System Image Error: The system writer is not found in the backup - Windows Server Backup
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System Image Error: The system writer is not found in the backup – Windows Server Backup

By Tirtha Ghosh  |  Published on February 16, 2015

Netwoven Blog

Under Windows 2012 you are trying VSS backup and you receive an error message “System Image Error: The system writer is not found in the backup”

This issue occurs for lack of appropriate permissions to files in the %windir%winsxsfilemaps or %windir%winsxstempPendingRenames directories.

At the time of writing this blog, this is an unpublished bug for Windows Server 2012.

Cause

Causes for this issue are:

  • When Visual Studio 2012 is installed, more than 1,000 subdirectories in the following location: C:WindowsMicrosoft.Net
  • Windows Server 2012 limits any directory from containing more than 1,000 subdirectories.
  • When the system state writer tries to back up the folder, the issue that is described in “Symptoms” section occurs.
System Image Error: The system writer is not found in the backup – Windows Server Backup

Resolution

To resolve this issue, type the following commands from an elevated command prompt:

Takeown /f %windir%winsxstempPendingRenames /a 
icacls %windir%winsxstempPendingRenames /grant "NT AUTHORITYSYSTEM:(RX)"
icacls %windir%winsxstempPendingRenames /grant "NT Servicetrustedinstaller:(F)"
icacls %windir%winsxstempPendingRenames /grant BUILTINUsers:(RX)
Takeown /f %windir%winsxsfilemaps* /a 
icacls %windir%winsxsfilemaps*.* /grant "NT AUTHORITYSYSTEM:(RX)"
icacls %windir%winsxsfilemaps*.* /grant "NT Servicetrustedinstaller:(F)"
icacls %windir%winsxsfilemaps*.* /grant BUILTINUsers:(RX)

net stop cryptsvc
net start cryptsvc

Type the following command to verify that the system writer is now listed:

vssadmin list writers

System Image Error: The system writer is not found in the backup – Windows Server Backup

Now try your VSS Backup

System Image Error: The system writer is not found in the backup – Windows Server Backup
System Image Error: The system writer is not found in the backup – Windows Server Backup
System Image Error: The system writer is not found in the backup – Windows Server Backup

NOTE: After following the above steps if the issue is still not resolved then please install the server this Hotfix from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2807849/en-us

1 comment

  1. Awesome article! I noticed the commands don’t have slashes, so I found them from another site. Just posting here to help.
    Correct commands with slashes:
    Takeown /f %windir%\winsxs\temp\PendingRenames /a
    icacls %windir%\winsxs\temp\PendingRenames /grant “NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM:(RX)”
    icacls %windir%\winsxs\temp\PendingRenames /grant “NT Service\trustedinstaller:(F)”
    icacls %windir%\winsxs\temp\PendingRenames /grant BUILTIN\Users:(RX)
    Takeown /f %windir%\winsxs\filemaps\* /a
    icacls %windir%\winsxs\filemaps\*.* /grant “NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM:(RX)”
    icacls %windir%\winsxs\filemaps\*.* /grant “NT Service\trustedinstaller:(F)”
    icacls %windir%\winsxs\filemaps\*.* /grant BUILTIN\Users:(RX)

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