible. Nuts!

    Thanks, though.

     

    I did finally look at the Event viewer on the XP PRO PC, and discovered that the error being given is "Timeout (30000 milliseconds) waiting for the MS Software Shadow Copy Provider Service to connect". So, I went to Administrative Tools -  Services & observed that MS Software Shadow Copy Provider Service was set to Manual start. I believe this to be correct based on other posts here.

    However, if I press "Start", I get the message "Could not start the MS Software Shadow Copy Provider Service on Local Computer. Error 1053. The Service did not respond to the Start or Control request in a timely fashion".

     

    I have NO idea what to do about this, but it really does appear to be the key to making WHS backups work on this PC. Any advice?

    Monday, July 21, 2008 12:40 PM
  •  Bobsie wrote:

    This sounded like an excellent clue, so I shut the PC down, pulled out all USB connections except for mouse & keyboard and also disconnected all other devices except for monitor & speakers. Unfortunately, still no backup is possible. Nuts!

    Thanks, though.

     

    I thought this was worth a try, as well, but no joy.

     Bobsie wrote:

    I did finally look at the Event viewer on the XP PRO PC, and discovered that the error being given is "Timeout (30000 milliseconds) waiting for the MS Software Shadow Copy Provider Service to connect". So, I went to Administrative Tools -  Services & observed that MS Software Shadow Copy Provider Service was set to Manual start. I believe this to be correct based on other posts here.

     

     

    I'd seen elsewhere that the services should be set to Automatic. Is that incorrect?

     

    Additionally, I'd hoped that HP's update with SP1 *might* somehow resolve the problem, but after updating last night, that doesn't seem to be the case.

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008 9:23 AM
  • I've now done a lot of research on this. It definitely seems to be related to the Shadow Copy service. I also tried re-registering the dll's as suggested elsewhere, but that didn't help.

    I think that the installation of some other form of backup system on a particular PC is what's breaking the Shadow Copy service as far as WHS is concerned.

    I've tried everything I can to fix and run the Shadow Copy service, based on posts in this Community and based on Microsoft's support site, but no luck. Maybe someone here has figured it out and can advise.

     

    Some people do have problems with their hard drives & their disk controllers and with their USB devices, but, if that's not your problem, then it seems that you have to focus on Shadow Copy.

     

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008 9:44 AM
  • Many backup tools use Volume Shadowcopy Services (vss) as the "engine" which allows them to get a consistent slice off of a hard drive for backing up. NTBackup does this, for example, as does Windows Live OneCare.

    VSS requires a certain amount of free space on the drive (approximately 10% of the total size of the drive, IIRC). If there's incufficient space to take a drive snapshot and preserve it for the time required to do the backup, then the backup will fail. It's possible that Pauly has this problem; 6 GB free will only work if the drive is less than 60 GB in size. If more data changes during the backup than the available space for the snapshot, then the backup will also fail. So if you start a backup with 6 GB free on a 40 GB drive, but then change 8 GB of files while the backup is running, the backup will likely fail.

    Finally, when certain software (backup tools, SQL Server, etc.) is installed, it may install a VSS provider, which allows that software to trigger a VSS snapshot. Unfortunately, sometimes that provider causes problems with other VSS users on the system. Normally re-registering the DLLs per posts in this forum and elsewhere will correct this particular issue. If it doesn't, it may require a repair installation of the operating system to get VSS working again.

    If WHS backups used to work, but they stopped because of VSS issues, sometimes removing whatever software was installed just before the problems began will let you repair VSS. Or you can restore your system to your last good backup via the Restore CD; that doesn't require VSS.

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008 12:21 PM
    Moderator
  • Just re-iterating what Ken said.  I had a problem when I uninstalled shadow protect.  So any 3rd party backup apps may break VSS.

     

    Also on the xp remote, you have to enable remote desktop in the system properties

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008 12:43 PM
    Moderator
  •  Still Grey wrote:

    Just re-iterating what Ken said.  I had a problem when I uninstalled shadow protect.  So any 3rd party backup apps may break VSS.

     

    Also on the xp remote, you have to enable remote desktop in the system properties

     

    That did it; enabling remote desktop made the PC available for WHS remote access. Thanks!

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008 12:58 PM
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    Many backup tools use Volume Shadowcopy Services (vss) as the "engine" which allows them to get a consistent slice off of a hard drive for backing up. NTBackup does this, for example, as does Windows Live OneCare.

    VSS requires a certain amount of free space on the drive (approximately 10% of the total size of the drive, IIRC). If there's incufficient space to take a drive snapshot and preserve it for the time required to do the backup, then the backup will fail. It's possible that Pauly has this problem; 6 GB free will only work if the drive is less than 60 GB in size. If more data changes during the backup than the available space for the snapshot, then the backup will also fail. So if you start a backup with 6 GB free on a 40 GB drive, but then change 8 GB of files while the backup is running, the backup will likely fail.

    Finally, when certain software (backup tools, SQL Server, etc.) is installed, it may install a VSS provider, which allows that software to trigger a VSS snapshot. Unfortunately, sometimes that provider causes problems with other VSS users on the system. Normally re-registering the DLLs per posts in this forum and elsewhere will correct this particular issue. If it doesn't, it may require a repair installation of the operating system to get VSS working again.

    If WHS backups used to work, but they stopped because of VSS issues, sometimes removing whatever software was installed just before the problems began will let you repair VSS. Or you can restore your system to your last good backup via the Restore CD; that doesn't require VSS.

     

    The only new thing I see in your excellent explanation that I haven't tried yet is the repair installation of XP. I'll try that later today. The PC is backed up with Norton Ghost (which may have been the breaker of VSS!), so I'm not risking much.

    Ah, a thought just hit me...I use MozyHome to do online backups from that PC. MozyHome is the likely culprit. We'll see if it still works after the XP repair installation.

    Thanks for all your good information.

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008 1:05 PM
  • I wasn't actually trying to present a lot of new options, just explain where you are really sitting today.

    The Restore CD (if you've got a good WHS backup) or a repair installation are your best bets, and I hope one works out. You should prepare for the repair installation not working as well as you might like, though; it's quite invasive and some applications are likely to no longer function correctly without reinstalling them. You might find it easier in the long run to pave the machine over and start from scratch, after backing up critical data (sounds like you've been using Ghost, which should let you get at anything you need if you've used it religiously). That will also give you the opportunity to get rid of all the stuff that's built up over time (how many programs do you install once, then uninstall because they don't do what you really need? They often leave tracks...).
    Tuesday, July 22, 2008 3:08 PM
    Moderator
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    I wasn't actually trying to present a lot of new options, just explain where you are really sitting today.

    You should prepare for the repair installation not working as well as you might like, though; it's quite invasive and some applications are likely to no longer function correctly without reinstalling them. You might find it easier in the long run to pave the machine over and start from scratch, after backing up critical data (sounds like you've been using Ghost, which should let you get at anything you need if you've used it religiously). That will also give you the opportunity to get rid of all the stuff that's built up over time (how many programs do you install once, then uninstall because they don't do what you really need? They often leave tracks...).

     

    After a couple of hours trying to do a repair installation, I've decided to chicken out. For one thing, MS advises SP3 users to uninstall IE7 before trying any kind of repair. I decided to ignore that advice for the moment & put my XP PRO w/SP2 disk in the drive & was told that the only kind of Windows installation that would be allowed would be from scratch. That coincides with your latest advice.

     

    I looked around on microsoft.com for a way to just download fresh copies of the vss files, but that doesn't seem possible.

     

    So...I've decided I don't need WHS backup on that machine that bad. Will just let Ghost keep it protected. The personal data that's on the XP PC is also on the 3 Vista PCs elsewhere in the home, so WHS will back it up from there.

    I really do appreciate your suggestions, however. They were very clear and helpful.

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008 4:00 PM
  •  Bobsie wrote:

    After a couple of hours trying to do a repair installation, I've decided to chicken out. ... 

     

    I haven't, and I'm left where I'd started, although some of the additional perspectives were useful, they haven't really explained how I can resolve this issue.

     

    Unfortunately, since I have XP Home, I can't enable remote desktop; I don't have SQL on the laptop, nor any other type of "ghosting" software, such as Acronis or Ghost; my drive is a 30 gig drive, so I guess 6 gigs would be sufficient (I appreciate the explanation of the space requirements for shadow copy, though; wasn't aware of that).

     

    It's difficult for me to just throw up my hands on this, unfortunately.

     

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008 1:21 AM
  • Pauly, I wish I had some advice that I thought would really help. If I had your laptop sitting in front of me, maybe I could figure out how to get a backup to work, but I don't have a huge amount of confidence in that either.

    I really think paving over the laptop is worth consideration. It's probably true that there is a sequence of actions that will result in everything working just fine again, but as a practical matter you could spend days trying to figure that out (and very possibly fail anyway). After you refresh the operating system, you'll be in much better shape. You should be able to copy the files off your laptop to your server shares temporarily, too, so you shouldn't lose any data.

    BTW, you should have a Remote Desktop client on your laptop, though I'm not sure why you mention remote desktop.
    Wednesday, July 23, 2008 3:16 AM
    Moderator
  • I was getting this problem.  Then I saw the note about need disk space to create snapshot.  I had a factory restore partion on my computer that had almost no free space (of course).  By default this partiion was included in the backup plan and was the source of the problem because it had no free disk space.  I removed the factory resore partiion from the backup plan and then it worked.
    Sunday, November 1, 2009 3:16 PM