Shadow copies are deleted on Windows Server 2008 R2 when you try to run an FCI classification job


On a server that is running Windows Server 2008 R2, you have a volume on which you have enabled shadow copies through a Volume Shadow Copy (VSS) provider. On this volume, you run a File Classification Infrastructure (FCI) classification job. However, the classification job does not finish, and older shadow copies are deleted faster than expected from the shadow copies storage area. This may result in all shadow copies being deleted from the volume. Additionally, multiple entries that resemble the following may be logged in the System log:

The oldest shadow copy of volume Volume_Letter: was deleted to keep disk space usage for shadow copies of volume Volume_Letter: below the user defined limit.
Also, entries that resemble the following are logged in the FSRM log:

Warning DD/MM/YYYYhh:mm:ss AM_PM SRMSVC 12310 None

Shadow copy '\\?\GLOBALROOT\Device\HarddiskVolumeShadowCopy_File_Name' was deleted during storage report generation. Volume 'Volume_Letter:' might be configured with inadequate shadow copy storage area. Storage reports may be temporarily unavailable for this volume.
Additionally, if you run an FSRM storage report, you receive the following error message:
Error: RunFileQueries, 0x8004532c, A volume shadow copy could not be created or was unexpectedly deleted.

File Server Resource Manager encountered an unexpected error during volume scan of volumes mounted at '\\?\Volume{Volume_PID}\' ('Volume_Letter:'). To find out more information about the root cause for this error please consult the Application/System event log for other FSRM, VSS or VOLSNAP errors related with these volumes. Also, you might want to make sure that you can create shadow copies on these volumes by using the VSSADMIN command like this: VSSADMIN CREATE SHADOW /For=Volume_Letter:

Error generating report job with the task name 'Task_name'.
After you receive this error message, you find that the following error message is logged in the System log:
Exception encountered = Catastrophic failure (Exception from HRESULT: 0x8000FFFF (E_UNEXPECTED))


This issue occurs because the FCI classification process stores properties in each file that is classified. This behavior changes the file on the volume that has shadow copies enabled. These changes are tracked by the VSS provider and are then stored in the shadow copies storage area. When a property is stored in a text file, only a few kilobytes (KB) of data is written. However, when properties are stored in an Office file, the whole Office file is rewritten. This behavior exhausts the VSS storage space much faster.

If the Maximum Shadow Copy Storage Space size allocation is insufficient to store all these changes, VSS automatically deletes the oldest shadow copies first. If a large block of files is classified, this process can fail and at the same time delete all the old shadow copies from the storage area. This is especially true when you perform a full classification on a volume for the first time. This action is very likely to generate lots of changes on that volume.


To resolve this issue, use one of the following methods:

Increase storage area size

Before you run a full classification of a volume for the first time, increase the maximum storage area size. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Startthe Start button , click All Programs, click Accessories, and then right-click Command Prompt.
  2. Click Run as administrator.

    User Access Control permission If you are prompted for an administrator password, type the password. If you are prompted for confirmation, click Continue.
  3. At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    vssadmin list shadowstorage /for=Volume_Letter:
  4. Note the Maximum Shadow Copy Storage Space value.
  5. At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    vssadmin resize shadowstorage /for=Volume_Letter: /on=Volume_Letter: /maxsize=Storage_Sizemb
    Where the placeholder, Storage_Size, is a value that is at least double the value that you noted in step 4.
  6. Close the Command Prompt window.

Incremental classification

When you perform a classification for the first time, classify only one namespace at a time. Do not classify all the namespaces in the same classification job.

Disable Shadow Copies

You can disable shadow copies on the volume. We do not recommend that you disable shadow copies on the volume. Only use this method if you cannot allocate more storage for shadow copies and the incremental classification method still exceeds the storage area allocation.

To disable shadow copies for a volume, follow these steps:
  1. Click Startthe Start button , point to Administrative Tools, and then click Share and Storage Management.
  2. In the details pane, click the Volumes tab.
  3. Right-click the volume for which you want to disable shadow copies, and then click Properties.
  4. In the Volume_Name Properties dialog box, click the Shadow Copies tab.
  5. Click Disable, and then click Yes.