When looking for the right backup software for a client, I.T. professionals often evaluate multiple products on a server before making a purchase. As outlined in an earlier blog post, it’s usually a good idea to only evaluate one backup application on a server at a time. This is because some backup software products install their own proprietary drivers and components, which can cause conflicts with other backup applications running on the machine. In particular, these third-party components can prevent the functioning of backup technologies built-in to Windows, which BackupAssist itself uses.
Recently we had a customer contact our support team who had been evaluating Acronis TrueImage. Before trying BackupAssist on the machine, however, the customer fully uninstalled Acronis. When a BackupAssist backup ran a BA910 VSS error occurred to prevent the backup from completing. This error is usually caused by the presence of a third-party snapshot manager.
Since the customer had fully uninstalled Acronis before installing BackupAssist, we were puzzled by this error. After re-installing Acronis, and re-running the BackupAssist backup, the BA910 error did not occur. Acronis was then uninstalled again, but this resulted in the BA910 error returning. After checking numerous settings on the system, I thought that Acronis might have left something behind in the Windows registry that was causing a conflict, even though it had been uninstalled; I had seen this previously with other software that did not fully remove registry entries after being removed.
After some research, we discovered where Acronis stores information in the Windows registry. When we browsed to this location, we discovered that a number of Acronis registry entries had been left behind even after the software had been removed. After deleting all the Acronis registry entries and rebooting the server, BackupAssist was able to communicate with the Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) and complete a successful backup.
This scenario highlights the many inherent problems associated with running multiple backup applications on the same machine, even when one is removed. While it was Acronis in this particular scenario, other third-party applications may present the same hurdles that BackupAssist avoids by building on and utilizing backup technologies already built into Windows.
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