Hyper-V VM Stuck In Backing Up… State

In this post I’ll show how to resolve the issue of a VM that’s stuck in the “backing up…” state as shown by Hyper-V Manager, without having to reboot the virtual host.

BackingUp0

 

If a VM is stuck in the backing up… state it’s probably due to an error with the Microsoft Hyper-V VSS Writer.  Open an elevated command prompt and run “vssadmin list writers”.  The output should look like it does below, with no errors listed.

BackingUp1

 

The Microsoft Hyper-V VSS Writer runs within the Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management service, so in order to restart the VSS writer and clear the error, you have to restart the Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management service.  I’ve restarted this service without any issues, but please test this on a test server first.

BackingUp2

You can restart the service from the Services mmc, but if the Hyper-V VSS Writer is in an error state the service may hang on shutdown, in this case you’ll have to kill the vmms.exe process from Task Manager.

BackingUp3

When you do this VMs will disappear from Hyper-V Manager, but will reappear when you restart the Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management service.  Following the service restart the VM should no longer by in a backing up… state.

 

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16 thoughts on “Hyper-V VM Stuck In Backing Up… State

  1. Anestis Psomas

    Hello !! I found your great article through google . Do you know if there is a downtime for the virtual machines running on the host if i kill the vmms service ?

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Ibrahim

      Man your article saved my day. within minutes I was able to get my VM running back again, thank you very much for sparing so much of your time to post everything in detail

      Reply
  2. Phil C.

    Did you test restarting the Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management service in a Cluster? Will the VMs try to fail over when the service is restarted?

    Reply
    1. richardstk Post author

      Yes I’ve done this on a cluster and the VMs don’t fail over. When you restart the service the VMs disappear from Hyper-V Manager on the node where you restart the service. When the service has re-started they reappear.

      Reply
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  5. markkellermeyer

    I never saw what you saw in the command prompt. Mine Says, after the intro text:

    “Waiting for responses.
    These may be delayed if a shadow copy is being prepared.”

    Trying to kill the vmms process gets it stuck “Stopping”. Killing the process and restarting it in Task Manager doesn’t work, the mmc plugin fails to load.

    Reply
  6. Chris

    I just had the issue this morning. Windows Server 2012.

    I even tried using taskkill running as Administrator. It will not let you stop the vmms.exe process even after the command to stop the service times out.

    Stopping the service just makes the MMC non functional, which is worse because now you don’t even know if the VMs have come out of the “Backing Up…” state.

    Reply
    1. CaedenV

      Getting the same issue and then have to restart the host to get everything back… and still stuck in a backup state.
      This is a rather annoying issue as it is preventing our backups from running :/

      Reply
  7. Daniel Cristian Aragão Paula

    Thank you so much,

        This article solved my problem with the Hyper-V

    Reply
  8. John

    This works on one of my Hyper-v hosts, but on the other when I try to kill vmms.exe, I get “Access Denied.”

    Reply

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