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VSS Backup Fails When Backing Up the System State (SRPPartition)

You are running Windows Server Backup (WSB) and it continues to fail. In your Event Log, you are seeing Windows Server Backup return the error 2155348249. You’ve tried to use both a local USB disk and a network share for the backup destination, but neither works.

A typical error in the Event Log:

The backup operation that started at ‘?2013?-?03?-?16T00:54:33.120000000Z’ has failed because the Volume Shadow Copy Service operation to create a shadow copy of the volumes being backed up failed with following error code ‘2155348249’. Please review the event details for a solution, and then rerun the backup operation once the issue is resolved.

Solution

While this solution isn’t 100% depending on the cause, it’s the likely solution.

In Windows 2008+, you will notice that the Windows installation creates a 100MB partition (the System Reserved Partition [SRP]) that is not assigned a drive letter but is mounted to C:WindowsSRPPartition. Here’s the problem, when you are doing a full bare metal recovery backup, which includes the system state, just the system state, or trying to back up everything, WSB will use VSS to backup the partitions, including SRP. But 100 MB is too small to allow for this! Not a very smart design choice. You can confirm that this is the problem by removing the bare metal and system state backup options, and only backing up your C:. That will work. But add system state, and it fails.

The solution is to have VSS use the C: or another drive when creating the snapshot of the SRP. This way the limited 100 MB is no longer an issue.

  1. Start Disk Management.
  2. Click on the SRP.
  3. Right-click the SRP and choose Properties.
  4. Click on Shadow Copies.
  5. Select the SRP.
  6. Click on Settings.
  7. Notice that the default is for VSS to use the SRP itself for the snapshot.
  8. Choose the C: or another drive with ample space, set the Maximum size to No Limit, and click Ok.
  9. Click Ok to exit the System Reserved Properties window.
  10. Now run WSB and backup the System State. It should work just fine!

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