Tag Archive: backup

VSS Event ID 12289

I noticed I was getting 10 errors with the source VSS and ID of 12289 once a day. The error message is:

Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Unexpected error VSS_E_WRITER_STATUS_NOT_AVAILABLE. An older active writer session state is being overwritten by a newer session. The most common cause is that the number of parallel backups has exceeded the maximum supported limit. hr = 0x80042409.


PostSnapshot Event


Maximum supported sessions: 64

Completed sessions: 8

Active sessions: 64

Aborted sessions: 0

Writer failed sessions: 0

New snaphot set: {9e27fa3a-58c4-49e8-ac98-e61ce47e227b}

Old snapshot set: {78b24809-c91f-46d2-ae15-1e3ac517f17c}

Old operation: 1014

Old state: 1

Old failure: 0

Execution Context: Writer

Writer Class Id: {e8132975-6f93-4464-a53e-1050253ae220}

Writer Name: System Writer

Writer Instance ID: {0ded508e-db13-4a3d-ae21-c82dde65cef3}

VSS Event 12289

VSS Event 12289

Each of the 10 events was a different “Writer Name
This is a simple problem, which means that my VSS writers, which handle Shadow Copies as well as Windows Backup, were busy when requested for use.
This is simply a conflict with backup schedules. I h to task manager and sure enough, the VSS was scheduled to make copies at 7 AM of drives C and D.
I have my Windows Server Backup scheduled at 7 AM as well. Moving the Windows Server Backup scheduled time to 6 AM solves this problem.
Alternately, you could move your VSS Shadow Copy Schedule to another time using Task Manager.

I also added Backup Operators Group read permissions on Volume Shadow Copy using GPMC. Create and link a new GPO, navigate to Computer>Windows>Security>System Services>Volume Shadow Copy. Enable the GPO, and set to automatic. Then click the Edit Security button, and add Backup Operators with read permissions.

I would like to point out that Microsoft and others have stated that this issue may be benign and cause no problems. My Backups are ALL completing successfully despite the error.

What I have is an existing website on Hostmonster.com. the site is built through Joomla! The site needs a redesign. Previously I installed a WAMP server on my laptop to build this site, but I ended up having difficulties with the restore. I restored my live sit onto the WAMP server just fine, but in the administration section when I clicked links it took me to my live site’s administration page, which led to quite a bit of confusion.

So as much as I would love to edit my site locally, it will not work. So here is what I will do to completely replace my website while allowing it to remain up during the design process.

I will use Hostmonster.com to create a SUBsite of my current site. I will install Joomla! on it, making a brand new blank website. I will then make modifications to the new site. I will copy over all required information and graphics from the old site to the new site.

The new site will be live, meaning that people can browse to it. but they can only get there if they know the address, which I will not give out. this allows you to view a working copy of your site as it is seen on the internet, without disturbing your current site.

Go to Hostmonster.com, and click the Control Panel Login.

Hostmonster.com Login Page

Hostmonster.com Login Page

Enter your account information, and login.

Half way down the page, under Software, click the Simple Scripts button. You are now transported to a page that contains a lot of links. Scroll down to the Content Management section, and click Joomla>

Content Management- Joomla!

Content Management- Joomla!

Click Install.

One the next page, select your version. Go with a stable one- the latest version 1.5.22 is stable. Then, give your “subsite” a name. This will be how you navigate to the site while you are developing it.

I named mine NewSite.

New Site

New Site

Check the box to agree to the terms and conditions.

Click Complete.

Installing New Site

Installing New Site

You will then be presented with a finished screen. This displays some important information:

Site URL: The address used to browse to the live site
Login URL: This is the URL you use to log in to the Joomla! Administration panel
Username: admin
Password: A temporary password, that you can change from inside of the Administration Panel
You now have a blank Joomla! site to edit. You can copy your existing site using Akeeba backup, and restore it to this new site if you wish. Once you are done editing this site (This is done via Unlimited FTP in the Hostmonster Control Panel):
You should backup your current site both with a backup program and by copying the files to a backup directory. Then you can copy your new site’s files into the original directory. Now when users browse to what was your old site, your new site is displayed. Then you can delete the sub site.
By clicking the My Installs button, then selectiong Advanced under your new site, you can view the database name, database user, and login information. I suggest leaving this all at default, though of course you can change this using Hostmonster’s PHPMyAdmin utility.

I have been tasked with redesigning my company’s web site. Looking at it, it really is poorly designed, hard to navigate, and a little bit lackluster in graphics and design. While I am no designer, I do have a skill with the web, an objective view of the site, and the drive to fix this. I have been making changes to the live site, testing out templates, changing graphics. This is a really lame thing to do to a live site.

This post is long and can be complex. If you get stuck on a certain part- please post a comment. I will get back to you within an hour or two.

We run Hostmonster.com web hosting.

This runs a Joomla! 1.5.15 website.

All files are transferred via FTP to Hostmonster.com.

All configurations take place in the Administrator section of Joomla!

I had the epiphany that it is pretty dangerous to mess with a live site, so I decided it would be in my best interest to download a copy of the site to my PC, edit it, then replace the current site when it is done. To do this I need a copy of the web server at Hostmonster.com. They use a LAMP, which is Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP. Now I could use VirtualBox to install Ubuntu on my laptop, and run a LAMP from there. the problem with that is then I would have to configure the virtual OS to communicate via my network, which in my experience can be a pain in the butt.

So instead, I will use a WAMP server. WAMP Server 2 has been released while it is not the recommended program levels listed by Joomla!, it is what I will use.

First, uninstall IIS if it is on your computer. My laptop did have it installed, so go to Add/Remove Programs, then turn Windows Features On or Off. Uncheck Internet Information Services, uninstall, and reboot.

Now, go and download WAMP Server 2 from here.

Once you download the file, run it, and click-through the install steps. I put mine on the D:\ drive because it has good space. I also left all of the install options at default values, such as Browser Choice, SMTP Server, and Email Address. This may not be what you want personally, but for me it works. There is a great tutorial with pictures listed here– Thanks TeamTutorials!

A good way to see if your server is online is to left-click the icon in your tray, and then select Localhost. If you get a page looking like this one, WAMP Server 2 is configured and running.

WAMP Server 2

WAMP Server 2

Keep in mind, that I have very little experience with Apache, PHP, MySQL including setup and install of a web site. In the past I used IIS 5, 6, and 7, SQL Server Express 2005, and Standard 2006. As much as I would love to copy this website using those technologies, the migration would be more trouble than it is worth.

So, now let’s get Joomla up and running.

Go to the Joomla! website and download the package, which can be found here. They only have the full install for 1.5.22 available, though there are updates for 1.5.15. I will have to deal with installing the newest version and see if it works- if it doesn’t I can always start over.

Upon further exploration, they do have the full package of 1.5.15 available here, so I downloaded that instead. Note: Make sure you download the release.ZIP file, which is appropriate for Windows installations.

I also went here, and downloaded the Installation Manual PDF and printed it.

Before we start the Joomla! install, you can double-check that MySQL, XML, and Zlib functionality is enabled by checking the PHP.ini file, which is located at: %installdir%/camp/bin/php/php5.3.0

Furthermore, lets check the installation using a PHP script. Open Notepad (Start>Run>Notepad)m and type the following into the text file.

//Show all information

Save this file and name it as phpinfo.php, and put it in the root of your site, which is Localhost at this time. This is located at: %installdir%/wamp/www

So save the file phpinfo.php in that directory, which will only have one file in it, index.php. Open up the web browser you used for the WAMP Server 2 install, and type http://localhost/phpinfo.php in the address bar. It should display a page like this:

PHPInfo.PHP Output

PHPInfo.PHP Output

After you check this output- which contains information about your system and WAMP, MAKE SURE TO DELETE THE PHPINFO.PHP FILE!

 Now we unzip the Joomla! zip file we downloaded from their site. I extracted it to a folder on my desktop for ease of moving. I use WinRAR, there is also WinZIP, 7-ZIP, Windows built-in, and many more.



Before beginning the Joomla! install, which will add and edit files to the WAMP Server 2 installation, I would like a backup in case things go wrong, so that I can start over. I will let you choose how to back them up, I simply created a restore point of that drive, as well as copied the WAMP folder to a remote location. Overkill maybe, but we will see.

Since we are doing a Localhost install, we simply need to copy the unzipped Joomla! files into our web root, which is located at: %installdir%/wamp/www/

You will get a pop-up asking if you want to overwrite index.php– select copy and replace.

Copy and Replace

Copy and Replace

Now navigate to http://localhost, or click the WAMP server icon from your task bar and select Localhost.

Select your language and click next.

Make sure a green Yes is displayed next to all items of the pre-installation check. If any of them say no (They shouldn’t if you follow these instructions), you should stop here and correct the problem by installing a supported version of the problem, or by Googling the exact problem.

Recommended settings are nice, and typically I would follow them. In this instance, I am going to leave them alone- which is with two red items. They are for Display Errors, and Output buffering- both of which I want.

Joomla! Checks

Joomla! Checks

Hit next a few times untill you get to the Database Configuration screen.

Database type is MySQL.

Host name is Localhost.

If you did the default install the user name is root.

There is no default password. I am not a fan of not having a password, so I am going to add-on. Click the wamp icon in your tray. Click MySQL>MySQL Console.

This opens up a DOS looking box asking for a password. Hit enter. You are now at the MySQL command prompt. Use this command to set the root password.

MySQL Password

MySQL Password


The italicized text is your actual password. Hit enter, and exit out of the MySQL Console. Back in your Joomla! Installation, enter the password you just set in the password field.

At this point I realize I am going to be restoring a backup of my already configured remote web site, which has a user name and password, a database name, etc. I went to my hostmonster account and clicked MySQL Databases from the control panel, and found out my information is:

Manage User Privileges

User: ********_jml01
Database: ********_jml01

Since I have no ide what is going on with MySQL, I am going to use the default set up, root, with my password, and default database. Ill remember this spot if I run into problems later.

After a few tries of not being able to create or connect to any database, I checked MySQL and found out that there was no database. At the MySQL prompt type SELECT DATABASE(); and it will return a value of NULL.

Click on the wamp icon in your tray, and select PHPMyAdmin



Enter the database name for Create New Database. In this case I named it the same name that the one on my Hostmonster.com server is named.

Back on the Joomla! install, enter that database name and hit next. I entered the site name of my live site, which is found under Global Configuration on the site. I set up my user name/email and password. I also did not select migrate or local files. Once you enter the top information just hit next.

You now have to remove the installation directory from the %installdir%/wamp/www/ directory. Just delete it.

Now, enter http://localhost/administrator in your web browser.

Login with the user name admin, and whatever password you just entered several seconds ago.

Alright, this is where things got confusing for me. I have working backups of my live site using Hostmonster.com’s backup utility, which is in the control panel. This is not what we need, or at least what i need.

What we will do now is download two packages.

Akeeba Backup  3.1.4which needs to be installed of both live and local Joomla! sites, and

Akeeba Kickstart 3.1.5, which needs to be installed only on the local Joomla! site.

This will take different setup on both the live and localhost sites.

Live site:

Go to your sites administration, click Extensions>Install/Uninstall.

Akeeba Install

Akeeba Install

Click browse, and select the file. I downloaded this file to the computer I am installingmy Joomla! local site to. Now click upload and install. You will get a success page.

Might as well start the backup now. Go to Components>Akeeba Backup, and select backup now.

Akeeba Backup

Akeeba Backup


Now on your Local server (PC):

Install it the same way, except we don’t need to upload it to Hostmonster.com. Go to your localhost administrator settings, Extensions>Install/Uninstall. Select the file from your local PC, and install it. Now extract the kickstart zip. You will be looking at some files. Select them all drop drop them into the root of your site on localhost, or %installdir%/wamp/www/

Now we need to get the Akeeba backup onto our localhost. I downloaded vie the web browser- you should not do this, it may corrupt the file. The reason I did this was because I could not find the backup vie FTP on my site.

Once you have the backup file, put it in the same directory of your localhost that you put the kickstart files into, which is the root directory WWW.

You will get a bar like this one.

Akeeba Kickstart

Akeeba Kickstart

Once this completes, you will se a green button, click it to run the installer and restore.

You can check over the things on this page, specifically check the directories tab near the bottom to make sure your directories are correct.

Akeeba Backup Installer

Akeeba Backup Installer

Click Next.

Set Connection Parameters to match what you selected when setting up Joomla!. User root, the password, and the database. Mine is ********_jml01.

Click next, leave the default values alone. I entered my sites public address, and did not force overwrite temp directory placement. Hit finish, close the window back to Akeeba Kickstart, and select clean up now.

Click view your site’s front end- there is your copy!


I was surfing through my server manager, and I noticed a whole lot of yellow exclamation points on my server roles. After browsing them, I realized most were caused by the server reboot this morning, and can safely be deleted as 1 time events. I did notice an informational item under File Services.

Log Name:      System
Source:        volsnap
Date:          10/13/2010 12:00:34 PM
Event ID:      33
Task Category: None
Level:         Information
Keywords:      Classic
User:          N/A
Computer:      SOLACESERVER.solace.local
The oldest shadow copy of volume C: was deleted to keep disk space usage for shadow copies of volume C: below the user defined limit.

Server Manager and VSS Error Event ID 33

Server Manager and VSS Error Event ID 33

Configure Shadow Copies

Configure Shadow Copies

User defined limit? Did I set that? Oh well, let’s explore and see what it is set at, and how to gauge what the best settings are for a system. Navigate to Start>My Computer. Right click on the C: Drive and select Configure Shadow Copies.

I see four entries.





The first two are disabled. A:\ is my backup drive, and I do not it want Shadowed. The first is the volumename for my backup drive, which is also not Shadowed- why would you make copies of the drive that you store copies on, after all. If it WAS enabled, you could change it’s scheduling under scheduled tasks, Volume Shadow Copy. Were going to ignore those two for now- let’s focus on our two logical drives, C:\ and D:\. We do want these Shadowed- to provide previous version support for files, as well as for use in Windows Server Backup, which uses VSS.

These drives were both backed up today, they both have 10 shares, though the used size is different: 2088 for C:\, and 8921 on D:\. You will notice that both drives keep their own Shadow Copies. I at one time thought that this would be a good thing to change, so I put them both on a backup drive. Well, after that Windows Server Backup worked 50% of the time, and I could not change them back- exception error. So I suggest leaving them there.

Shadow Copies

Shadow Copies


But what about the size? Why are they different? Why does C:\ only have two copies while D:\ has 5? These settings are all set by Windows depending upon the drive size. My C: is 60Gb while D: is 90Gb. Also, D: has more content, and about the same free disk space. Proportionally the settings are correct- a large space for Shadow Copies on a larger drive. But C:\ is only keep two Shadow Copies, which gives you 2 previous version. You need more? Then increase the size by clicking settings and changing it.

You will notice in the settings menu that the limit is actually larger than the used- this is of course true. You can change it to no limit if you wish and have the space, or increase the limit to include many more copies. You can also change the schedule here- the default is twice a day. I like to leave mine here, though I change the times to make sure they do not run at the same time as other major things such as an Exchange backup.

In windows Server 2003 you had to keep the sizes as multiples of 300Mb, but this is no longer the case. As for the correct size- default is good. If you need it larger increase it untill you can keep the number of copies you wish. If you need it small, I suggest making it small incrementally, and make sure you can keep at lease 2 Shadow Copies. Making it too small might restrict Shadow Copies too much and interfere with Windows Server Backup.

You can also manage space and copies with the command line tool VSSADMIN, which is documented here at TechNet.

So I come into work, and load up the console only to see yellow and red warnings. Crap. Well, time to start fixing things.

SBS Console Screenshot

SBS Console

First thing I notice, is that one of my backups failed. this is troublesome, as my past problem with backups and VSS were quite an issue. So I go to the Backups tab, and click backup history. I then see the error “A Volume Shadow Copy Service operation failed. Unknown error (0x800423f3)”. This happened at 7AM, but not at 8PM- this leads me to believe the VSS service was busy so it could not backup my server. On to the event log.
I open the event log, and the first 1,000 entries are Outlook connecting and disconnecting. Ill investigate that later- now I will turn off outlook and scroll down to 7 AM. There it is, 3 events. Event ID’s 7001, 12298 and 12310. Before I investigate this, I want to make sure no other tasks are scheduled to run at 7AM. I go to Task Scheduler, and go through each task- theres nothing running at 7AM. I did however find two tasks named FSSScanXXX. That rung a bell as Forefront Security, which is uninstalled- deleted those tasks.
VSS Event ID 33
I plugged the three events into Google, and found this page. That post mentioned Hotfixes, but I don’t think I am ready for that yet. I did install Exchange 2007 SP2 recently, maybe that is the issue. Ill keep looking.
I stmble upon this post at TechArena, which rang a bell. I just installed Exchange 2007 Rollup 4- though at the failure time it was not installed. Well see how it reacts after the update.
The manually run Backup ran fine, no Eventlog errors or failures. Ill comment more on this once the scheduled task runs at 7 AM.
Update: The backup completed successfully overnight. It seems this error was in fact caused by a transient error and was corrected by applying Microsoft Exchange SP2 Update Rollup 4.
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