On a SCCM 2012 SP1 CU0 primary server I started getting messages that the Site Backup was failing.

Status messages were showing these errors:

  • Site Backup could not find the SMS Writer in the list of writers provided by the VSS. Aborting the backup operation. Please verify that the SMS Writer service is up and running.
  • Site Backup failed while reading the VSS writers meta data. Aborting the backup operation.
  • Site Backup failed. The error reported by the service is Error: GatherWriterMetadata failed.. Backup operation is not completed. Please see smsbkup.log for more information.

SMSBKUP.log was showing these errors and significant entries:

[cc lang=’text’ line_numbers=’false’]Registered connection to SQL server SERVER1.contoso.com and database CM_PRI.
Registered connection to master database on SQL server SERVER1.contoso.com
Starting backup…
Verified that backup folder E:\Backup\SCCM\Last exists.
Verified backup service has permission to access the backup folder E:\Backup\SCCM\Last
Sql Writer service is running.
Starting VSS initialization…
Starting Asynchronous GatherWriterMetadata.
Number of writers that responded: 13.
Error: SMS Writer service either does not exist or is not running .
Error: GatherWriterMetadata failed.
SMS_SITE_BACKUP failed. Please see previous errors.
Raised backup task failure alert.[/cc]

After some digging I found some forum entries that were relevant.  The VSSAdmin command was particularly interesting, but in the end it didn’t resolve the issue.

Then I noticed that the E:\Backup\SCCM\Last folder had the dreaded lock icon on the folder.  The NTFS security showed that SYSTEM and the local Administrators group had Full Control; there were no other entries.  As there was nothing of value in the folder anymore I just deleted and recreated it.  No more lock icon!

I kicked off the SCCM backup and surprise, surprise it worked!  The folder lock icon returned, but a subsequent backup worked.


SCCM backup failing with VSS error
Tagged on: