VSS Error: 0x80042317: Failed to Create Volume Snapshot

This article describes the following error and suggests ways to resolve it

0x80042317: Failed to Create Volume Snapshot


Error 0x80042317 is a Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy error and indicates that there are too many snapshots on your system. We have two ways of taking a snapshot:

1. VSS, which is Microsoft's built in system for snap-shotting
2. pssnap, our own snapshot service (pssnap). 

Both are equally reliable methods of backing up a system. We default to using VSS, but if this does not work on your system and we can use pssnap instead we do. The backup will still complete successfully.


It is up to you whether you wish to pursue fixing the VSS issue. If you are only taking disk images with Reflect then you will not need the added features VSS provides for enterprise use, so I would not worry about it. However, if you wish to follow the KB article then it asks you to do the following:

  1. Open a Command Prompt as follows:.
    • For Windows XP and Server 2003: Click 'Start' > 'All Programs' > 'Accessories' > 'Command Prompt'.
    • For Vista/7/8 and Server 2008 and later Servers, follow steps from a.
                (Note: if at START screen in Windows 8, start at step b.)
      1. Press keyboard ‘Windows key’
      2. Type word 'command'
      3. Then right-click on ‘Command Prompt’
      4. From menu click 'Run as administrator' (in Windows 8, menu is at bottom of screen)
  2. In the command prompt, type the following:

            vssadmin delete shadows /all

        and press enter. This clears all previous snapshots from the system.
  3. Re-try your backup. You can always cancel this if you wish to try the next step.
  4. In the command prompt window (you may need to redo step 1 to restart it if you have closed it), type:

             chkdsk X: /r /f

    Replacing X with the drive letter that caused your error. This is usually C:. Press enter. This command  will check your filesystem for errors and will fix them if it can. It may not be able to do this whilst your PC is running and may ask you to reboot. When your PC restarts, the check process will then start.

    This may take a long time to complete.
  5. Once this process completes, retry the backup and VSS should be working.
So in summary: using pssnap is perfectly fine. However, you can optionally try to fix the VSS error following the steps above.

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Posted 17 Oct 2011 by jon.dittman@macrium.com