Recently we’ve had a number of support issues where problems have been caused when people evaluate BackupAssist alongside other backup products.
In general, BackupAssist does not install any special drivers or do anything to interfere with the normal Windows operating system.
However, other products are well known to change settings in the OS, which cause problems for other applications. There are two main categories of faults:
- VSS problems – these are caused when products install their own VSS Writers or Providers – and when they don’t function properly, they can cause all VSS snapshots to fail – even those done by BackupAssist or Windows itself
- Tape driver problems – these are caused when products uninstall the Windows tape drivers, and install their custom drivers, causing all applications relying on the regular Windows drivers (like BackupAssist or ntbackup) to fail.
We have seen problems caused by major vendors such as Symantec/Veritas and CA, and also minor vendors. An example of such a support case is included below:
I spent the last hour and a half today assisting a reseller with a file replication engine issue on Server 2008. VSS would fail and found that the WBADMIN engine backup would also fail during the VSS process.
However, the VSSADMIN LIST WRITERS all came up clean. The VSS events indicated that there was a problem communicating with a provider.
I then discovered Backup Exec was still installed on the system, even though all the services had been disabled. I did a VSSADMIN LIST PROVIDERS and found there was indeed a VSS service from Backup Exec.
To resolve the issue, we deleted all entries in the registry related to the GUID of this service.
Afterwards, all worked as designed.
So if you’re having problems with either VSS or tape drives – please uninstall other backup software as your first test in the troubleshooting process.