Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have Windows 7's Backup configured to run every day at midnight. When it runs per this schedule, no UI pops up. It just runs.

I'm also using Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). From time to time, it detects malware in some file, and it takes its "recommended action," which is generally to quarantine the file, from what I can tell. When this happens, I don't see any kind of UI notification. It just happens.

The problem is that when Windows 7's Backup tries to backup a file that MSE identifies as malware, the backup fails. Silently. The result is that several days can go by with me thinking I've been backing up every 24 hours, but in fact nothing has been backed up for several days. The only reliable way I've found to detect this problem is to check the Event Log for Event 4104:

The backup was not successful. The error is: Windows Backup failed while trying to read from the shadow copy on one of the volumes being backed up. Please check in the event logs for any relevant errors. (0x81000037).

Checking the MSE History shows that the file causing the problem is part of the shadow copy created by Backup, e.g.:

Security Essentials encountered the following error: Error code 0x80508023. The program could not find the malware and other potentially unwanted software on this computer. 

Category: Trojan

Description: This program is dangerous and executes commands from an attacker.

Recommended action: Remove this software immediately.

file:\Device\HarddiskVolumeShadowCopy45\Users\Bob\_Files\Web Site\Live\foo.html.~16~

This interaction between Windows Backup and MSE has been documented by others (e.g., here and here.)

I realize that I could replace MSE with a different anti-malware product, but I'd frankly settle for finding a way to have either MSE or Windows Backup tell me that something is going wrong. I've checked the options for both, and if there's some way for me to say "Pop up a UI dialog when something fails," I can't find it.

Any suggestions on what I should do? Running backups regularly is only useful if the backups are actually getting created.

share|improve this question
The simplest solution would be to create an exception for the folder that contains the Malware and/or clean the files before the backup runs. – Ramhound Feb 6 '13 at 3:22
@Ramhound: As I tried to make clear, the backup is failing not on a quarantine directory, but on a normal file that's in the shadow copy. An infected file could occur anywhere. – KnowItAllWannabe Feb 6 '13 at 4:52
up vote 0 down vote accepted

When Windows Backups fail they show that in the taskbar, via the Action Center icon.

Just check that once in a while to see if it worked smoothly.

share|improve this answer
This doesn't address the author's problem. – Ramhound Feb 6 '13 at 3:23
@Ramhound: It partially addresses my question, because, if it works, it provides a way for me to get notified about a failure without having to check the event logs. I have Action Center configured to show up in the taskbar only when it has a notification, so it's possible that it was present there when a backup failed without my seeing it. I'll keep a closer eye out from now on. I upvoted this answer, because I do think it's relevant and potentially helpful. – KnowItAllWannabe Feb 6 '13 at 4:57
@Ramhound Yeah, but it does remedy the problem a little. I try to help however I can. – danielcg Feb 6 '13 at 5:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .