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Using Attix5 with Hyper-V guests featuring Snapshots

Article ID: 310
Last updated: 30 Mar, 2015

Background

Hyper-V, like other virtualisation technologies, allows users to take snapshots of machine states at a point in time, primarily to allow for a rollback of application or operating system changes.

Attix5 Pro can be used to back up Hyper-V guests using the VSS plugin.

Details of this can be found in the SE plug-ins user manual.

Symptom

If Hyper-V guest machines feature Snapshots when they are backed up, the VSS restore process can fail.

For Example:

Message: 15:36:58 [VSS Plug-in] Performing VSS restore using C:\Users\Administrator\Restore as root
Message: 15:37:00 [VSS Plug-in] Component 520A3131-2B86-47B1-808D-19AE436F5182 selected for restore
Message: 15:37:00 Restoring files for component 520A3131-2B86-47B1-808D-19AE436F5182 (Backup Using Saved State\WinXP)
Message: 15:37:00 Moving C:\Users\Administrator\Restore\C_\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Virtual Machines\520A3131-2B86-47B1-808D-19AE436F5182.xml to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Virtual Machines\520A3131-2B86-47B1-808D-19AE436F5182.xml
Message: 15:37:01 Moving C:\Users\Administrator\Restore\C_\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Virtual Machines\520A3131-2B86-47B1-808D-19AE436F5182\520A3131-2B86-47B1-808D-19AE436F5182.bin to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Virtual Machines\520A3131-2B86-47B1-808D-19AE436F5182\520A3131-2B86-47B1-808D-19AE436F5182.bin
Message: 15:37:01 Moving C:\Users\Administrator\Restore\C_\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Virtual Machines\520A3131-2B86-47B1-808D-19AE436F5182\520A3131-2B86-47B1-808D-19AE436F5182.vsv to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Virtual Machines\520A3131-2B86-47B1-808D-19AE436F5182\520A3131-2B86-47B1-808D-19AE436F5182.vsv
Message: 15:37:01 Moving C:\Users\Administrator\Restore\C_\Users\Public\Documents\Hyper-V\Virtual Hard Disks\WinXP_30C38A2A-1DD8-4E3B-A01B-26369BBF14B5.avhdx to C:\Users\Public\Documents\Hyper-V\Virtual Hard Disks\WinXP_30C38A2A-1DD8-4E3B-A01B-26369BBF14B5.avhdx
Message: 15:37:01 Moving C:\Users\Administrator\Restore\C_\Users\Public\Documents\Hyper-V\Virtual Hard Disks\WinXP.vhdx to C:\Users\Public\Documents\Hyper-V\Virtual Hard Disks\WinXP.vhdx
Message: 15:37:01 Moving C:\Users\Administrator\Restore\C_\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Snapshots\6ABC6BD7-A746-4C79-BDC5-C29064FC1811.xml to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Snapshots\6ABC6BD7-A746-4C79-BDC5-C29064FC1811.xml
Message: 15:37:01 Moving C:\Users\Administrator\Restore\C_\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Snapshots\6ABC6BD7-A746-4C79-BDC5-C29064FC1811\6ABC6BD7-A746-4C79-BDC5-C29064FC1811.bin to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Snapshots\6ABC6BD7-A746-4C79-BDC5-C29064FC1811\6ABC6BD7-A746-4C79-BDC5-C29064FC1811.bin
Message: 15:37:01 Moving C:\Users\Administrator\Restore\C_\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Snapshots\6ABC6BD7-A746-4C79-BDC5-C29064FC1811\6ABC6BD7-A746-4C79-BDC5-C29064FC1811.vsv to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Snapshots\6ABC6BD7-A746-4C79-BDC5-C29064FC1811\6ABC6BD7-A746-4C79-BDC5-C29064FC1811.vsv
Error: 15:37:01 [VSS Plug-in] A writer participating in the restore reported an error: Microsoft Hyper-V VSS Writer,Failed at post-restore,Non retryable error
Error: 15:37:01 [VSS Plug-in] The restore for this writer failed
Message: 15:37:01 [VSS Plug-in] VSS Restore done

Cause

The Attix5 VSS writer does not currently interpret snapshot files correctly, and does not restore them to disk.

Solution

To restore the Hyper-V guest with all snapshots:

  1. Expand the appropriate guest ID. Select all the files underneath the guest virtual machine ID, but not the guest virtual machine ID itself.
  2. This will perform a “file only” restore as described in FAQ 273 (http://faq.attix5.com/index.php?View=entry&EntryID=273)
    Note: 520A3131-2B86-47B1-808D-19AE435F5182 is the virtual machine ID and each instance of “Files” is selected for restore.
  3. Restore the files to an alternate location, and wait for the files to be restored to disk.
  4. The “Import Virtual Machine” wizard can be used to import the VM into Hyper-V manager, but if you have used the default paths, you may need to move the files to match the following structure:
    For example, the backup files were all located in the default paths - 
    • Virtual Machine:
      C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Virtual Machines
    • Virtual Machine Snapshots:
      C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Snapshots
    • Virtual Machine Hard Disks:
      C:\Users\Public\Documents\Hyper-V\Virtual Hard Disks

    Note:

    • All of the subdirectories in bold need to reside in the same parent directory for an import to work.
    • The restores have recreated the directory structure, and can therefore be found in:
      • C:\Restore\C_\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Virtual Machines
      • C:\Restore\C_\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Snapshots
      • C:\Restore\C_\Users\Public\Documents\Hyper-V\Virtual Hard Disks
  1. To get everything into the same directory, we can move “Virtual Hard Disks” from “C:\Restore\C_\Users\Public\Documents\Hyper-V” to “C:\Restore\C_\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\”.

    This is the simplest method in our example, but it is entirely up to the user as to how this is achieved.
  2. When the files are all in the correct folder layout, launch the “Import Virtual Machine” wizard from within the Hyper-V Manager.
  3. Locate the “Virtual Machines” folder, and click Next to select the Virtual Machine for import.
  4. Choose your Virtual Machine and click Next.
  5. On the next page, Choose Import Type - either “Restore the virtual machine” or “Copy the virtual machine” are recommended as they will copy data to the destination location, and not just register the machine from the temporary restore path.
  6. Select the destination path and storage folders (the defaults will use the same paths as mentioned above), and click Finish on the summary page.

The virtual machine will then be imported, complete with snapshots.

Article ID: 310
Last updated: 30 Mar, 2015
Revision: 2
Views: 2666
Comments: 0
Posted: 25 Mar, 2015 by Flood A.
Updated: 30 Mar, 2015 by Du Plessis S.
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