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Windows Backup is failing with:

A shadow copy could not be created. Please check "VSS" and "SPP" application event logs for more information. Details: The writer experienced a non-transient error. If the backup process is retried, the error is likely to reoccur.

The VSS event log says:

Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Unexpected error calling routine IVssAsrWriterBackup::GetVolumeComponents. hr = 0x80073bc3, The requested system device cannot be found. .

Operation: OnIdentify event
Gathering Writer Data

Context: Execution Context: ASR Writer Writer Class Id: {be000cbe-11fe-4426-9c58-531aa6355fc4} Writer Name: ASR Writer Writer Instance ID: {108b2193-aab4-4e86-a66a-5232a580ee7e}

The SPP log says:

Shadow copy creation failed because of error reported by ASR Writer. More info: The requested system device cannot be found. (0x80073BC3).

System is 64-bit Windows 7. I'm trying to back up one internal drive to another (C->E). C: is a 111GB partition on a 160 GB Intel SSD (The System Reserved partition is 100MB). E: is a 2TB Hitachi hard drive (one partition, NTFS formatted).


Perusing the links provided by echarnley gave me the idea to try marking the C: partition active (it wasn't). That let me backup an image of C: without error, but if I selected any locations for files to backup, it failed with:

The system cannot find the file specified. (0x80070002)

Marking the system reserved partition active instead solved that problem, full backups (image + files) now complete without error.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

It sounds like Windows backup is having a problem with your system reserved partition - try these steps:

Also, there is a discussion of the error here:

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The key insight I gleaned from the links was that it was a problem with a partition not being marked as active. I marked the system reserved partition active (not C:) and backups complete successfully. – Mark Johnson Mar 27 '11 at 16:35
How do you mark a partition active? Disk Manager? – ClintJCL Jan 21 at 22:50
Could someone point me to an article explaining which should be marked as active: System reserved partition or C:? I would've thought the answer would be always the same but seem to be getting mixed messages. – iX3 Apr 29 at 17:50

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