vss errors on veracrypt


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apple232
apple232
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Hi,

We get vss errors when backing up files from a veracrypt virtual disk. From what we read, it is

ERROR: COM call "m_pVssObject->BackupComplete(&pAsync)" failed.
- Returned HRESULT = 0x80042301
- Error text: VSS_E_BAD_STATE
- Setting the VSS context to: 0x00000010
ERROR: COM call "m_pVssObject->AddToSnapshotSet((LPWSTR)volume.c_str(), GUID_NULL, &SnapshotID)" failed.
- Returned HRESULT = 0x8004230f
- Error text: VSS_E_UNEXPECTED_PROVIDER_ERROR

But it still says it backed up the files. Should we be concerned about the integrity of the backup or does macrium work fine with the vss errors?

Thank you

jphughan
jphughan
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There was another thread about this somewhere and I believe the answer from Macrium Support was that VeraCrypt containers simply don't work properly with VSS, and since neither VeraCrypt nor VSS are under Macrium's control, there wasn't anything they can do about it.  Does your job log show a line that says something like "Retrying without VSS writers"?  If so and the job succeeded, then you're fine.  Files in a VeraCrypt container are highly unlikely to require a VSS writer in order to be captured properly.  That's intended more for situations like live databases and certain components of Windows itself.  If the VSS snapshot failed entirely, then the job would have failed.

Patrick O'Keefe
Patrick O'Keefe
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Interesting.  I run a daily backup of a VeraCrypt container and see no evidence of VSS being invoked.   In addition, if I have mounted the container the backup fails; if I try mounting the container while the backup is running, the mount fails.

I don't recall specifying anything special when setting up the backup; I assume Reflect made this decision on its own.

However, I backup the VC container.  I haven't tried backing up individual files in the mounted container. You said
We get vss errors when backing up files from a veracrypt virtual disk.

Does that imply you are backing up individual files?  I know next to nothing about either VSS or the internal workings of VeraCrypt, but I can believe Windows would have trouble taking a snapshot of the file.  Also, if you succeed in taking the backup I would expect it to be unencrypted.

jphughan
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@pokeefe If you're just making a backup of a VeraCrypt container file as it sits on disk while unmounted, then that's not a big deal because in that case a VeraCrypt container file is just like any other file.  If a backup of the volume/folder that contains your VeraCrypt container file fails while that container is mounted, then it's likely that VeraCrypt doesn't support VSS, in which case it wouldn't be able to ensure that its container file was in a consistent state on disk in preparation for a snapshot of the volume that stores that container file.  And if VeraCrypt doesn't support VSS, then you wouldn't WANT a backup to proceed in that case, since that could cause your VeraCrypt container to be backed up in an invalid state.  I'm surprised to hear that you can't mount it even while the backup is running after the initial snapshot has been created, though.

But if the OP is backing up the contents of a mounted VeraCrypt container, then you'd need a snapshot of the container volume itself.  In that case, the file system used within the container may come into play.  I remember experimenting with VHDX-hosted volumes.  If memory serves, Windows could make VSS snapshots of NTFS volumes hosted within VHDX container files, but not of FAT32 or exFAT volumes within VHDX container files, although it's been a while so that may not be entirely correct.

Edited 5 March 2021 10:25 PM by jphughan
Beardy
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To back up the contents of a mounted veracrypt container reliably, the process would be dismount, mount again read only, do your file & folder backup (presumably with encryption enabled, or with another mounted VC container as the target), dismount & re-mount read write. VC defaults to formatting containers FAT32 even if you format them NTFS VSS won't work.

From the VC documentation:
The Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service is currently supported only for partitions within the key scope of system encryption (e.g. a system partition encrypted by VeraCrypt, or a non- system partition located on a system drive encrypted by VeraCrypt, mounted when the encrypted operating system is running). Note: For other types of volumes, the Volume Shadow Copy Service is not supported because the documentation for the necessary API is not available.

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