Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How to troubleshoot the error "A failure occurred querying the Writer status" (a000fed1 HEX or e000fed1 HEX or 0xfffffed1 HEX) that occurs when a backup or restore is attempted


How to troubleshoot the error "A failure occurred querying the Writer status" (a000fed1 HEX or e000fed1 HEX or 0xfffffed1 HEX) that occurs when a backup or restore is attempted


Final Error Code: a000fed1 HEX (0xa000fed1 HEX) or e000fed1 HEX (0xe000fed1 HEX)
Final Error Description: "A failure occurred querying the Writer status."
Final Error Category: Resource Errors
Error Text In Job Log: "OFO: Initialization failure on: "Shadow?Copy?Components". Advanced Open File


On Windows Server 2003, the Backup Exec Shadow Copy Components file system implements a Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) Requester to protect critical operating system and application service data, and third party application and user data via VSS Application Writers. A VSS Application Writer is specific code within an application that participates in the Volume Shadow Copy Service framework to provide point-in-time, recovery-consistent operating system and application data. When a data protection operation of Shadow Copy Components is performed, the status of the involved VSS Application Writers must be queried to determine its status during the backup or restore.

During a Shadow Copy Components data protection operation, if a VSS Application Writer involved in the operation reports a failed status, then the data protection operation will fail  (Figure 1).

Figure 1

To troubleshoot this error, please perform the following steps immediately after a failed Shadow Copy Components backup has been identified:

1.  Open a command prompt on the server in question
2.  Type the following command: VSSADMIN LIST WRITERS (Figure 2)

Figure 2 - VSSADMIN sample output: No Errors

Figure 3 - VSSADMIN sample output: Errors Detected

3.  Review the output and identify the Last Error failure status for the specific VSS Application Writer that was involved in the data protection operation (Figure 3, failed "NTDS" VSS Writer). Ensure that the writers are all showing a State of "[1] Stable" and that Last Error is showing "No error."
If Last Error states:
- Retryable Error, then retrying the data protection backup operation might resolve the VSS Application Writer's initial failure
- Non-Retryable Error, view the Event Viewer's Application Log for information regarding the cause and possible solution to this issue.

   4. If the VSS Application Writer failure does not reset after a period of time, Backup Exec for Windows Servers continues to fail, or the native backup utility fails, then attempt to reboot the system and contact the specific company that produced the VSS Application Writer for further assistance.
Note: In most cases rebooting the server has resolved such issues, in case the issue is unresolved and the Writer continues to show failed status, please refer to the Microsoft Article mention below.

For more information regarding what may cause the Shadow Copy Components to fail, please refer to the Microsoft Article KB826936.
5.If the issue further persists one can try update the VSS package through "" but in case if Service Pack 1 for windows 2003 is already installed then it will supplement this answer ID.

6. On the Windows Servers 2003 which already have SP1 installed if this issue comes, the solution is a Microsoft hotfiix KB903234 which is mentioned in Microsoft KB913648 will be helpful in fixing this issue.

7.How the update will help in fixing the issue?
The update that is described in this article(KB 903234) is designed to optimize the way that the Shadow Copy Client accesses snapshots. Without this update installed, the Shadow Copy Client opens every existing shadow copy for a particular volume. After you install this update, the Shadow Copy Client searches for unique versions of a shadow copy before the Shadow Copy Client opens the shadow copy. This new behavior significantly reduces the load that the Shadow Copy Client puts on the server.

8.Corresponding links

Note: For UMI V-79-32775-14 please see

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