The System Writer is Not Found in the Backup - Solved

Posted by @Ada

May 15, 2019

This article will introduce you how to solve The system writer is not found in the backup. And it will offer you an once for all solution .


I'm facing a typical problem with my Windows Server 2012 backup. Recently I started using Server 2012 Standard. After installing the Windows Server Backup feature, when I try to create a backup (full), the following error keeps coming for me: System writer is not found in the backup.

Can someone please help me to sort this? Thanks.

Overview for the system writer is not found in the backup

Someone may wonder what system writer functionality is. The Shadow Copy System Writer is used by the cryptographic services provided by the operating system. It is used to enumerate and replace system files when the signature of a system file is different from the signature stored in the security catalog database.

Maybe you have suffered or you are suffering from this issue. No matter its Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2008, when you want to make a backup and sometimes you may receive this error message: the system writer is not found in the backup.

The System Writer

Possible Reasons for the system writer is not found in the backup

There will be many possible causes for the error. A very common one is because Windows Server limits any directory from containing more than 1,000 subdirectories. Visual Studio 2012 installs more than 1,000 subdirectories in the following location: C:\Windows\Microsoft.Net. Therefore when the system state writer tries to back up the folder, the issue occurs.

Other causes like permissions issues (frequently in C:\Windows\WinSXS and C:\Windows\Microsoft.Net) and permissions issues with COM+ Event System Service may also lead to this error.


First, you should try the below solution:

Go to local services to start or restart below services:

  • COM+ Event System

  • COM+ System Application

  • Distributed Transactions Coordinator

  • Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider

  • Volume Shadow Copy service

  • Networker remote exec service

Local Services

Then try to take test backup. If it does not work, then you should go with below solution.

Copy below into a batch file and run from an elevated command prompt (or execute every line manually).

Takeown /f %windir%\winsxs\temp\PendingRenames /a

icacls %windir%\winsxs\temp\PendingRenames /grant "NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM:(RX)"

icacls %windir%\winsxs\temp\PendingRenames /grant "NT Service\trustedinstaller:(F)"

icacls %windir%\winsxs\temp\PendingRenames /grant BUILTIN\Users:(RX)

Takeown /f %windir%\winsxs\filemaps\* /a

icacls %windir%\winsxs\filemaps\*.* /grant "NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM:(RX)"

icacls %windir%\winsxs\filemaps\*.* /grant "NT Service\trustedinstaller:(F)

icacls %windir%\winsxs\filemaps\*.* /grant BUILTIN\Users:(RX)

net stop cryptsvc

net start cryptsvc

Command Line

If the system writer not listed vssadmin, type the following command to make sure that the system writer is now listed:

vssadmin list writers

System Writer

Now try your VSS Backup with Windows Server Backup.

Note: Shadow Copy technology requires the file system to be NTFS in order to create and store shadow copies. So, make sure the source disk or partition is NTFS. If necessary, you can convert FAT to NTFS.

If all the above-mentioned solutions cannot solve system writer is not found in the backup in Server 2008/2012, you are still lucky to have another guaranteed fix: that is to use a professional backup software.

An easier way to solve this issue once for all

AOMEI Backupper Server is a comprehensive and powerful backup software for Windows Server 2003 (R2)/2008 (R2)/2012 (R2)/2016 and Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7 / Vista / XP. It supports almost all File System including NTFS, FAT32/FAT16, exFAT/ReFS, Ext2/Ext3/Ext4, and other file systems. Even if you have a RAW partition, you can still perform a sector-by-sector backup mode.

With it, you can create system backup, disk backup, partition backup to all kinds of storage devices like a traditional hard disk drive, SSD, all removable flash drives and thumb drive, NAS, shared network and cloud drive, etc.

The most important thing is that you will not worry about the system writer is not found in the backup issue. It can support as many files as possible as long as you have enough storage.

Some missing features in Windows Server Backup like incremental and differential backup can be used with AOMEI Backupper Server.

This is its backup interface, tidy and clean. Also, you can perform those backups with just a few clicks. Take system backup as an example. Let’s see how to create system backup with AOMEI Backupper.

Step 1: Download AOMEI Backupper Server, install and open it. Select system backup under the backup tab.

Step 2: AOEMI Backupper will choose source automatically for you. All you have to do is to choose a destination path.

System Backup

Step 3: At the bottom, click Backup Option, and then click VSS. It allows the program to back up data without interrupting operations in the process. There are two options: use VSS and use AOMEI’s built-in technique to backup without interrupting.

Volume Shadow Copy

Note: VSS is a backup technique which is provided by Microsoft. Even if there is something wrong with VSS, you can still use AOMEI’s built-in technique to backup without interrupting. Therefore, there is no need to worry system writer missing in server 2008 (R2)/2012 (R2) issue at all.

You can also click Backup Option to set backup encryption and compression. Click Schedule to set automatically backup.

Step 3: After all this done, click Start Backup and wait for the process done.

AOMEI Backupper is designed for professional backup and restore. With it, you do not need to worry the system writer is not found in the backup issue. Also, it is an awesome disk clone software. You can migrate Windows 7 to SSD without efforts.

If you want to protect unlimited PCs and servers within your company, you may choose AOMEI Backupper Technician Plus. It offers unlimited billable technical services to clients. It also enables you to copy installation directory for portable version creation.