Volume Shadow Copy (VSS) - Catastrophic failure


I have an issue with Volume Shadow Copies (VSS). This issue started a few days ago. I’ve tried MANY things from Google but cannot find a solution.

What’s frustrating (and surprising) is that even after I restored the computer to a sector-by-sector image backup, to a time that this issue was not existent, I still get this issue.


  1. When trying to create an image in Macrium Reflect, it can’t, gives error: VSS_E_UNEXPECTED_PROVIDER_ERROR.

  2. When trying to run “check” on any disk from “tools,” I get “Windows was unable to scan the drive”

  3. From Windows Events: Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Error calling a routine on a Shadow Copy Provider {b5946137-7b9f-4925-af80-51abd60b20d5}. Routine details Cannot ask provider {b5946137-7b9f-4925-af80-51abd60b20d5} if volume is supported. [0x8000ffff] [hr = 0x8000ffff, Catastrophic failure


  1. When I try cmd: “vssadmin delete shadows /all” (to clean up any dead VSS snapshots) I get “No items that satisfy the query.”

  2. The only VSS provider in the registry (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS\Providers) is Microsoft V1.0

  3. CMD command, VSSADMIN LIST PROVIDERS, only shows Microsoft.

  4. Services “Microsoft Storage Spaces SMP”, “Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider” and “Volume Shadow Copy” services are set to automatic and run ok.

THINGS I’VE TRIED (not a complete list)

  1. I Re-registered the VSS components with a bat file.
  2. Tried resizing the VSS with “vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C: /On=C: /Maxsize=25GB” in cmd, I get “The shadow copy provider had an error.”
  3. In safe mode, I ran chkdsk /f, SFC /SCANNOW, and DSIM.
  4. In safe mode, I ran VSS repair and WMI repair via “Tweaking.com Windows Repair (All in One)” software.
  5. All disks are reported ok in CrystalDiskInfo.
  6. In HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup, SystemSetupInProgress is set to 0.
  7. When running “vssadmin list writers” in CMD, they all say “no error.”

I am lost at what to do next.

asked on Stack Overflow Sep 1, 2020 by Zvi Twersky • edited Sep 1, 2020 by Zvi Twersky

1 Answer


Oh my God, I found a fix that worked!

Some UpperFilters value in the registry got deleted for some reason. I'll just post the answer here:

To fix this - please carry out the following steps:

Open a new Notepad window Copy / Paste the below script into Notepad, and save as "vss_fix.reg": Code: Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class{71a27cdd-812a-11d0-bec7-08002be2092f}] "UpperFilters"=hex(7):76,00,6f,00,6c,00,73,00,6e,00,61,00,70,00,00,00,00,00

This will update the "UpperFilters" value at this location to be "volsnap" (the hex code decodes to "volsnap"). Once you've copy/pasted the registry key, save this in a location you can easily access (e.g. desktop), and double click on the script to run the fix.

You will need to restart your machine once the fix has run.

answered on Stack Overflow Sep 1, 2020 by Zvi Twersky

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