Windows backed up failed with following error code ‘2155348129’ – Hyper-V VSS Writer – [5] Waiting For Completion – Unexpected Error

Posted on October 15, 2012

We've run into several instances where this error presents itself on Windows 2008R2 servers running Hyper-V. When you see this error in the event log around the time your backup fails, it will look similar to:

Event ID: 521
The backup operation that started at '‎2012‎-‎10‎-‎15T01:44:31.444000000Z' has failed because the Volume Shadow Copy Service operation to create a shadow copy of the volumes being backed up failed with following error code '2155348129'. Please review the event details for a solution, and then rerun the backup operation once the issue is resolved.

There are numerous issues that will cause this error. The most interesting was relating to virtual machine drive-space. In our case, we found a few virtual machines with little or no free drive space were the cause.

First determine if the issue is related to the Hyper-V Writer:

1) Load a command prompt
2) vssadmin list writers

look for the:

Writer name: 'Microsoft Hyper-V VSS Writer'
Writer Id: {66841cd4-6ded-4f4b-8f17-fd23f8ddc3de}
Writer Instance Id: {c73cdd59-f1d2-40be-b1b4-0c11449528a3}
State: [1] Stable
Last error: Unexpected Error

** Definitely related to the Hyper-V VSS writer ***

3) net stop vmms 
4) net start vmms
5) Check that the "last error:" has cleared itself:

vssadmin list writers

look for the:

Writer name: 'Microsoft Hyper-V VSS Writer'
Writer Id: {66841cd4-6ded-4f4b-8f17-fd23f8ddc3de}
Writer Instance Id: {c73cdd59-f1d2-40be-b1b4-0c11449528a3}
State: [1] Stable
Last error: No Error

6) Ensure you have at least 15% free diskspace on all Hyper-V Virtual Machines drives. 
7) Re-run your backup and monitor

If it repeats itself, I suggest looking at alternative solutions found online including resetting folder permissions.

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