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System State backup using Windows Server Backup fails with error: System writer is not found in the backup – System Writer is missing

November 17, 2011

When you perform a system state backup using Windows Server Backup on Windows Server 2008, the backup fails with the error:

System writer is not found in the backup.

When you run the command vssadmin list writers , you will find that the System Writer is missing from the writers list , this is because permissions to files in the %windir%\winsxs\filemaps\ or %windir%\winsxs\temp\PendingRenames directories are incorrect.

To solve this problem and populate the System Writer back again to the list, run the following commands from the command prompt in order:

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)

net stop cryptsvc

net start cryptsvc

Then run vssadmin list writers command to verify that the system writer is now listed.

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