V6.3 build 1835: daily backups have been failing to start


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HarpKat
HarpKat
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Today, I happened to notice that backups haven't been running since July 16, 2017 (last backup).  I have the scheduler set to do daily incrementals and weekly differentials. Also monthly full backups, but those are on the first of the month and that date hasn't occurred since the failures started.  There is no actual failures noted in the log files, nothing at all has been posted since the last successful incremental on 7/16/17. I changed the backup times so that I could watch the Windows 7 Event Viewer for messages posted when the backup was supposed to start.  Here's what I saw: Event ID 8219 with this message:

Ran out of time while expanding file specification \\?\GLOBALROOT\Device\HarddiskVolumeShadowCopy17\Windows\softwaredistribution\Download\9b001d91a82fc38cda0ca95acf10fbc0\*.*. This was being done for the WUA subscriber.
Operation: OnPostSnapshot event PostSnapshot Event 
Context: Execution Context: Shadow Copy Optimization Writer Execution Context: Writer Writer Class Id: {4dc3bdd4-ab48-4d07-adb0-3bee2926fd7f} Writer Name: Shadow Copy Optimization Writer Writer Instance ID: {9b33beb6-67b0-4a77-b6b1-28783d918555}

Then there were two more nearly identical VSS messages before it posted Event ID: 8224   "The VSS service is shutting down due to idle timeout. "

There have been no changes to this system except for when I did a Macrium update sometime this month.  Whether or not the problem started occurring after this, I can't say for sure.  My backups had been working without interruption on this PC for at least 2 years and now quite suddenly the backups don't start.

Also, I watched the Windows Task bar and Reflect never started--never saw the icon in the tray.
I haven't manually triggering a backup, but even it works, I'm still stuck with scheduled backups not working.

Don't confuse this support request with the problem that I reported on my other PC where Reflect upgrades won't install.  This is my first Reflect problem on this PC.

thanks










Nick
Nick
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Please can you post the actual failure at the end of the Reflect Image log?

Kind Regards

Nick - Macrium Support

HarpKat
HarpKat
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As I stated above, there is no log file, Reflect never started.  The last log entry is 7/16/17.  I suspect that VSS wasn't started, but why?  Windows has it set to automatic, which is their recommended setting, and has always worked in the past.

How do you interpret the Event Manager messages I quoted?


Nick
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Hi 

Thanks for getting back. 

As I stated above, there is no log file, Reflect never started


VSS failure doesn't cause a backup not to start and will always create a log. The VSS event messages you have extracted are not relevant if Reflect didn't run and have nothing to do with Reflect..

What is the 'Last Result' status of your scheduled tasks? Look at the 'Scheduled Backups' tab. 


Kind Regards

Nick - Macrium Support

Edited 1 August 2017 12:23 AM by Nick
HarpKat
HarpKat
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Before I received your reply, I did some experimenting.  In Windows, the Volume Shadow Copy Service is supposed to start when needed and then stop when done.  On a hunch, I manually started it and then adjusted the Reflect schedule so I could see what would happen.  Reflect ran to completion, doing a differential backup and then shutting down as it was supposed to.  With no further VSS intervention, Reflect also ran as scheduled doing an incremental backup this morning. I turned the Windows Task Scheduler History on, which unfortunately, is disabled by default.  If it had been on, I would perhaps have been able to get other clues as to why Reflect hadn't been running.  Going forward, I'll have more debugging data if I have problems again.  By the way, all 3 Macrium backup tasks were in the Windows Task Scheduler.

As I said before, when Reflect wasn't backing up on schedule, the Reflect icon never appeared in the Windows task bar tray, so a problem occurred before Reflect could start.  And, doesn't Reflect have to run in order to update the Last Result column?   Anyway, both the differential & incremental backup Last Result values have been overwritten now with the last two successes.

After I "kicked-started" the VSS service, Reflect started working.  Hopefully, it'll keep on working.  Any ideas as to why it suddenly started failing after 2 years of reliable backups and then started working again, but only after I manually started the VSS service?

Thanks for your opinion about this mystery.







Nick
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Hi HarpKat

Glad you have managed to start your backups.

And, doesn't Reflect have to run in order to update the Last Result column?


The 'Last Status' of a scheduled task that didn't run would come from the Windows Task Scheduler.  The only time you'd not have a last status set when the backup was due to run would be if the Windows Task Scheduler was disabled/not running. 

I must reiterate that VSS not running does not stop a backup starting and there will be a log indicating the failure. In addition, the Windows Events posted show that VSS was running at the time the events were generated. 

Kind Regards

Nick - Macrium Support

HarpKat
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Hi Nick,

Forcing VSS to start did correct the problem.  Previously, VSS was running but aborted with an error code.  Reflect couldn't start for some reason.  Task Scheduler looked proper.  Any guesses?

thanks,

HarpKat



Nick
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Hi Harpkat

Any guesses?


Unfortunately, no guesses can be made without the last status code from the task scheduler for a schedule that didn't start Reflect. 


Kind Regards

Nick - Macrium Support

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