Windows Backup Error 0x81000019 – Check VSS and SPP Event Logs

backuperror-loggingwindowswindows 7

I'm having trouble with Windows 7 Backup and Restore. Whenever I try to run a backup for myd rives, it gives me this error:

Very annoying. Now I've searched for the error code, and tried restarting, yada yada yada, but nothing has worked.

This is my backup setup:

I have two internal drives (128GB SSD, 512GB HDD) that are backed up to a third internal drive (2TB HDD). In the past, this has worked fine, but now it just stopped working.

It doesn't work even if I:

  • Deselect the D:/ drive | same error
  • Deselect the C:/ system image option | error: Requested system device could not be found (0x80073BC3)
  • Both of the above | error: 0x80073BC3
  • Only try to backup the D drive | error: 0x80073BC3

I am not able to mark the partitions as active (grayed out), as it is suggested here.

I hope the experts here can help me, but I've been using a different backup utility so I'll be okay for now.

EDIT:
I'm adding the cmd responses for VSS and chkdsk.

C:\Windows\system32>chkdsk The type of the file system is NTFS.

WARNING! F parameter not specified. Running CHKDSK in read-only mode.

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)… 152832 file records
processed. File verification completed. 323 large file records
processed. 0 bad file records processed. 0 EA records processed.
44 reparse records processed. CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of
3)… 205926 index entries processed. Index verification completed.
0 unindexed files scanned. 0 unindexed files recovered. CHKDSK is
verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 3)… 152832 file
SDs/SIDs processed. Security descriptor verification completed.
26548 data files processed. CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal…
37274776 USN bytes processed. Usn Journal verification completed.
Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.

124797948 KB total disk space. 66489668 KB in 115447 files.
67516 KB in 26549 indexes.
0 KB in bad sectors.
274868 KB in use by the system.
65536 KB occupied by the log file. 57965896 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit. 31199487 total allocation
units on disk. 14491474 allocation units available on disk.

d:>chkdsk The type of the file system is NTFS. Volume label is
Shared.

WARNING! F parameter not specified. Running CHKDSK in read-only mode.

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)… 165120 file records
processed. File verification completed. 88 large file records
processed. 0 bad file records processed. 0 EA records processed.
0 reparse records processed. CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of
3)… 190928 index entries processed. Index verification completed.
0 unindexed files scanned. 0 unindexed files recovered. CHKDSK is
verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 3)… 165120 file
SDs/SIDs processed. Security descriptor verification completed.
12905 data files processed. CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal…
300330840 USN bytes processed. Usn Journal verification completed.
Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.

488383487 KB total disk space. 368157796 KB in 143558 files.
63316 KB in 12906 indexes.
0 KB in bad sectors.
539959 KB in use by the system.
65536 KB occupied by the log file. 119622416 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit. 122095871 total allocation
units on disk. 29905604 allocation units available on disk.
E:>chkdsk The type of the file system is NTFS. Volume label is 2 TB
Backup.

WARNING! F parameter not specified. Running CHKDSK in read-only mode.

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)… 958208 file records
processed. File verification completed. 12 large file records
processed. 0 bad file records processed. 0 EA records processed.
0 reparse records processed. CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of
3)… 1118534 index entries processed. Index verification completed.
0 unindexed files scanned. 0 unindexed files recovered. CHKDSK is
verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 3)… 958208 file
SDs/SIDs processed. Security descriptor verification completed.
80164 data files processed. CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal…
842646528 USN bytes processed. Usn Journal verification completed.
Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.

1953511423 KB total disk space. 817893232 KB in 559527 files.
281340 KB in 80165 indexes.
0 KB in bad sectors. 1907191 KB in use by the system.
65536 KB occupied by the log file. 1133429660 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit. 488377855 total allocation
units on disk. 283357415 allocation units available on disk.

VSS prints out about 16 shadow copies. The full results for it are here.

I forgot to mention that I formatted my backup drive, but that didn't help.
I have about 55% of my space left on C:\, and 23% of my D:\ drive left.

Best Answer

A couple of most likely causes:

  1. You probably have accumulated too many shadow copies that weren't properly disposed of by the backup. This sometimes happens. So try and list them with vssadmin.

  2. You are running low on a free space on C:\ and D:. There's no clear guidance on how much space it needs, but having at least 10-20% is generally a good idea.

All in all though, VSS is just ... finicky. It has a lot of dependencies, which in turn are also dependent on other things and so on. If anything in this pyramid break or hiccups, VSS starts spitting out incomprehensible and frequently ambiguous error codes. So even if you google "VSS + ", there'll be a bunch of solutions, each working for just some cases. There is a way to troubleshoot VSS with diagnostic logging, but it is very tedious and it doesn't work reliably. Reimaging the system is simply faster.

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