Article ID: 2903768 - View products that this article applies to.
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Assume that you create a backup of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 by using a third-party product or Windows Server Backup. When you try to restore an Exchange database by using the backup, the restore operation fails. Additionally, the following event is logged in the Application log:

Log Name: Application
Source: MSExchangeRepl
Date: Date
Event ID: 4356
Task Category: Exchange VSS Writer
Level: Error
Keywords: Classic
User: N/A
Exchange Replication Service VSS Writer failed restoring a backup failed 'DatabaseName' because an unexpected error (-2147023286) was encountered while attempting to locate existing log files in the log file directory 'LogFilePath'.


This is a known issue in versions of Exchange Server 2013 that are earlier than Cumulative Update 3. This issue occurs because the LOG_SIGNATURE_ID and LOG_SIGNATURE_TIMESTAMP elements in the Backup Components Document have a value of 0 in the backup stage. However, the Exchange VSS writer prohibits restoring data in this state.


The resolution of this issue depends on the capabilities of your backup solution. Please contact Microsoft Support for more help. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Support Services telephone numbers and information about support costs, go to the following Microsoft website:
Microsoft Support
Note In special cases, charges that are ordinarily incurred for support calls may be canceled if a Microsoft Support Professional determines that a specific update will resolve your problem. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for the specific update in question.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

More information

In Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 3 and later versions, the Exchange VSS writer makes sure that the LOG_SIGNATURE_ID and LOG_SIGNATURE_TIMESTAMP elements are valid in the backup stage.  Therefore, restoring the backup set will not cause the issue that is described in this article. 
For more information about Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 3, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
2892464 Description of Cumulative Update 3 for Exchange Server 2013

For more information about how to use Windows Server Backup to back up and restore Exchange data, go to the following Microsoft website:
How to use Windows Server Backup to back up and restore Exchange data
For more information about Exchange VSS writers, go to the following Microsoft website:
General information about Exchange VSS writers


Article ID: 2903768 - Last Review: December 5, 2013 - Revision: 2.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Enterprise
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Standard
kbqfe kbfix kbexpertiseinter kbsurveynew KB2903768

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