Error: Microsoft Exchange Writer State “Failed” or “Timed Out”

When attempting to back up an Exchange database, the job may fail because the status of the Exchange Writer is failed.

Checking for the Issue:

– Open an Elevated Command Prompt (Start > CMD, Right Click and Choose “Run as Administrator”)
– Enter the command VSSadmin list writers
– Locate Microsoft Exchange Writer in the list

Writer name: ‘Microsoft Exchange Writer’
Writer Id: {76fe1ac4-15f7-4bcd-987e-8e1acb462fb7}
Writer Instance Id: {f0f3cdee-ffb6-454e-8b70-fec027358dda}
State: [9] Failed
Last error: Timed out

Automated Repair:

If your backup software allows you to run scripts before the backup job is executed, we can create a script to restart the needed services.

– Create a new folder called c:\Backup_Scripts\
– Open Notepad
– Create a script containing the following:

net stop MSExchangeIS
net stop VSS
net stop MSExchangeRepl

net start MSExchangeIS
net start VSS
net start MSExchangeRepl

– Save the script in the folder created above and name it ExchVssRepair.bat

Testing the Repair:

Check to be sure the Microsoft Exchange Writer is still showing a “failed” status using the command above.

– Right click on the newly created script and run as administrator
– Open an Elevated Command Prompt (Start > CMD, Right Click and Choose “Run as Administrator”)
– Enter the command VSSadmin list writers
– Check the status of the Microsoft Exchange Writer

Writer name: ‘Microsoft Exchange Writer’
Writer Id: {76fe1ac4-15f7-4bcd-987e-8e1acb462fb7}
Writer Instance Id: {e8a4c3b1-aa0b-42c4-9ca5-d97c5cb2f3fa}
State: [1] Stable
Last error: No error

If this resolved your issue, then set your backup software to run the script before the backup job starts.

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