VSS Troubleshooting Guide

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A VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service) is a Windows feature that enables users to create backup copies or snapshots of data, even while it’s in use. When VSS malfunctions, it can lead to data loss or corruption. Here’s a troubleshooting guide to help you fix common VSS issues:

  • Check VSS service status: First and foremost, ensure that the VSS service is running. To do this, open the Services console by pressing the Windows key + R, then typing “services.msc”. Look for the “Volume Shadow Copy” service, and ensure that its status is set to “Running”.

  • Restart the VSS service: If the VSS service is running but not functioning correctly, try restarting it. Right-click on the “Volume Shadow Copy” service and select “Restart”.

  • Check VSS storage space: If the VSS storage area is full, you won’t be able to create new snapshots. To check the space, right-click on the drive and select “Properties”. In the “Shadow Copies” tab, you can see how much space is allocated and used for VSS snapshots. If it’s full, consider deleting old snapshots or increasing the storage allocation.

  • Check for conflicting software: Sometimes, other backup software or antivirus programs can conflict with VSS, causing it to malfunction. Try temporarily disabling any backup software or antivirus programs and see if the VSS service starts working.

  • Check VSS writers: VSS writers are responsible for managing data for specific applications or services. If a VSS writer is malfunctioning, it can cause VSS to fail. You can check for VSS writers using the “vssadmin list writers” command in Command Prompt. If a writer is in a failed state, you can try restarting the associated service or reinstalling the application.

  • Restart the server: As a last resort, you can try restarting the server. This can often fix VSS issues that are caused by system glitches.


By following these steps, you should be able to troubleshoot most VSS issues. However, if the problem persists, Managecast may be able to help. Contact us today at sales@managecast.com or 513-735-6868.

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