Volume Shadow Copy Error 0x8004230f - unexpected provider error

Error code


Applies to



BackupAssist v4 or later


This error is generated when the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) is unable to run due to an unexpected error.


The error's known causes and resolutions are described below.

Known Cause 1 - Multiple backup solutions installed

Many backup solutions have their own proprietary snapshot manager which can cause conflicts with other backup solutions installed on the system.

If you have (or had) more than one backup program installed on your system, disable / uninstall all of the programs except for BackupAssist, and run the backup job again.

It is best practice to only have one backup solution installed at any one time.

You should also run a registry cleaner after the other backup solutions have been uninstalled:https://www.backupassist.com/blog/support/how-to-resolve-a-ba910-volume-shadow-copy-error-0x80004230/.

Known Cause 2 - Shadow storage on the source drives is not configured or not large enough.

VSS requires space allocated to each volume to be able to create and store snapshots. The steps to configure shadow copies varies between operating systems, so it's advised to check Microsoft's knowledge base for the steps specific for your OS. The steps and commands to alter the shadowstorage on any given volume are uniform across operating systems.

The shadow storage size can be checked and manually changed through command prompt.

  • To check the current limit set: vssadmin list shadowstorage
  • To change the limit: vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=X: /On=X: /Maxsize=XX%

This will resize the limit to XX percentage size for the X: drive.

We generally recommend 30% for shadowstorage size to be able to avoid most errors related to Shadow Storage.

Known Issue 3 - Backing up mapped network drives

The Windows VSS service can only create snapshots of drives connected locally to the machine that you are taking the snapshot of.

This error can be generated if you attempt to perform a snapshot of a network drive that is seen' as local within Windows (e.g. mapped network drive).

To resolve this, remove the network drive from the backup and then re-run the backup job.

Known Cause 4 - Scheduling Conflict

This section explains VSS and device conflicts. Refer to the section applicable to your issue.

VSS conflicts: Having two backup jobs running at the same time within BackupAssist can cause errors if both backup jobs are trying to run VSS. Ensure that only one backup job is running at any one time.

Hardware conflicts: Conflicts with backup devices can occur when another process is trying to use the backup destination at the same time as BackupAssist. Make sure that there are no scheduled tasks, particularly backup tasks, that run at the same time as your scheduled backups.

To confirm that this is a scheduling issue try running a backup during the day, or try changing the scheduled time of your backup by a few hours. If these backups work, the problem is likely to be a scheduling conflict.

Known Cause 5 - Previous VSS snapshot is still running

Microsoft's native snapshot manager is only able to perform one snap shot at a time. If a snapshot process is already running when the backup job starts, the backup job could fail. Stopping and restarting the Volume Shadow Copy service can resolve this problem.

To do this, open an elevated command prompt window and run the following commands:

net stop vss
net start vss

VSS commands

A reboot of the server has been known to clean up the snapshot manager correctly should a service restart not resolve the issue.

Known Cause 6 - Advanced format drives used as backup destination

VSS snapshots have been known to fail because an advanced format drive is connected to the machine.

To tell if the drive being used is an advanced format drive:

  1. Run the following command using the command prompt: fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo
  2. Look for the bytes per sector output.
  3. If the sector size is anything larger than 512 (typically 4096 will be the result) the drive is an advanced format drive.

Unfortunately, this is on the hardware level and a format of the drive will not change this. To resolve the issue, try to run the seed to a USB drive which has a value of 512 for Bytes Per Sector.

This issue is mostly found in older operating systems as Windows did not support advanced format drives prior to Server 2012/Windows 8.

Known Cause 7 - Conflict with TrueCrypt encrypted volume

This issue is known to occur when attempting to back up TrueCrypt encrypted volumes.

To resolve the problem, add VSS backup support using these steps:

  1. Dismount the TrueCrypt Volume.
  2. In TrueCrypt Settings / Preferences, enable "Mount volumes as removable media".
  3. Run the backup again

Last updated


Further assistance

21st Dec 2017

20th Aug 2007

BackupAssist Support page