VSS writers are application-specific components for Microsoft's Volume Shadow Copy Service, which ensure the consistency of application data when a shadow copy is created. Since we have often come across VSS writers in a failed state, we have put together a list of VSS writers and the services that need to be restarted to reset each of them below:


VSS WriterService NameService Display Name
ASR Writer
VSSVolume Shadow Copy
BITS WriterBITSBackground Intelligent Transfer Service
COM+ REGDB WriterVSSVolume Shadow Copy
DFS Replication service writerDFSRDFS Replication
DHCP Jet WriterDHCPServerDHCP Server
FRS WriterNtFrsFile Replication
FSRM writersrmsvcFile Server Resource Manager
IIS Config WriterAppHostSvcApplication Host Helper Service
IIS Metabase WriterIISADMINIIS Admin Service
Microsoft Exchange Replica WriterMSExchangeReplMicrosoft Exchange Replication Service
Microsoft Exchange WriterMSExchangeISMicrosoft Exchange Information Store
Microsoft Hyper-V VSS WritervmmsHyper-V Virtual Machine Management
MSMQ Writer (MSMQ)MSMQMessage Queuing
MSSearch Service WriterWSearchWindows Search
NTDSNTDSActive Directory Domain Services
OSearch VSS WriterOSearchOffice SharePoint Server Search
OSearch14 VSS WriterOSearch14SharePoint Server Search 14
Registry WriterVSSVolume Shadow Copy
Shadow Copy Optimization WriterVSSVolume Shadow Copy
SPSearch VSS WriterSPSearchWindows SharePoint Services Search
SPSearch4 VSS WriterSPSearch4SharePoint Foundation Search V4
SqlServerWriterSQLWriterSQL Server VSS Writer
System WriterCryptSvcCryptographic Services
TermServLicensingTermServLicensingRemote Desktop Licensing
WIDW WriterWIDWriterWindows Internal Database
WINS Jet WriterWINSWindows Internet Name Service (WINS)
WMI WriterWinmgmtWindows Management Instrumentation

Credits to Ansgar Wiechers at http://www.planetcobalt.net/sdb/vss_writers.shtml


You can use the following command in command prompt to list the VSS writers and check their current status:

vssadmin list writers


Note: This list is not comprehensive. It merely contains those writers we have already had to troubleshoot with our customers and from contributors.