System State is disabled and excluded from backup due shadow volume validation failure. -'System Writer:\System Files', (\\comms\admin$\) <REQUIRED>

ISSUE

Your backup fails and you find the following error in the logs and Unitrends UI (REPORTS > BACKUPS > BACKUP HISTORY)

 

<Error> System State is disabled and excluded from backup due shadow volume validation failure.
Please be sure these system volumes are not excluded from the backup schedule, otherwise check 'Exclude System State' from schedule:
-'System Writer:\System Files', (\\comms\admin$\) <REQUIRED>
System State always failed with the same error message, this was seen in several Windows 7 based computers that are currently being backed up using Unitrends.
No VSS writer problems are evident on the box itself from vssadmin list writers and admin$ is visible using net share.
Please see attached log file.

RESOLUTION

Best practice is to not install directly from an administrative share. Instead, copy the software to the computer that you want to install first or run it from an openly shared directory.

Review the error so you understand the path and what software you could have installed that used it. Then find the local path to the same on the computer. You can then do the following to resolve the issue permanently:

PART 1
 • Uninstall the current software related to the path. Copy the installer file to your computer and install it from there.
  - or -
 • A more direct way is to find the registry key and give it the local path to the file.

PART 2
With the path corrected, run a 1-Time On-demand Full backup and the process will pick up the correct path and the job can complete.

CAUSE

The Microsoft VSS found a path in the registry that it believes it needs to follow to complete the backup process. However, that path is a UNC and cannot be assessed because it is an administrative share and not an openly shared directory or local path

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