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Installation of ACT! reproducibly destroys ability to make Image Backups due to VSS errors (SQLWRITER, SQLVDI)

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Posts: 7
Country: Germany
Accepted Solution

Installation of ACT! reproducibly destroys ability to make Image Backups due to VSS errors (SQLWRITER, SQLVDI)

[ Edited ]

I'm using Veeam Endpoint Backup to backup the machine ACT! is installed on to a NAS.

 

This worked fine until about the end of 2015, at which point for unknown reasons this stopped working due to VSS errors.

(VSS is the volume shadow copy service that allows consistent backups of data while the machine is running)

 

Specifically in Event log ==> Windows Logs ==> Application I get errors from

SQLVDI -  Loc=UserAccount::Init(name). Desc=LookupAccountName. ErrorCode=(1332)No mapping between account names and security IDs was done Instance=ACT7

SQLVDI - Loc=IdentifySQLServer. Desc=Initialize. ErrorCode=(1332)No mapping between account names and security IDs was done Instance=ACT7

SQLWRITER - Sqllib error: Failed to create VDS object. hr=0x80770005

 

This happened both on my existing installation of ACT! 17 with SQL Server 2008 as well as after removing this completely and installing ACT! 18 with SQL Server 2014.

 

I have then proceeded to test this using a fresh Windows 10 Professional in a VMware virtual machine that has never had ACT or Microsoft SQL installed before. I first installed Veeam Endpoint Backup Free (which comes with Microsoft SQL 2012 Express LocalDB) and successfully made a backup. Then I installed the ACT! 18 Trial from "actpro_1820x53_DE.de" (ACT! 18.2 German) and had a quick look inside the demo database, closed ACT! and restarted after the installation.

 

Then tried to make another backup with Veeam Endpoint Backup: It failed with "Creating VSS snapshot Error" just like on the existing machine. Event log on the virtual machine now has the same SQLWRITER and SQLVDI errors.

 

Why is ACT! destroying my ability to make backups? The installation seems to SERIOUSLY screw up the configuration of the Microsoft SQL Server that is bundled with it! How can I make the VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service) work again? How do I fix this?


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Accepted by JonTaylor (Administrator)
3 weeks ago
New Member
Posts: 2
Country: USA

Re: Installation of ACT! reproducibly destroys ability to make Image Backups due to VSS errors (SQLWRITER, SQLVDI)

Problem appears to be fixed.  The following procedure worked for me without having to re-install SQL 2014 Express.

 

 

START

   Computer Management

                Services and Applications

                                SQL Server Configuration Manager

                                                SQL Server Services

                                                                SQL Server(ACT7)

 

Change Log On   from  Built-in account: Local System   to   Built-in account: Local Service

 

  

I was able to do a complete automatic backup of the server without shutting down the ACT7 service.

 

 

 

View solution in original post


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New Member
Posts: 7
Country: Germany

Re: Installation of ACT! reproducibly destroys ability to make Image Backups due to VSS errors (SQLWRITER, SQLVDI)

[ Edited ]

I've removed Veeam Endpoint Backup and installed the latest Version (Build) of Acronis True Image 2016 and tried to backup the machine this way:

Does not work either. The backup process starts but never gets beyond 0%. Event logs show an endless list of SQLVDI and SQLWRITER errors just like with Veeam, but now indead of once in an endless loop every 1,5 Minutes.

 

This problem was already reported here:https://forum.acronis.com/forum/89448

and Acronis support correctly stated that this is an ACT! Problem and not with Acronis.

 

So I'm still unable to make automatic backups. Why does ACT! screw this up so reliably?

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Installation of ACT! reproducibly destroys ability to make Image Backups due to VSS errors (SQLWRITER, SQLVDI)

Act! isn't doing anything ... It's the backup software not logging into SQL with the right permissions.

Normally, you'll find the backup software uses "Local System" ... But you'll often find you need a Local Admin (or, if on a domain, a Domain Admin) access to back up a SQL database - especially if the backup is running remotely (ie not on the database machine)
New Member
Posts: 7
Country: Germany

Re: Installation of ACT! reproducibly destroys ability to make Image Backups due to VSS errors (SQLWRITER, SQLVDI)

[ Edited ]

When both Acronis True Image and Veeam Endpoint in their latest version fail to create the VSS snapshot, obviously the backup software is at fault. Of course. Clearly.
Yeah right.

So when I tell you that making a Backup with Macrium Reflect I get the error "Code 0x8000ffff: retrying without VSS writers", this is also a backup software that needs fixing? So now THREE major backup software companies with years of experience have a product that does not know how to handle VSS snapshots?
Even though making proper VSS snapshots is their CORE business?

I clearly see your reasoning why ACT! could not possibly at fault. I just wonder why you are telling me this instead of your grandma. Because she might actually be the only person on the planet to believe what you are saying.

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Installation of ACT! reproducibly destroys ability to make Image Backups due to VSS errors (SQLWRITER, SQLVDI)

Not once did I say the backup software was at fault. I said it hasn't been set up to log in with the right permissions ...

If you do a Google search of: ErrorCode=(1332)No mapping between account names and security IDs was done Instance
You'll find MANY non-Act! examples of this issue and how to set the login permissions
New Member
Posts: 7
Country: Germany

Re: Installation of ACT! reproducibly destroys ability to make Image Backups due to VSS errors (SQLWRITER, SQLVDI)

[ Edited ]

I have spent about six hours trying solutions from google for this error. I probably know every single one of those links you can find with google and have tried most of the solutions suggested. Of course some other people have this too who are not act users.

But with ACT! this even happens on a FRESH installation on a CLEAN OS. Reproducible with THREE different backup programs.
Something is very very wrong with the way ACT! installs and configures the SQL Server and Database that comes with it.

It may very well be possible that one of the hundred of post you can find on google might actually have a solution that works. That doesn't change ANYTHING about the fact that this is a bug for which the company that makes ACT! is solely responsible for.

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Installation of ACT! reproducibly destroys ability to make Image Backups due to VSS errors (SQLWRITER, SQLVDI)

Bronze Elite Contributor
Posts: 1,410
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Installation of ACT! reproducibly destroys ability to make Image Backups due to VSS errors (SQLWRITER, SQLVDI)

When you installed ACT did you manually create the ACT7 instance and give it an SA password using your existing SQL installation or use the SQL Express automatic installation that comes with ACT?

New Member
Posts: 7
Country: Germany

Re: Installation of ACT! reproducibly destroys ability to make Image Backups due to VSS errors (SQLWRITER, SQLVDI)

[ Edited ]

>What account is the backup software using?

=> The SQL Server VSS Writer Service uses "Local System Account" by default. I've changed it as your link requested to run this service as an Administrator Account (& rebooted) and it did not change anything - backup still fails the same way. It would have been surprising if this had helped because the link you gave is talking mostly about SQL 2000 (!!!) in a Domain Environment . Which does not have much to do with the SQL 2014 on a standalone PC.

 

> When you installed ACT did you manually create the ACT7 instance and give it an SA password using your existing SQL installation or use the SQL Express automatic installation that comes with ACT?

I've installed Windows 10 without any special options and I've installed ACT! 18 with the default options and with the SQL Express that comes with it. Then I installed the backup software (Veeam Endpoint, Acronis 2016) with the default options and tried to make a backup.

 

I've tried this again today, installed Windows 10 Anniversary Edition (the one I used yesterday was the Win10 1511 version), then installed ACT with all options as default and nothing special and then tried to make a backup with the backup software installed with its default options. Problem can be reproduced 100% of the time with nothing more than a Win10 Install DVD, the ACT! instaleller EXE file and the freely available Veeam Endpoint Free or an Acronis 2016 Trial version.

 

By the way: I've tried another backup software and found one that does not complain: Aomei Backupper. But looking at the event log, the VSS / SQLVDI fails in exactly the same way when the backup starts. My guess is that Amoei Backupper just silently ignores this and falls back to use its internal alternative to VSS (which is an option in the configuration). I doubt using this will make a consistent backup of the database though: They themselves say "We highly recommend you to use the VSS service" instead of their own alternative to this. Unfortunately Amoei Backupper does not create verbose logs so it's unknown what really happens.

 

Summary: 3 Backup Programs fail with VSS Errors on a clean Win10 with a clean Act! 18.2 installation. 1 Backup program (Aomei) probably fails too in the same way but is not verbose enough to tell the user that the backup may be inconsistent.

New Member
Posts: 7
Country: Germany

Re: Installation of ACT! reproducibly destroys ability to make Image Backups due to VSS errors (SQLWRITER, SQLVDI)

[ Edited ]

I've now spent another two hours, again used a fresh Win10 (1607 Anniversary Edition) installation with a fresh ACT! 18.2 installation and installed ACT! without the bundled SQL Server 2014.

 

Then I embarked on the long and tedious road to install MS SQL 2014 manually as this installation guide describes: http://kb.act.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/38099

The installation guide was pretty accurate and good, differing from what was really asked by the installation only in a few minor areas.

 

I took a complete backup using Veeam Endpoint at every major step so I could find the exact step that destroys the VSS permissions and makes my Veeam backup not-work anymore. But alas it did not! The manually installed SQL Server 2014 Express, by following the guide, allows for proper VSS shadowcopies and the backup works even with ACT! and SQL Server 2014 installed !!! 

 

I compared the Service Settings for the four Microsoft SQL Services between the non-working "automatically-installed" machine and the working "manually-installed" machine and could not find a difference there. My guess is that there must be some weird f'up in the permissions of the database. But I'm not familiar enough with Microsoft SQL Management Studio to know what to look for.

 

So while not having found the "real" root cause I'm happy enough to declare the bundled SQL Express 2014 installer a piece of disgusting **** and as the root cause of all evil in the world! :-)

 

I hope ACT! 18.2 works with this manually installed SQL. I will now try this on the production machine.

[UPDATE: It worked on the production machine and finally Veeam Endpoint has started making backups again]