Have you ever attempted to use Backup and Restore to safeguard your system or files on your computer, but were faced with a Volume Shadow Copy Service error?
Fear not, for this post will provide you with specific solutions to corresponding Windows VSS errors, as well as an effortless way to ensure your PC remains safe in the event of system crashes, allowing for easy restoration to its previous state.
What is Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS)?
First, let us define what Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) is. VSS is a technology used in Microsoft Windows that enables users to manually or automatically back up/snapshot computer volumes or files.
This service, also known as Volume Snapshot Service, Volume Shadow Copy Service, or simply VSS, requires the file system to be NTFS to create and store shadow copies.
Any Windows component that uses this technology can create copies on local, external, and removable volumes, or network locations, such as scheduled Windows backups or automatic system restore points.
If the VSS service is stopped, all components that rely on it cease to function, leading to Volume Shadow Copy Service errors on Windows 11/10/8 when backing up or restoring OS. These errors may also occur on Windows Server 2008, Server SBS 2011, Server 2012, and other similar systems.
Below, we will guide you through some of the specific errors and their solutions on Windows PCs:
Fix Volume Shadow Copy Service Errors While Backing up Windows
There are various Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) errors that can occur on different Windows operating systems, including PCs and servers. In this article, we will discuss some common errors that may arise while creating a system image backup or performing a system restore on Windows.
1. A Volume Shadow Copy Service Operation Failed
Sometimes, when creating a system image backup, you may encounter Shadow Copy issues with errors like 0x807800A1 & 0X800423F4. The error message will read:
A Volume Shadow Copy Service operation failed. Please check “VSS” and “SPP” application event logs for more information. (0x807800A1).
The writer experienced a non-transient error. If the backup process is retried, the error is likely to reoccur. (0X800423F4).
This issue often happens on Windows computers due to various reasons, including the VSS service being stopped, the antivirus or Windows firewall being enabled, or the hard drive having error. In the next section, we will discuss three solutions to this problem.
Fix 1: Enable Volume Shadow Copy Service
1. Enter the Services page by typing msc in the Run window (Win + R).
2. Locate Volume Shadow Copy and set the Startup type to Automatic.
3. If the Service Status is stopped or paused, click Start.
4. Go to the Dependencies tab and check the dependency services required for the Volume Shadow Copy Service to run.
5. Click Apply and OK.
Fix 2: Disable Antivirus and Windows Firewall
To disable the Windows firewall, go to Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Firewall. Then, click Turn Windows firewall on or off and choose Turn off Windows Firewall (not recommended) from Private/Public network settings. Finally, click OK.
Tip: Read our guide on How to Disable Windows Defender for better understanding.
Note: You should only disable your antivirus temporarily, as this can leave your computer vulnerable to security risks.
Fix 3: Check Hard Drive Errors
If you suspect that your hard drive is experiencing issues, it is important to perform regular checks to ensure optimal performance. One way to do this is by following these steps:
1. First, open Windows Explorer (Win + E) and right-click on the partition you wish to check for errors (typically partition C), and select Properties.
2. Next, navigate to the Tools tab and click on the Check button.
3. After that, click on the Scan Drive option.
4. Finally, follow the instructions provided to complete the check.
Alternatively, you can use the command prompt and run the chkdsk command to check your hard drive for errors.
2. Volume Shadow Copy Service Error 0x80042302 during Backup
If you encounter an error message 0x80042302 when trying to back up Windows to a new external hard drive, it is likely that the VSS is disabled. The error message will read:
The backup application could not start due to an internal error:
A Volume Shadow Copy Service component encountered an unexpected error. Check the Application event log for more information. (0x80042302).
Fix 1: Set Volume Shadow Copy Service to Automatic
To resolve this issue, you need to set the VSS to automatic mode. Here’s how:
1. Press the Win + R keys together to open the Run window.
2. Type msc and press enter to enter the service interface.
3. Locate the Volume Shadow Copy and right-click to choose Properties.
4. Change the Startup type to Automatic.
5. Click Start and then OK to enable the VSS and make it run on your PC.
Tip: You can get a more definitive tutorial in our Windows Services Guide.
After completing these steps, try backing up your Windows PC to see if the VSS error 0x80042302 persists.
In case you receive a “Volume Shadow Copy Service operation failed” message, try these three solutions to resolve the Windows VSS error.
Fix Volume Shadow Copy Service Errors While Restoring the Windows System
If you have encountered Windows 11 or Windows 10 VSS errors during backup, you may also face issues with the Volume Shadow Copy Service when attempting to perform a system restore. Error codes such as 0x81000202 or 0x80042302 may occur, despite successfully creating a system image beforehand.
1. Volume Shadow Copy Service Error 0x80042302
In addition to the Volume Shadow Copy service error used by system restore, you may also face an issue when restoring the system with the error message:
System Restore does not appear to be functioning correctly on this system. A Volume Shadow Copy Service component encountered an unexpected error…(0x80042302).
If you encounter a system image restore failed volume shadow copy service issue, there are several possible solutions:
Fix 1: Set Volume Shadow Copy Service to Automatic
Since this solution is the same as the one for other Volume Shadow Copy Service errors, we won’t repeat it. You can jump to that solution on this page by clicking here.
Fix 2: Run SFC
Since these this solution is also the same as those for error code 0x81000202 in Windows 10 or 11, we won’t repeat them.
Fix 3: Perform a Clean Boot
If the 0x80042302 error is triggered when opening the System Restore utility, it can be fixed by performing a clean boot using the following steps:
1. Open the Run window, and type msconfig.exe.
2. Under the General tab, uncheck Load startup items from the Selective startup menu.
3. In the Service tab, check Hide all Microsoft services, and then click Disable all.
4. Click OK and restart the PC.
Tip: Read our guide on How to Clean Boot Windows for a comprehensive tutorial.
2. Volume Shadow Copy Service Error 0x81000202
The common error code 0x81000202 reads as follows:
There was an unexpected error in the property page:
The Volume Shadow Copy service used by System Restore is not working. For more information view the event log…
If you close the property page and attempt a system restore again, this error code will reappear. However, there are three possible solutions:
Fix 1: Change System Restore Settings
1. Type msc in the Run window. You can open the Run window using Win + R keyboard combination.
2. Navigate to the following path:
Computer\Configuration\Administrative Template\System\System Restore
3. In the right pane, set the Turn off System Restore policy option to Not configured.
Fix 2: Enable Volume Shadow Copy
Since this solution is the same as the one for other Volume Shadow Copy Service errors, we won’t repeat it. You can refer to this solution on this page by clicking here.
Fix 3: Perform a System File Checker Scan (SFC)
Using the SFC tool can help you scan system files and replace incorrect versions with the correct ones. This can be helpful in fixing the Shadow Copy Service error 0x81000202.
1. Search for CMD and run it as administrator.
2. Type the following command:
In conclusion, we have provided solutions for four VSS errors that may occur when creating a system image or performing a system restore with the Windows built-in backup and restore utility. By following the corresponding solution, you can potentially resolve the issue.
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