Error: "System writer is not found in the backup" while performing a restore
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Error: "System writer is not found in the backup" while performing a restore

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Article ID: 324656

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Updated On:

Products

VMware

Issue/Introduction

Symptoms:
  • Performing a restore on a Secondary node running Windows Server 2008, 2008R2, or 2012 fails.
  • After performing a restore on a Secondary node running Windows Server 2008, 2008R2, or 2012, most files seem to restore successfully. However, you see the error:

    wbadmin 1.0 - Backup command-line tool
    (C) Copyright 2004 Microsoft Corp.
    System writer is not found in the backup.
    An exception occurred:

    Message: Execution failed with return code -3 Restore was aborted
    At: NTBackupRestoreThread::Run()
    wbadmin start systemstaterecovery -backupTarget:"\\localhost\D$\bkp" -version:07/03/2009-07:34 -quiet
    The installation cannot continue.

     
  • In the Restore\progress\log.txt file, you see the error:

    Copy of the files failed.
    Access is denied.
    An exception occurred:
    Message: Execution failed with return code -3 Restore was aborted


Cause

This issue occurs due to the failure of system writer, where permissions to files in the %windir%\winsxs\filemaps\ or %windir%\winsxs\temp\PendingRenames directories are incorrect.

Resolution

To ensure that the restore successfully completes, download the attached 2004359_FixSysWriter.bat file and run it on both the Primary and the Secondary nodes.

Note: If you have issues while downloading this attachment, contact VMware Support. For more information, see How to Submit a Support Request.

On the Primary node:
 
  1. Open the vCenter Server Heartbeat Console, and navigate to the Data > File Filters tab. Make a note of all replication filters.
  2. Shut down the vCenter Server Heartbeat.
  3. Set the vCenter Server Heartbeat service to Manual using the Windows Service Control Manager.
  4. Make a note of the identity of this node.
  5. Open the vCenter Server Heartbeat Configure Server wizard.
     
    1. Click the Machine tab.
    2. Change the Physical Hardware Identity of the node scheduled for replacement to Secondary.
    3. Click Finish.
       
  6. Launch the Windows Server Backup utility.
     
    1. Start the Backup Once action.
    2. Click Different Options.
    3. Click Custom and then click Next.
    4. Verify that the Enable system recovery option is enabled and select any other drives that contain protected application critical program files or any other application that is required to be present on the Secondary node.

      Note: In Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 2012, the settings have changed slightly. The System State recovery option must now be selected by checking the System State disk.
       
    5. Select the destination of the backup using a local location or directly on the Secondary or on another node. If the destination is remote, a Share or Administrative Share location for that server must be provided.
    6. Before starting the backup, you may want to exclude large files located on the drives selected (see step d) to reduce the size of the backup files.

      Note: SQL databases or any other data that is included in the File Filter set is not required to be cloned because vCenter Server Heartbeat automatically synchronizes them.

      To exclude data:

      Caution: This procedure modifies the Windows registry. Before making any registry modifications, ensure that you have a current and valid backup of the registry and the virtual machine. For more information on backing up and restoring the registry, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 136393.
       
      1. Click Start > Run, type regedit, then click OK.
      2. Browse to:

        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\BackupRestore\FilesNotToSnapshot
         
      3. Create a new multi-string value (Exclusion) and add to it all the folders and files that should be excluded from the backup (press Enter after each excluded folder or file).

        Note: The recursive exclusion syntax for all files under a folder is <FolderPath>\* /s. You may specify files directly without wildcards. For information on the syntax for the various exclusion options, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 2009272. The best practice when working with registry long data values is to limit them to 300 characters. Create additional multi-string values to accommodate this.
         
    7. After the backup is complete, run the vCenter Server Heartbeat Configure Server wizard again.
    8. Click the Machine tab.
    9. Change Physical Hardware Identity to Primary.
    10. Click Finish.
       
  7. In the task bar, right-click the vCenter Server Heartbeat icon and click Start vCenter Server Heartbeat.
  8. Log in to the vCenter Server Heartbeat Console. Select the Stop replication but leave the Protected Application running option.
  9. Set the vCenter Server Heartbeat service to Automatic using the Windows Service Control Manager.
  10. Move the new backup files to replace the original backup files originally created as part of the installation on the Primary node.

On the Secondary node:
 
  1. Run Setup.exe again from the software distribution kit.
  2. Restart the system after the Setup.
    The Restore successfully completes.

    Note: The desktop icon normally used to continue the installation is not created because the backup was not taken as part of the installation of the Primary. Instead, run this command:

    C:\Neverfail\R2\bin\setup –installSecondary
     
  3. Manually reconfigure the IP addresses.


Additional Information

For related information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 2009272.

Note: The links in this article were correct as of October 10, 2014. If you find a link is broken, provide feedback and a VMware employee will update the link.

vCSHB-Ref-2273

Attachments

2004359_FixSysWriter.zip get_app