Quick Tip: Exchange 2007 SP2 – Windows 2003 – Volume Shadow Copy Service error: An internal inconsistency was detected in trying to contact shadow copy service writers.

by Andy Grogan on April 30, 2009 · 0 comments

in Exchange 2007 (General), Exchange 2007 Backup, Quick Tips

I was contacted last night by an online buddy whom had installed Exchange SP 2 onto one of his Windows 2003 based Exchange 2007 mailbox servers, but since the upgrade was now getting the following error message from DPM when he attempted a store backup:

Volume Shadow Copy Service error: An internal inconsistency was detected in trying to contact shadow copy service writers. Please check to see that the Event Service and Volume Shadow Copy Service are operating properly.

I found this a little odd, as although I was aware that SP2 made some changes to Windows 2008 servers in terms of VSS (well I say changes, it installs the VSS plug in for Windows Backup on 2008); I didn’t think that anything of any real consequence happened on Windows 2003. Firstly I asked him if he had tried to take a backup with Windows 2003 NTBACKUP, to which he answered “yes” and it had worked – ok, scratch a problem with the VSS service – this was now looking more like an issue with DPM.

I asked him to run “vssadmin list writers” and send me the output – of which the following was the result:

vssadmin 1.1 - Volume  Shadow Copy Service administrative command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2001  Microsoft Corp.
Writer name: 'System  Writer'
 Writer Id: {e8132975-6f93-4464-a53e-1050253ae220}
 Writer  Instance Id: {d1a2af40-744a-463e-a14a-289e2224e808}
 State: [1] Stable
 Last error: No error
Writer name: 'BITS  Writer'
 Writer Id: {4969d978-be47-48b0-b100-f328f07ac1e0}
 Writer  Instance Id: {4f497fc4-1167-429b-8a70-56a466b1895c}
 State: [1] Stable
 Last error: No error
Writer name:  'Registry Writer'
 Writer Id: {afbab4a2-367d-4d15-a586-71dbb18f8485}
 Writer Instance Id: {cef0a444-f177-477a-89cf-8e12806736ca}
 State:  [1] Stable
 Last error: No error
Writer name:  'MSDEWriter'
 Writer Id: {f8544ac1-0611-4fa5-b04b-f7ee00b03277}
 Writer Instance Id: {47b93b8f-e785-4c74-b6d9-e2434d621f95}
 State: [1]  Stable
 Last error: No error
Writer name: 'COM+  REGDB Writer'
 Writer Id: {542da469-d3e1-473c-9f4f-7847f01fc64f}
 Writer Instance Id: {9fae3c71-137f-4818-b5cf-3192c112a88e}
 State: [1]  Stable
 Last error: No error
Writer name: 'Event  Log Writer'
 Writer Id: {eee8c692-67ed-4250-8d86-390603070d00}
 Writer Instance Id: {ccc379de-deab-4e95-8c4f-0397f0ffcf3b}
 State: [1]  Stable
 Last error: No error
Writer name: 'WMI  Writer'
 Writer Id: {a6ad56c2-b509-4e6c-bb19-49d8f43532f0}
 Writer  Instance Id: {17d0d5b9-3677-4956-830d-9270a2dc8494}
 State: [1] Stable
 Last error: No error

Again the above further added weight to the theory that SP2 had not affected something with the Windows 2003 VSS Services, but perhaps this was more to do with an issue within DPM on the local Exchange Server.
Now along time ago (about 2 years back) I did a large deployment of DPM for a company in the U.K that I was contracting with; and I remember hitting a very similar problem – which also at the time stumped me, however I remember that I had managed to work through a solution which I had noted down.

So, I had a quick hunt through my notes and dug out the following solution:

On the Exchange Machine / Node where you are receiving the DPM error open Regedit and navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\EventSystem\{26c409cc-ae86-11d1-b616-00805fc79216}\Subscriptions

Right click on the “Subscriptions” key and from the context menu that appears choose the “Export” option – see below:

DPMErr-reg

Save the key to a safe location on the local disk.

When you have saved the key – delete it and then reboot the server.

When the server has restarted attempt to run the DPM backup – and this time it should now execute correctly.

Essentially the above process forces all VSS based writers to register themselves with the system again.

My friend followed the above – and upon the server reboot DPM was now functional.

Hope that this helps someone else along the way.

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