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Volume Shadow Copy Errors: 0xffffffff and/or 0×8000FFFF

By:Christine Fettinger

I recently had to troubleshoot a server that had been failing its backups. There error that appeared in the backup log was “Error returned while creating the volume shadow copy:0xffffffff“. Everyone knows that backups are absolutely critical for any network. A lot of these backup systems use a feature in Windows called Volume Shadow Copy. This feature enables backups of systems while in use.�

So I first checked the status of the Volume Shadow Copy writers by using the DOS command ‘
vssadmin list writers’ and I received a different message of “Error: 0×8000FFFF“. So after a bit of research and testing, there is a relatively simple process to fix both errors.

First check the writers as described above. If it returns the 0×8000FFFF error, or nothing at all, then you need to perform this whole procedure. If the writers show up, but you still had the 0xffffffff
error in the backup logs, then you can skip to step 2.

1. Locate and delete the follow registry key using ‘regedit’:

2. Restart the following services:
COM+ Event System, COM+ System Application, Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider, Volume Shadow Copy

3. Open a command prompt and perform the following commands:

cd /d %windir%\system32
net stop vss
net stop swprv
regsvr32 ole32.dll
regsvr32 oleaut32.dll
regsvr32 /i eventcls.dll
regsvr32 vss_ps.dll
vssvc /register
regsvr32 /i swprv.dll
regsvr32 es.dll
regsvr32 stdprov.dll
regsvr32 vssui.dll
regsvr32 msxml.dll
regsvr32 msxml3.dll
regsvr32 msxml4.dl

4. Reboot server

5. Test backup