The volume shadow copy operation failed with error 0x800423F0

This message showed up in the Windows Server backup console when the backup job is initiated. In the cmdlet when you run the command vssadmin list writers the SPSearch4 VSS Writer shows in a failed state.

Writer name: ‘SPSearch4 VSS Writer’
Writer Id: {35500004-0201-0000-0000-000000000000}
Writer Instance Id: {34a1fd6e-667d-4671-a551-2d4689c4e508}
State: [8] Failed
Last error: Inconsistent shadow copy

More Symptoms:

Event Viewer

Log Name: Application
Source: Microsoft-Windows-Backup
Date: 5/5/2012 12:36:46 AM
Event ID: 521
Task Category: None
Level: Error
The backup operation that started at ‘‎2012‎-‎05‎-‎05T04:36:27.540000000Z’ 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 ‘2155348129’. Please review the event details for a solution, and then rerun the backup operation once the issue is resolved.

Screenshot from the Windows Server Backup Console


The SharePoint services writer is waiting for completion.  Did you install any SharePoint updates lately?  (It could be due to the Sharepoint SP 1). If this is installed, then you need to fix SharePoint before your backup will work.

1. Open an Administrative command prompt.
2. Change directory to C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\BIN
3. Run PSConfig.exe -cmd upgrade -inplace b2b -force -cmd applicationcontent -install -cmd installfeatures

Try to run a backup after running this command. Exceptionally the server might be needed a restart otherwise we are good to after running this command.

9 thoughts on “The volume shadow copy operation failed with error 0x800423F0

  1. Jonathan says:

    I do not have sharepoint installed.. what else could be wrong? You focused on one cause only.. Please help

    • susguperf says:

      Jonathan, what is the exact error message? Is it coming up at the time of taking a server using Windows Server backup?

      • Gordon Currie says:

        I have same issue as Jonathan. The error comes up after Windows Server Backup prepares for a few minutes. The VSS writer that fails is SQLServerWriter with error text of ‘inconsistent shadow copy.’

        No SharePoint installed.

  2. Evil-Inside says:

    Also check the state of the writers by running the following command in command prompt from system32 prompt.
    Start > Run > cmd
    cd windows\system32
    vssadmin list writers

    Check the state of the writers. If any of them is in a failed state then do the following.
    Start > Run > regedit
    Goto HKLM/Software/Microsoft/EventSystem/{26c…./Subscriptions.
    Backup and delete the above registry key.
    Reboot the server.

    Also make sure that the c:\windows\system32\volsnap.sys driver is updated.
    This is the updated one :

    Good Luck !!


    • Gordon Currie says:

      The registry key you refer to does not exist on my system.

      Also, the volsnap.sys hotfix only applies to Windows Server 2003, not 2008.

  3. nhoj says:

    If you have sbs installed you have sharepoint installed . There is no way around it.

  4. Fred Valverde says:

    I was trying to “wbadmin start backup” and I got this error. I just turn off the Hyper-V service and it work. Thanks

  5. pat says:

    awesome thank you

  6. Brian says:

    Thank you!! Worked like a charm, didn’t have to reboot.

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