Troubleshooting VSS on MS Servers

First make sure that VSS is properly configured.  Go to properties/shadow copies tab on any local drive.  All drives in the list on this tab should say disabled.  Then highlight each drive in turn and make sure it is set to use limit and the limit is at the default value of 10% of the total drive space in MB.  In order for Windows to get access to this 10% there must be at least 13% free space with 15% considered minimum and 20-25% recommended.  When you are looking at the drives on the shadow copies tab you will see how much space is being used.  If no backups are running, they should all be zero.  If they show more, click settings and (after making a note of the limit) change the limit to 300 MB and click OK.  If it says zero, go back into settings and put the original number back.  If it says 300 MB, click the Create Now button below and then click the Delete Now button.  If it now says zero go back into settings and put the original (10%) number back.
Please apply suggestion 1 and 2 below.  Please note that suggestion 2 has multiple parts.

Suggestion 1: Install VSS patches

I would specifically start with these three Microsoft patches: KB940349 first, then KB967551 and finally KB975928.  Reboot as necessary.

Suggestion 2: Reset VSS configuration
If this problem continues, please perform the following steps to reset VSS

1. Go into control panel and reset the com configuration.

a. In control panel click “add remove programs”.
b. Click “Add remove windows components”.
c. Click the “Next” button (windows will re-initialize the COM configuration).

2. Look in “Component Services” MMC and make sure that the MS Shadow Copy Provider does not show up as a COM+ application. The software provider should NOT show up in Component Services on Windows 2003 and above. If it is, you will have trouble initializing the VSS coordinator and provider instances.

a. In the Component Services MMC, navigate to “Component ServicesMy ComputerCOM+ Applications”
b. View the properties of the “MS Software Shadow Copy Provider” if it exists. In the “advanced” tab, uncheck the “Disable deletion” checkbox and then delete the “MS Software Shadow Copy Provider” from COM+ Applications.

3. Run FIXVSS03.BAT to reset VSS configuration.

net stop “System Event Notification”
net stop “COM+ Event System”
net stop “Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider “
net stop “Volume Shadow Copy”
cd /d %windir%system32
net stop vss
net stop swprv
regsvr32 /s ole32.dll
regsvr32 /s oleaut32.dll
regsvr32 /s vss_ps.dll
vssvc /register
regsvr32 /s /i swprv.dll
regsvr32 /s /i eventcls.dll
regsvr32 /s es.dll
regsvr32 /s stdprov.dll
regsvr32 /s vssui.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml3.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml4.dll
Cd /d %systemroot%syswow64
regsvr32 /s ole32.dll
regsvr32 /s vss_ps.dll
regsvr32 /s es.dll
regsvr32 /s stdprov.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml3.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml.dll
regsvr32 /s msxml4.dll
net start “COM+ Event System”

Reboot the system to bring all writers into a stable state.

Volume Shadow Copy – good to know

Displays current volume shadow copy backups and all installed shadow copy writers and providers. The vssadmin tool is a command-line utility to interact with the VSS.


vssadmin list writers
Lists all writers in the system

vssadmin list providers
Lists all currently installed shadow copy providers

more info on MS Technet website:

Expanding Array on HP ProLiant server

Stage 1 – Physically install the HDDs

Stage 2 – Expand the Array

  1. Start HP Array Configuration Utility:
  1. Select Array that you want to expand and click the Expand Array Button:
Once you press Save the array will start the transformation process.
The speed will depend on amount of data on the existing array and size of the array.
In this example the existing drive has 135GB size with 15GB free:
The expansion rate was approx 9GB per hour
While the process is running you will see these alerts:
You can further increase the speed of the transformation by changing the controller settings (set transformation priority to High):
Changing the priority to High might have an impact on server performance (read/write operations)

Stage 3 – Extend Logical Drive

Select the drive that you want to extend and click the Extend Logical Drive:

accept the default and click save

Read the warning and Click OK
(it basically says that if you are running windows 2000 you might have problems, otherwise you are fine)

That process usually takes just a few seconds/minutes (press refresh button to confirm it’s finished)
To verify open Windows Computer Management/Disk Management:

Stage 4 – Extend OS volume

From command prompt issue commands as listed below:

Verify that all went OK: