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  • I have 4 computers that perform backup nightly. One of those computers backs up most of the time but sometimes I get the error message saying can't take snapshot of drive. I backup that computer manually and it usally takes the backup. Today I've tried 3 times and it can't take the snapshot of the drive. I did a check disk repair but it still isn't letting me backup.

    I've looked un FAQ but could not find any answers that made a difference.

    Thanks for the help in advance.
    Marion
    Sunday, September 6, 2009 2:15 PM

Answers

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  • This is a problem on that client computer, one which is unrelated to Windows Home Server (though Windows Home Server was the mechanism by which it was revealed). Windows Home Server backup uses Volume Shadowcopy Services on the client computer to get a consistent "slice" of data off of a drive, and if VSS is unable to take a snapshot for any reason (computer is busy, drive is busy, system error, etc.) you will get that message. Tracking it down is, unfortunately, tough (because there's nothing in the event logs that will let you do so, usually).

    If it happens every time, it's usually due to other software (backup software is particularly likely) that installs VSS providers. See e.g. this thread . An infrequent/intermittent issue can also be due to this, but it's less likely.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, September 6, 2009 2:28 PM
    Moderator
  • I did a chkdsk /f/r and was able to back up no problem.
    Sunday, September 6, 2009 9:42 PM
  • I did a chkdsk /f/r and was able to back up no problem.

    Did you look at the Event Logs and WHS logs to see if there was more info?  (The WHS logs can be found on Vista and 7 at C:\Users\All Users\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\logs.  The WHS logs on XP and the server itself are at C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\logs.)
    Monday, September 7, 2009 1:38 AM
    Moderator
  • Can't find the logs folder in Windows Home Server folder. Only file in there is _whsClientConsole_. Am I missing something?

    Update on backups. Last nights backup didn't backup with same error. I did a manual backup this morning and it worked fine. All other computers backed up fine.
    Monday, September 7, 2009 12:52 PM
  • Can't find the logs folder in Windows Home Server folder. Only file in there is _whsClientConsole_. Am I missing something?

    Update on backups. Last nights backup didn't backup with same error. I did a manual backup this morning and it worked fine. All other computers backed up fine.

    What OS are you using?  You might see check the drivers for your NIC on that client and make sure they are up-to-date.  Also, did you look at the link Ken posted before about VSS issues?
    Monday, September 7, 2009 2:42 PM
    Moderator
  • I'm using XP home sp3. I checked on cssadmin and all three came up empty.
    List shadows, empty,
    List writers, empty,
    List providers, empty.
    Not sure if there are supposed to be WHS in there or not.

    I'm not running any other backup software. I do have Acronis installed but have it unchecked at startup so it shouldn't be running anything in the background.
    Monday, September 7, 2009 3:46 PM
  • I'm using XP home sp3.

    Then you went to the wrong path when looking for the logs.  You no doubt went to your own user name, not All Users.

    I checked on cssadmin and all three came up empty.
    List shadows, empty,
    List writers, empty,
    List providers, empty.
    Not sure if there are supposed to be WHS in there or not.

    No, but you should have MS Shadow Copy as a provider.  (I'm surprised it ever works without it.)

    I'm not running any other backup software. I do have Acronis installed but have it unchecked at startup so it shouldn't be running anything in the background.
    Installing any other backup software (Ghost, True Image, etc.) can and usually will affect how VSS works.  You should try uninstalling it, reboot your client, then try a backup.  If it still doesn't work, run the vssadmin commands again and post back the results.
    Monday, September 7, 2009 6:16 PM
    Moderator
  • In All Users under Windows Home Server, there are three files.

    A__.drivedat
    MARESXP from 8/24/2009

    K__.drivedat
    VALSXP from 8/30/2009

    W__.drivedat
    MARESCOMPAQ-PC from 9/5/2009

    My machine MARESXP is the one I'm having trouble with.

    Running vssadmin it shows under

    list shadows {/set=<shadow copy set guid>}
    list writers = List all writers in the system
    list providers = lists all currently installed shadow copy providers

    I have uninstalled Acronis and rebooted and did the backup with no problem. Remember though I usally have the problem on my nightly automatic backup.
    Monday, September 7, 2009 8:27 PM
  • Update:

    Last nights backups went without a hitch. Every computer backed up as expected. I ordered another terabyte drive to install.
    Tuesday, September 8, 2009 12:55 PM
  • This what I don't understand. Last nights backup failed on my machine. This morning I did a manual backup and it too failed. I did another manual backup without changing anything and it completed. That is what has me puzzled. The error message says "could not take snapshot of drive".

    Wednesday, September 9, 2009 12:12 PM
  • This what I don't understand. Last nights backup failed on my machine. This morning I did a manual backup and it too failed. I did another manual backup without changing anything and it completed. That is what has me puzzled. The error message says "could not take snapshot of drive".


    Then I would have to believe it's some sort of hardware issue on that computer.  First, when you ran chkdsk /r, what were the results?  If you aren't sure what the results were, I would suggest running it again.
    Thursday, September 10, 2009 12:33 AM
    Moderator
  • Finally got done with the chkdsk /r with no reported errors. It does sound like some sort of hardware thing going on with this computer. I'm running AVG Internet Security on all the computers so I can rule that out. At least if it doesn't auto backup it will usually let me do a manual. I'll keep checking on this.

    I appreciate the guidance.

    Marion

    Thursday, September 10, 2009 3:42 AM