1

I got an backup issue on one of my VM. Here is the current situation:

  1. Using Acronis backup to backup my VM

    vmProtect 9

  2. Server I want to get backup is

    Windows 2003 Server Standard Edition Service Pack2

  3. Using vSphere client to manage my VMs

    vSphere Client Version 5.1.0

  4. When backup ran, it failed with error an message under "Create virtual machine snapshot" stage.

    "An error occurred while quiescing the virtual machine. See the virtual machine's event log for details."

  5. Tried following:

    • Rebooted the server -> issue still exist
    • Install/Upgraded VMware tools

      Installed and updated by using:
      vSphere -> right click server -> Guest -> Install/Upgrade VMware Tools
      But issue still exist

    • Uninstalled and re-installed VMware tools

      Rebooted the box after the re-installation but still getting same error message.

    • Checked "vssadmin list writers" on the actual virtual machine

      all VSS writers are:
      State: [1] Stable
      Last error: No error

    • Checked Event log (Event Viewer) on the actual virtual machine

      In Application log, warning message found as following:
      a) [ warning] [vmvss:vmvss] CVmSnapshotRequestor::WaitForOperation():2563: Async operation result: Operation aborted

      Information message found as following:
      a) The Volume Shadow Copy service was successfully sent a start control.
      b) The Volume Shadow Copy service entered the running state.

    • Confirmed I can create snapshot without "Quiesce guest file system" option, but Acronis backup need this option to be on.

  6. Due to Creating snapshot fails with "Quiesce guest file system" option on in vSphere, I believe that backup is failing at VM level and not at Acronis level

Thank you for reading this and any help or advise will be greatly appreciated.

  • 1
    An error occurred while quiescing the virtual machine. See the virtual machine's event log for details. ... aaaaand, those details from the virtual machine's event log would be, what, exactly? – HopelessN00b Apr 11 '14 at 1:56
  • From the event viewer, there weren't any error log under System and Applications which related to the backup issue. Also vSphere's event only shows Task: Create virtual machine snapshot, but no error message found. – Sean Hu Apr 11 '14 at 2:11
  • Only Information message found which stated "The Volume Shadow Copy service was successfully sent a start control." and "The Volume Shadow Copy service entered the running state." – Sean Hu Apr 11 '14 at 2:17
  • Does the server have VMtools installed on it? – HopelessN00b Apr 11 '14 at 2:18
  • Yes, by using vSphere -> right click server -> Guest -> Install/Upgrade VMware Tools – Sean Hu Apr 11 '14 at 2:21
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There are a number of errors that may be raised when working with snapshots, some of them are general (not related to a specific guest OS) and some are related to MS Windows family of OSs. Most of the times, generic problems are fixed by just consolidating the VM or removing all snapshots. Switching the guest OS off and consolidating and/or removing snapshots suffices most of the times. We have written a complete guide on what to do in this cases: https://33hops.com/esxi-snapshot-errors-and-solutions.html

There is a well known bug that affects Microsoft's OS and renders the exact symptoms you are describing. It's not clear whose fault it is VMWare/ Microsoft, as they blame each other and the problem has not been solved so far, and probably will never be solved. Details here: https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2006849

The good news is that this bug/ problem, only affects MBR based installations, thus if you use a GPT boot disk, snapshotting and quiescing will work flawlessly. The thing is, what do you do if your OS is MBR based and you can't reinstall everything. You have two options:

1 - Renounce to quiesce the OS, which might not be an option, if you are running database or e-mail servers per instance.

2 - Convert your MBR partition to a GPT one without data loss. There are a number of tools out there, but this is a free solution and has worked for us so far http://sabrnet.wzk.cz/2015/03/convert-windows-system-mbr-disk-to-gpt-with-efi-without-data-loss/

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