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Oracle database backup fails with event ID 44

Challenge

Veeam Backup & Replication or Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows jobs with Application-Aware Processing fail to process a Windows guest with Oracle database installed.

The following sympthoms are observed.

• The job fails with this or a similar error:

Creating VSS snapshot Error: Failed to create snapshot: Backup job failed.
Cannot create a shadow copy of the volumes containing writer's data.
A VSS critical writer has failed. Writer name: [Oracle VSS Writer - ORCL]. Class ID: [{26d02976-b909-43ad-af7e-62a4f625e372}].
Instance ID: [{f58dfa7d-06fa-485c-87fb-29649223a590}]. Writer's state: [VSS_WS_FAILED_AT_PREPARE_BACKUP]. Error code: [0x800423f4].
• At the same time, you observe a critical event with EventID 44 in the "Application" windows event log on the machine
Log Name: Application
Source: Oracle.VSSWriter.ORCL
Date:  5/30/2018 5:04:03 AM
Event ID: 44
Task Category: (255)
Level: Error
Keywords: Classic
User: N/A
Computer: DB.VEEAM.LOCAL
Description:
VSS-00044: Database in NOARCHIVELOG mode must be in a consistent state for backup.  
 Cause : The database was open read/write or mounted after a SHUTDOWN IMMEDIATE or SHUTDOWN ABORT.  
 Action : Either mount the database in a consistent state or open it read-only to back up the database files.
Creating VSS snapshot Error: Failed to create snapshot: Backup job failed.
Cannot create a shadow copy of the volumes containing writer's data.
A VSS critical writer has failed. Writer name: [Oracle VSS Writer - ORCL]. Class ID: [{26d02976-b909-43ad-af7e-62a4f625e372}].
Instance ID: [{f58dfa7d-06fa-485c-87fb-29649223a590}]. Writer's state: [VSS_WS_FAILED_AT_PREPARE_BACKUP]. Error 

Cause

This error appears only for databases operating in NOARCHIVELOG mode. A database operating in NOARCHIVELOG mode cannot be backed up when it’s in an inconsistent state.

The Oracle VSS Writer detects the state of the database prior to creating a shadow copy, and refuse the shadow copy if the database is in inconsistent state.

 

Solution

This VSS failure is triggered by Oracle VSS Writer component.

If the database needs to be kept in NOARCHIVELOG mode, there is no proper fix from the Veeam configuration side, as this component is provided by Oracle and does its own checks before database processing. To properly resolve this issue a database administrator would need to return the batabase to a consistent state.

Alternatively, the database could be switched to enable ARCHIVELOG mode.

More information

Workaround
There is a workaround to skip this Oracle VSS Writer failure.
However Please note that doing so you accept all liability and affirm that you are using a different method to backup and protect the databases.

The following workaround can be applied:

  1. Ask your DBA to remove Oracle VSS Writer which is responsible for this Oracle database.
  2. Instruct Veeam to stop processing Oracle information in this guest machine. On the guest machine, add a REG_DWORD with the name DisableOracleProcessing and a value of 1.
    • For guests backed up by Veeam Backup & Replication, add the key to ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Veeam\Veeam Backup and Replication’.
    • For guests backed up by Veeam Agent for Windows, add the key to ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Veeam\Veeam Endpoint Backup’ and restart Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows service on that guest.

 

Using this workaround will skip this Oracle VSS Writer failure.

However, please note the following restrictions:

  • Your database files for this particular Oracle SID will be still in an inconsistent state and may be unrecoverable.
  • Database properties will not be collected for any database on this server, as a result no Oracle archived redo log backup or database restore using Veeam Explorer for Oracle is possible.
  • If any other database doesn’t have a VSS writer installed, database files for such databases may be in a crash-consistent state too.

Doing this you confirm that such databases are being backed up by a different or native RMAN solution. It’s important to keep databases in a consistent state in order to be able to restore them. You can choose to refer this task to your DBA or to Oracle support if necessary.
 

KB ID:
2686
Product:
Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows, Veeam Backup & Replication
Published:
2018-07-12
Last Modified:
2021-01-22
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