Error: "MS SQL (VSS)' is not ready for backup: VSS writer "SqlServerWriter" is missing. Please ensure that "SQL Server VSS Writer" service has enough rights"

Last Modified

Fri Sep 18 08:28 GMT 2020


  • Client trying to backup MS SQL but gets error that SQL writer is missing
    • Data source 'MS SQL (VSS)' is not ready for backup: VSS writer "SqlServerWriter" is missing. Please ensure that "SQL Server VSS Writer" service has enough rights.
  • vssadmin list writers command returns list that does not include SqlServerWriter


  • Cove Data Protection (Cove)
  • Backup and Recovery
  • MSSQL Backup


  1. Restart SQL Server VSS Writer:
    • Through GUI:
      • services.msc > right-click SQL Server VSS Writer > Restart
    • Through administrative Command Prompt:
      • net start SQLWriter
      • net stop SQLWriter
  2. List writers again:
    1. Run command in Command Prompt:
      • vssadmin list writers
    2. Check list for SqlServerWriter
  3. If SqlServerWriter is still not present in list, check following:
    • System state misconfiguration:
      • The error ((HRESULT)0x800423F4L) (SetCurrentFailure) is tracked in EventViewer log.
      • This error entry is generated because the SQL writer has issues with the SharePoint VSS writer.
      • This error entry is tracked in registry if there is an issue with the file SQLVDI.dll on the system.
      • Microsoft outlines how to resolve this in their KB:
    • SQL database name contains spaces:
      1. Open MS SQL Management Studio and select Master database.
      2. Run query:
        • select '#' + name +'#' from sys.databases
      • If you notice any space in database names e.g. #test # , remove space from database name
    • SQL Server VSS Writer is running under a user with insufficient privileges or the SQL writer user does not have sufficient privileges to access the database:
      • Add permissions for service logon NT AUTHORITY/SYSTEM and any user which you have mentioned as service logon.
      • Check SQL server security attributes for the user selected as service logon for SQL writer and add sysadmin privileges.
    • Where applicable ensure that the SQL writer service is running under domain administrator rights.
  4. Check Application event logs for errors with source SQL, SQLVDI and VSS
    • Compare error code listed to list here and resolve error