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Restore "Volume Shadow Copy" (VSS) and "MS Software Sha


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Hi, I know the default answer is "re-install", but is it possible to restore "Volume Shadow Copy" (VSS) and "MS Software Shadow Copy Provider" otherwise?

I have an old partition in which both work. I can copy files from that system and/or its registry.

I have been able to restore "Volume Shadow Copy" (VSS) by copying all VSS* files from C:\Windows\System32\ and copying the HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Service\VSS entries. The service is listed again and can be started.

I tried to do the same for "MS Software Shadow Copy Provider" by copying swprv.dll from C:\Windows\System32\ and HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Service\SwPrv entries (dllhost.exe was already present). The service is listed, but cannot be started.

Then I copied the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\COM3 entries. The progress bar for starting SwPrv now went to 50% instead of 25%, but the service still does not start.

I would like to restore this on my father's PC. Since I do only occasionaly visit my parents and for a short time, I don't have the time for a re-install (which will take several days due to his particular setup).

I need the services (realize that now, painful lesson) for backing up his system partion using SyncBack.

More information from the makers: http://www.2brightsparks.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=932&

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These two links might have saved me a lot of manual editing in the registry:



They also indicate that I need more files (stdprov.dll, eventcls.dll) which are not on the partition with the new install.

Performing the steps of the 1st link I am able to restore and start the "MS Software Shadow Copy Provider" on my own system (where it was not installed either as I discovered today), but not the "Volume Shadow Copy" (VSS).

Perhaps I can later combine both methods and see what happens...

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Combining both methods makes both services start again.

Furthermore "vssadmin list providers" output is OK.

However "vssadmin list writers" stops with error 0x8000ffff and backing up system files is still not possible :}

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Furthermore, there is an error in the event log which states:

Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Shadow Copy writer ContentIndexingService called routine RegQueryValueExW which failed with status 0x80070002 (converted to 0x800423f4)

By importing the ContentIndex contents from the old system (equal to what can be found here: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=907574), "vssadmin list writers" works as well.

However, backup still fails.

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After I rebooted, SyncBack at least started to try to copy the file, but failed again.

This error appears in the error log:

Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Error calling a routine on the Shadow Copy Provider {b5946137-7b9f-4925-af80-51abd60b20d5}. Routine details Cannot ask provider {00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000} if volume is supported. [0x8000ffff] [hr = 0x8000ffff].

I'm afraid I'm stuck now (no useful info with google anymore).

Anyone got an idea?

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Since I got stuck here, I tried another approach:

- perform a clean install via nlite

- perform a clean install via nlite with the shadow volume and indexing services disabled

- check the difference in files between both installs

- check the difference in registries between both installs

Especially the number of registry entries is rather large.

Would it be wiser to first remove another service for both installs (I noticed that nlite processed a lot of inf files when I removed the two services, but it did not do this in the first step)?

What would be a smart tool to compare entire registries? (for example now all user ID based entries are different)

I might try again tomorrow...

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(Essential?) file difference between two nLite installs (only difference is shadow copy & indexing service):

< C:\WINDOWS\Help\ciadmin.htm
< C:\WINDOWS\Help\ciquery.htm
< C:\WINDOWS\Help\ixhelp.hlp
< C:\WINDOWS\Help\ixqlang.htm
< C:\WINDOWS\inf\setupqry.inf
< C:\WINDOWS\inf\setupqry.PNF
< C:\WINDOWS\inf\volsnap.inf
< C:\WINDOWS\inf\volsnap.PNF
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\ciadmin.dll
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\ciadv.msc
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\cidaemon.exe
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\ciodm.dll
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\cisvc.exe
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\eventcls.dll
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\idq.dll
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\infosoft.dll
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\ixsso.dll
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\langwrbk.dll
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\mimefilt.dll
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\nlhtml.dll
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\noise.chs
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\noise.cht
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\noise.dat
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\noise.deu
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\noise.eng
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\noise.enu
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\noise.esn
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\noise.fra
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\noise.ita
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\noise.nld
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\noise.sve
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\noise.tha
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\offfilt.dll
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\perfci.h
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\perfci.ini
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\perffilt.h
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\perffilt.ini
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\perfwci.h
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\perfwci.ini
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\swprv.dll
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\vssadmin.exe
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\vssvc.exe
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\vss_ps.dll
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\wbcache.deu
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\wbcache.enu
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\wbcache.esn
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\wbcache.fra
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\wbcache.ita
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\wbcache.nld
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\wbcache.sve
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\wbdbase.deu
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\wbdbase.enu
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\wbdbase.esn
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\wbdbase.fra
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\wbdbase.ita
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\wbdbase.nld
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\wbdbase.sve
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\webhits.dll
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\volsnap.sys
< C:\WINDOWS\system32\Setup\setupqry.dll

However 1300+ differences in registry and just running regsvr32 on all dll files and installing ini files doesn't seem to be enought to overcome this.

I don't think I'll be able to make a simple registry difference file to import...

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  • 2 weeks later...

The trial version of XPLite can install/remove the indexing service, but that does not seem to help either :(

However, I finally managed to create a repair CD (keeping OE, indexing service, VSS etc.) with nLite and a repair install seems to solve the problems :thumbup

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VSS needs NT Backup to work, if I remember correctly (from one of my 648.23 troubleshotting custom installs), and its twin service MS Software Shadow Copy Provider (SwPrv)--so did you include those?

I included the indexing service and the volume shadow copy service. I think that's all it took (so no NT Backup?).

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You need NT Backup, too. For services, VSS and MVSC need to be Manual. Also, don't screw with anything that toasts MMC, or you're in a world of potential hurt here. Indexing is totally unneeded as an explicit service (I haven't used ot for over year in my installs)--but there are inter-component aspects extant (that's why you keep coming across references): we can remove it, but parts we keep that we need still imprint it on various interfaces--and it's one of these part you most likely made angry. Shadow Copy would certainly qualify...

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  • 7 months later...

I've been getting this event as part of the problem with MS Software Shadow Copy Provider service.


Component Service woudn't expand.

MS Provider service woudn't start.

Error error 0x8000ffff when trying to run regsvr32 /i swprv.dll or vssadmin list providers

Here is how I fixed it.

1) Deleted registry entry for SwPrv. (In fact some application deleted the service before, but I've imported it from the other computer). This is to allow COM+ app import later.

2) Deleted com3 key and COM+ folders as per messages and links above. Rebooted. This is to re-install COM+

3) Re-installed COM+ as per links above and MS recommendations. Now I was able to expand Component Services down to My Computer, but there was no MS Provider application there.

4) From the working computer with the same OS version I've exported MS Software Shadow Copy Provider application. To do so, Start Component Services, expand to "COM+ Applications", right-click on "MS ... Provider" name and choose "Export" from the menu. On the next screen choose "Export user identities with roles"

It will ask you for file name and location and it will create MSI package.

Copy the package to the troubled computer.

5) On the computer-in-need:

- start component services

- expand to "my computer" node

- right-click on "COM+ Applications" and choose "new" --> "Application"

- choose "Install pre-built application" button and navigate to the MSI package. Keep all defaults.

After the process completes, there is proper COM+ application as well as the service installed.

If there is any errors during the process, there is some left-over running and it is necessary to clean the registry and reboot then repeat COM+ install.

At this point you should be able to start both Shadow Copy-ralated services.

I had correct reply yto vssadmin list providers (it was error 0x8000ffff before)

I was getting an error 0x8000ffff in reply to vssadmin list writers and Event ID 8193 was logged in the App log. Backup was working at this point but without Shadow Copy.

Then I followed the steps from


which I copy for conveniece here with my comments.

1. From command prompt:

Cd windows\system32

Net stop vss

Net stop swprv

regsvr32 ole32.dll

regsvr32 vss_ps.dll

Vssvc /Register

regsvr32 /i swprv.dll ------- I was able to register it, before Iwas getting error 0x8000ffff

regsvr32 /i eventcls.dll

regsvr32 es.dll

regsvr32 stdprov.dll

regsvr32 vssui.dll -------- I had XP, I guess this should work for 2003 only.

regsvr32 msxml.dll -------- the last 3 depend on what XML versions you have installed.

regsvr32 msxml3.dll -------- if you get error here, re-install corresponding XML version

regsvr32 msxml4.dll

2. After completing the registration of the DLL’s open an command prompt and type: vssadmin list writers

3. You should see the writers listed.

4. Open Ntbackup and attempt to backup file or systemstate.

Edited by Oleg Zhuravkin
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  • 3 years later...

After I rebooted, SyncBack at least started to try to copy the file, but failed again.

This error appears in the error log:

Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Error calling a routine on the Shadow Copy Provider {b5946137-7b9f-4925-af80-51abd60b20d5}. Routine details Cannot ask provider {00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000} if volume is supported. [0x8000ffff] [hr = 0x8000ffff].

I'm afraid I'm stuck now (no useful info with google anymore).

Anyone got an idea?

I get exactly this error message with vss errors in xp pro, with the exception of the '.' at the end of the error message. Did you ever solve it??

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