Hyper-V 2012 VSS Backup Failing with Error Code 0x80780049

I ran into a strange problem with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V VSS Writer today. A client has a small lab environment running a set of VMs on a single HP DL360 Gen8 server, and to make sure VMs are recoverable we have a direct-attached USB 3.0 drive, used with the built-in Windows Server Backup on the 2012 OS. Not exactly an enterprise class backup solution but it fits the purpose in this case.

WSB backups have been running fine for a while. The job is set up to backup half a dozen VMs, all running Windows Server 2008 R2 guest partitions, all guests are always in the Running state and have the latest integration services installed.


All of the sudden I started getting this error from the VSS subsystem when initiating a WSB backup:

Event ID 517, Error, Source: Backup

The backup operation that started at '‎2013‎-‎02‎-‎12T17:54:32.989249900Z' has failed with 
following error code '0x80780049' (None of the items included in backup were backed up.)
Please review the event details for a solution, and then rerun the backup operation 
once the issue is resolved.

In the WSB UI, I see the following error message:

The specified component was not reported by the VSS writer.

In WSB logs:

Application backup
Writer Id: {66841CD4-6DED-4F4B-8F17-FD23F8DDC3DE}
 Component: 863F5620-C5AF-4714-AC79-A5188526C41E
 Caption : Backup Using Child Partition Snapshot\vmservername
 Logical Path: 
 Error : 80780176
 Error Message : The specified component was not reported by the VSS writer.

If you run “vssadmin list writers”, you see a perfectly healthy Hyper-V VSS writer:

Writer name: 'Microsoft Hyper-V VSS Writer'
 Writer Id: {66841cd4-6ded-4f4b-8f17-fd23f8ddc3de}
 Writer Instance Id: {f9ddffdc-cf8e-4061-8c7d-e484f0f4476d}
 State: [1] Stable
 Last error: No error

Rebooting, restarting VSS services, updating Integration Services, unchecking/checking the “Backup (Volume Snapshot)” box under Integration Services in VM settings, all resulted in the same error. WSB just does not work anymore.


Server logs provide a minimal amount of information here and googling did not work very well. Folks are reporting that updating IS components fixed this issue for someone. Did not work in my case as my VMs are built from scratch on Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V with the latest IS components installed as part of my standard VM build procedure.

Solution in my case was to simply recreate the backup job. Not modify it, not run through it Next-Next-Next, not add or remove some VMs, but actually completely discontinue the backup schedule / release the dedicated backup drive, and recreate the job from zero.

Your previous backup jobs will not be erased from the dedicated backup media and your WSB backups will work fine again.

Potential Root Cause

In my case, I suspect that adding a new VM after creating a backup job may have messed up the components (VMs) registered with Hyper-V VSS. Most likely this is a bug in a fairly new Windows Server 2012 OS.

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