"Error 0x8000ffff: Catastrophic failure" when you try to change Shadow Copy settings for a drive in Windows Server 2008

Applies to: Windows Server 2008 DatacenterWindows Server 2008 EnterpriseWindows Server 2008 Enterprise without Hyper-V


Consider the following scenario:
  • In Windows Server 2008, you open Windows Explorer, you right-click a drive, and then you click Properties.
  • On the Shadow Copies tab, you select a drive letter and then click the Settings button.
In this scenario, you receive the following error message:

Failed to initialize the Settings dialog for volume O:\

Error 0x8000ffff: Catastrophic failure

Additionally, the following event is logged in the Application log:
Log Name: Application
Source: VSS
Event ID: 12311
Task Category: None
Level: Error
Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Unexpected error pResource->get_Disk(&pDisk): hr = 0x80070490.


This problem occurs if there are disk resources in the failover cluster that don't have a physical disk resource associated with them. This behavior may occur if you take a disk resource offline and remove the associated disk from the server, but you don't delete the disk resource in the failover cluster.


In the failover cluster, delete the disk resource that no longer has a physical disk associated with it.