Wednesday, March 25, 2009

NTFS event ID 55 backing up with Volume Shadow Copy (VSS)

OK, I have this client that had failed backups and event viewer showed NTFS errors with event ID 55. The event log entry suggested that I "please run the chkdsk utility on the volume \Device\HarddiskVolumeShadowCopy1".

I performed the obligatory searches of Microsoft's KB database and asked Google, and the closest I got to an exact match was an unanswered call for help on Symantec's forums.

Here's the symptoms:
Backup failed and the indicated the following errors:
Could not access portions of directory System State\COM+ Class Registration Database.
Could not access portions of directory System State\Registry.
Event Viewer showed NTFS errors with event ID 55.
I could make a copy of unopened files.
"VSSADMIN LIST WRITERS" showed no errors.
CHKDSK /F showed no errors.

EventID.NET had a suggestion but it didn't seem to apply. Microsoft has a whole bunch of articles about VSS. The most drastic suggestion was 'do a backup, format and restore' -- except, of course, I couldn't do an online backup.

Anyway, in the end, here's what worked: I emptied the recycle bin, ran disk cleanup, and everything was fine with NTBackup again. Go figure.


  1. That's EXACTLY what I would have done. ;)

  2. I suppose that's kinda my point. Sometimes, we (IT guys) try elaborate solutions and miss the obvious. Captain Obvious to the rescue!

  3. I hate it when my ntfs event id 55 backs up with volume...

  4. Same problem... Installed NTFS hotfix, not solved. Just disabled the Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy service, backup exec then use the symantec vss and it can backup all files, wihout problem, and without generating error 55. For us, the problem is caused by Microsoft VSS when backing up files.

  5. Same thing here... looking for others idea before calling microsoft... :o(