How to – disable specific VSS writers

It is possible to disable specific VSS writers with vSphere 4.0 and newer, in case of troubleshooting a VSS writer issue:

  • log on to the virtual machine’s windows operating system
  • open a command box and run: “vssadmin list writers
    You will now see the name and the state of all VSS writers…


  • now open or create a vmbackup.conf file which is located at “%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\VMware\VMware Tools”
    If the file does not exist please create it!
  • now place the VSS writers name(s) you want to disable in the vmbackup.conf file. Use a seperate line for every writer, eg:WDS VSS Writer
    Microsoft Exchange Writer
  • Now restart the VMware Tools service

If you want to enable the VSS Writer again, just delete the line in the vmbackup.conf file and restart the VMware Tools service.

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