How to Enable the Exchange VSS Writers on Windows 2003 SBS
Replay 4.x using Windows 2003 SBS
This article describes how to enable the Microsoft Exchange Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) Writers on Windows Server 2003 Small Business Server (SBS).
Note: Dell recommends you back up the Windows registry before making any changes to it as suggested in this article. For information on backing up the Windows registry, see How to Back Up the Registry.
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 uses the Volume Shadow Copy service to back up open files. VSS uses a writer component to back up files and settings that are specific to a program, such as Microsoft SQL Server 2000 or Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. The writer component tells the Volume Shadow Copy service which files to back up, and then pauses corresponding services while the backup is in progress.
For example, the writer for Exchange Server 2003 tells VSS to back up the information store databases, log files, and system files. The Exchange writer also tells the Exchange services to delay any new transactions, to finish current transactions, and to copy data in memory to a hard disk to complete the backup process.
In Windows Server 2003, the Backup utility starts the Volume Shadow Copy service during system state backups. VSS starts the writers that are registered in Windows. For example, if the Exchange writer is registered, VSS starts the Exchange writer.
The Exchange writer may cause conflicts with the information store backup feature of the Backup utility. The information store backup feature uses online streaming to back up the Exchange databases. If the Exchange writer is registered, the Backup utility may log errors if you attempt to back up the system state and the Exchange information store at the same time. (For example, the Backup utility may log Event ID 8019.)
Because Windows Small Business Server serves as both a Windows Server 2003-based domain controller and an Exchange 2003 server, the Windows SBS Setup program turns off the Exchange writer to prevent problems while the Backup utility backs up the system state and the Exchange information store.
For more information, go to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822896/ Microsoft Knowledge Base article “Exchange Server 2003 data back up and Volume Shadow Copy services.”
The Exchange 2003 writer may cause conflicts with the Backup utility (NTBackup.exe). However, the Exchange writer can turn on manually for use with third-party backup software. The following information is an abstraction of the article “How to turn on the Exchange writer for the Volume Shadow Copy service in Windows Small Business Server 2003″.
For the full article and any updates, go to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/838183.
Cautions and Warnings
- If the Exchange writer is turned on, the Backup utility cannot back up the Exchange information store and the system state at the same time. Turn on the Exchange writer only if using a third-party backup solution, or want to back up the Exchange information store separately.
- If running or developing a third-party backup program that uses the Volume Shadow Copy service to back up Exchange Server 2003, must turn on the Exchange writer in the registry.
- If turning on the Exchange writer, the Backup utility cannot back up the Exchange information store and the system state at the same time. Turn on the Exchange writer only if using a third-party backup solution, or wanting to back up the Exchange information store separately.
- This section contains steps that tells how to modify the registry. Note: Serious problems might occur if the registry is modified incorrectly. Make sure these steps are followed carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before modifying it.
To turn on the Exchange writer, do the following:
- Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
- Locate and then double-click the following registry subkey:
- Double-click the Disable Exchange Writer value.
- In the Value data text box, change the value from 1 to 0, and then click OK.
- Quit Registry Editor.
- Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Services.
- Stop and then restart the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service.