Backup task fails with a time-out error in Windows

Applies to: Windows Server 2012 R2 DatacenterWindows Server 2012 R2 StandardWindows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

This article describes an issue that occurs when you perform a backup task in Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1), or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. A hotfix is available to resolve this issue. The hotfix has a prerequisite.


Assume that you run a backup requester application to perform a backup task on the computer.

In this scenario, the backup task fails, and you may receive the following error message that states the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) failed because of a time-out:


The issue occurs because the VSS encounters a deadlock during the Thaw eventif the Security Account Manager (SAM) has pending writes for the registry.


To resolve this issue, we have released a hotfix for Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2, and we have released an update rollup for Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, or Windows Server 2012.

Note This hotfix or update rollup makes sure that VSS avoids calling the APIs that result in registry VSS writes during the Thaw event.

Get the update rollup for Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012

To resolve this issue, install the update rollup that is dated December 2014 or November 2014.

Get the hotfix for Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, or Windows Server 2008 R2

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix Download Available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, submit a request to Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft website: Note The "Hotfix Download Available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.


To apply this update, you must have Service Pack 1 installed in Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

Registry information

To use the hotfix in this package, you do not have to make any changes to the registry.

Restart requirement

You may have to restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace a previously released hotfix.

More Information

For more information about the Thaw event

See the Thaw event.


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


See the terminology that Microsoft uses to describe software updates.