Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Resolving System State Backup failures in TSM

An issue with IBM Tivoli backups I encounter on regular basis are failures with the System State portion of the TSM backup process (ANS5258E error in the dsmsched.log). IBM would have you reboot the server to resolve the issue. This solution works but we are better than that. The issue lies with Volume Shadow Service writers. To determine the culprit, I need to know which of the writers is having the issue. I use the command line program "vssadmin" to discover the problematic writer.

Sample Output:

C:\>vssadmin list writers
vssadmin 1.1 - Volume Shadow Copy Service administrative command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2001 Microsoft Corp.

Writer name: 'System Writer'
   Writer Id: {e8132975-6f93-4464-a53e-1050253ae220}
   Writer Instance Id: {ea8c901f-77c6-4a3e-a673-7d2276d7a4bf}
   State: [7] Failed
   Last error: No error

Writer name: 'Event Log Writer'
   Writer Id: {eee8c692-67ed-4250-8d86-390603070d00}
   Writer Instance Id: {d787de6c-2b5d-45b9-8916-4351737ec993}
   State: [1] Stable
   Last error: No error

Writer name: 'Registry Writer'
   Writer Id: {afbab4a2-367d-4d15-a586-71dbb18f8485}
   Writer Instance Id: {76401cb9-4cf5-4c0f-bf8f-2adb4672f119}
   State: [1] Stable
   Last error: No error

Writer name: 'COM+ REGDB Writer'
   Writer Id: {542da469-d3e1-473c-9f4f-7847f01fc64f}
   Writer Instance Id: {59267df6-52ac-4679-ac8e-536527bb195f}
   State: [1] Stable
   Last error: No error

Writer name: 'WMI Writer'
   Writer Id: {a6ad56c2-b509-4e6c-bb19-49d8f43532f0}
   Writer Instance Id: {21441d8f-4ce4-4c53-b817-f7f899a154c0}
   State: [1] Stable
   Last error: No error

Writer name: 'IIS Metabase Writer'
   Writer Id: {59b1f0cf-90ef-465f-9609-6ca8b2938366}
   Writer Instance Id: {a5e5576d-9f8d-4933-9f51-c0e0895eafaf}
   State: [1] Stable
   Last error: No error

Writer name: 'BITS Writer'
   Writer Id: {4969d978-be47-48b0-b100-f328f07ac1e0}
   Writer Instance Id: {078d566b-625c-4daa-9535-9546a57ea482}
   State: [1] Stable
   Last error: No error

If any of these writers report anything but their state as 'Stable' and last error as 'No error',  you need to restart the associated service for that writer. In the above example, we would restart Cryptographic Services to resolve the System Writer issue. Here is a list of writers and associated services I have collected and is by no means a comprehensive list but what I have encountered the most when resolving this issue.
  • System Writer -- restart Cryptographic Services
  • Event Log Writer -- restart Event Log (never seen this before)
  • Registry Writer -- restart Volume Shadow Copy
  • COM+ REGDB Writer -- restart Volume Shadow Copy
  • WMI Writer -- restart Windows Management Instrumentation
  • IIS Metabase Writer -- restart IIS Admin Service (not always 100% effective)
  • BITS Writer -- restart Background Intelligent Transfer Service
  • Shadow Copy Optimization Writer -- restart Volume Shadow Copy
The simple way to check if you have resolved your issue is to rerun 'vssadmin list writers' and ensure that no writers have issues then run 'dsmc ba -optfile=dsm.opt' from the baclient directory and watch the manual backup for system state success. 

6 comments:

  1. Excellent! I was able to complete the backup of the System State after finding the writer that it was failing on. Thx!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good article, but I still get those annoying ANS5258E errors during most backups of Windows 2008 Server despite all the VSS writers have stable state and no errors... Do I
    necessarily have to restart the server to solve this issue?

    ReplyDelete
  3. very good information , resolved my issues

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi,
    thanks for the article, it resolved some of my problems, I would like to know when IIS Config Writer state is Failed which service do you restart.
    The server does not have IIS instaled.
    Thank in advanced.
    Carapeto

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have same Question as carapeto... has anyone figured it out which service has to be restarted for IIS Config Writer failed?
    thanks
    Kpi

    ReplyDelete
  6. I discovered the answer and neglected to post it.

    IIS Config Writer Problem --> Restart Application Host Helper Service
    IIS Metabase Writer Problem --> Restart IIS Admin Service

    ReplyDelete