How to fix Windows Server system state backup fails?

Issue: Hello. I tried using Windows Server Backup but I got the  “Backup failed to complete. The system writer is not found in the backup.” error message. Is there a way to fix this?

Solved Answer

The issue of system state backup failure on Windows Server, accompanied by error messages such as “Backup failed to complete. The system writer is not found in the backup.” and “The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect,” can pose significant challenges for users relying on Windows Server Backup for data protection.

An issue with the system writer, which is essential to maintaining the integrity of the system state backup, is indicated by the first error message. Incomplete or faulty backups may result from the system writer's absence, which could compromise the system's capacity to be restored to a working condition in the case of data loss or system failure.

The second error message indicates that there may be an issue with the identification and processing of data items during the backup process. It mentions problems with filename, directory name, or volume label syntax. The user's ability to depend on partial or corrupted backups for recovery may be hindered by this type of issue.

These problems may cause users to lose faith in the dependability of their backup solution. In the event of data corruption, system failures, or other unanticipated problems, a failing system state backup could delay the restoration process, increasing downtime and possibly leading to data loss.

Troubleshooting may entail several steps to resolve these issues. It might be necessary for users to check and fix problems with the system writer to make sure it runs correctly and is included in the backup. Furthermore, troubleshooting filename, directory name, or volume label syntax issues need a detailed examination of the file system and related configurations.

In this guide, you will find 3 steps that should help you fix Windows Server system state backup fails. You can also run a maintenance tool like FortectMac Washing Machine X9 that can fix most system errors, BSODs,[1] corrupted files, and registry[2] issues. Otherwise, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

How to fix Windows Server system state backup fails

Solution 1. Restart Related Services

  • Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type services.msc in the box and click OK.
  • In the Services window, locate the following services one by one:

COM+ Event System

COM+ System Application

Distributed Transactions Coordinator

Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider

Volume Shadow Copy service

Networker remote exec service

Cryptographic Service

  • Right-click on each of the above services individually.
  • Choose the Restart option from the context menu for each service.

Solution 2. Clear the Shadow Storage

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  • Type cmd in the Search box and select Run as administrator.
  • To verify the existence of multiple snapshots exceeding the range of your Backup Chain Set, use the following command:

vssadmin list shadows

Clear the Shadow Storage

Execute the following command to delete snapshots:

  • To delete the oldest snapshot only:

vssadmin delete shadows /For=C: /oldest

  • To delete all snapshots:

vssadmin delete shadows /all

Solution 3. Fix the Driver Location in Windows Registry

  • Type cmd in the Search box and select Run as administrator.
  • Enter the following command and press Enter:

DiskShadow /L writers.txt

Fix the Driver Location in Windows Registry

  • Type list writers detailed and press Enter. After a moment, this will display a list of all writers and affected volumes.
  • Open the writers.txt file in Notepad and search for windows\ text. You will find information similar to:

File List: Path = C:\Windows\SystemRoot\system32\drivers, Filespec = vsock.sys

  • Identify the culprit as VSOCK.SYS.
  • To resolve the issue, use the Registry Editor.
  • Type regedit in the Run dialog and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.
  • Navigate to the following key:

HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\vsock

  • Change the value of the ImagePath string data to System32\DRIVERS\vsock.sys.

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About the author
Jake Doe
Jake Doe - Computer technology geek

Jake Doe is the news editor at UGetFix. Since he met Ugnius Kiguolis in 2003, they both launched several projects that spread awareness about cybercrimes, malware, and other computer-related problems.

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