By AOMEI / Last Updated January 5, 2021

The Problem: VSS insufficient storage error

“My team has created a schedule VSS backup in Windows Server 2012 Standard. Everything was working fine last week, but now I receive the VSS error, saying, “Detailed error: ERROR - A Volume Shadow Copy Service operation error has occurred: Insufficient storage available to create either the shadow copy storage file or other shadow copy data. (0x8004231f)”. How to solve this error? Please help me. “

The Reasons for VSS error

This article is to solve VSS error with error code 0x8004231f. Before that, you need to get why do you receive this error. Here are possible reasons listed in the following.

1. This problem is usually caused by insufficient storage on the related partitions including the System Reserved Partition. You may have made some restore points which create snapshots stored on a partition of the disk and consuming disk space.

2. The defined maximum size of the Volume Shadow Copy is smaller than needed size to complete the shadow copy may also behind this error. 15%-20% free space is required for the volume you use frequently and at least 42 MB free on the system reserved partition is recommended.

3. Allocating a drive letter to the Microsoft System Reserved (MSR) partition, which is required to boot Windows, or OEM utility partition, which only exists on some computers, can also lead to VSS failure.

Tested 3 Solutions to VSS failure

I suggest you check the above first and follow the corresponding solutions to solve it.

Solution 1. Delete Shadows using vssadmin

If there is no sufficient storage on the related partition, you can either delete shadows to get more space, or extend partition. To delete all VSS snapshots on your computer, you can use the vssadmin command. The command to delete shadows:

vssadmin delete shadows /for= [/oldest | /all | /shadow=] [/quiet]

  • To delete all VSS snapshots, you can use the command "vssadmin delete shadows /all" to.

  • If you don’t want to delete them all, you can run the command "vssadmin list shadows" to display a list of snapshots. Then you can delete some specific snapshots by its ID or volume. For example, to delete the oldest snapshots on C drive, you can type “vssadmin delete shadows /for=C: /oldest”

Solution 2. Allocate space using vssadmin

If the related partition has sufficient disk space but the defined maximum size of the Volume Shadow Copy is too small, you can allocate more storage using command.

See the defined maximum size of the Volume Shadow Copy with the following comman:

Vssadmin list shadowstorage

Vssadmin resize shadowstorage command:

vssadmin resize shadowstorage /for= /on= [/maxsize=]

If you want to allocate more 60GB, you can run the following command:

vssadmin resize shadowstorage /For=C: /On=C: /maxsize=60GB


  • Actually the Maxsize does not have to be a specific number, you can also set it as /maxsize=UNBOUNDED

  • If the vssadmin resize shadowstorage command is not working, you can still try “vssadmin add shadowstorage /For=C: /On=C: /maxsize=60GB

Solution 3. Remove drive letter for MSR or OEM partition

If the MSR or OEM partition has a drive letter, you can remove the drive letter from the partition. The detailed steps: type diskmgmt.msc in the Run window, right-click the specific partition and choose Change drive letter and paths, then click Remove >Yes> OK.

Besides, some users will receive other similar error message, like” There is insufficient storage space on the VSS snapshot volume(s) to take a snapshot. Try to free up disk space, or modify the HKLM\\System\\CurrentControlSet\\Services\\VolSnap\\MinDiffAreaFileSize registry setting to a smaller number.” This is because your computer has a 750 MB SPR partition. To solve this problem, you can resize the SPR partition, either below 680MB or above 1GB.

Create a VSS backup using AOMEI Backup Service

As we all know, VSS is a powerful function of Windows, but its errors may drive people mad, such as, a shadow copy could not be created, VSS waiting for completion, etc. Fortunately, here is a trust and reliable backup software embedded with built-in VSS technology-it’s AOMEI Backupper Server. It can help you create live backup without any obstacle.

  • And it supports all the sever-based operating system, including Server 2003, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019 and its R2 version. If you are using Windows 7/8/10, you can use AOMEI Backupper Professional.

  • It can avoid VSS error caused by Microsoft VSS service.

  • It can help you create all the basic backup task, such as, System Backup, Disk Backup, File Backup, etc.

  • Besides, you still can enjoy more useful features, such as, Daily Backup, USB plug in, Incremental or Differential Backup, Backup Scheme, etc. These features can help you create a scheduled backup without human intervention, save time and disk space, or get rid of the potential problems, for instance, backup disk full.

Detailed steps to create a VSS backup without any problem

1. Download AOMEI Backupper Server, install and launch it. Then, click System Backup under the Backup tab.

Download Free Trial Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
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To create other backup, you can choose Disk Backup, File Backup, Partition Backup in the given picture below.

System Backup

2. Click where the arrow points and select a path for your backup. You can backup to flash drive, external hard drive, network drive, CD etc.

Select Backup Destination

3. Click Options and select Backup Mode, then Choose "Use AOMEI Backup" Service under the Backup Service.

Use AOMEI Backup

Note: Besides, you still can other settings, such as, encryption, compression, daily, weekly, etc. To save time and disk space, you could consider using Differential Backup, Backup Scheme, etc.

4. Click "Start Backup” if there is no problem. Wait for final result and click “Finish”.

Create VSS Backup

Now, you get a VSS backup create by AOMEI Backupper. You can use it to restore your computer, even with different hardware.

Wrapping things up

The above solutions are for IT technology or users who are familiar with command prompt. If you think it’s too complicated and do not want to go through the whole process, here is another simple way by using backup software - AOMEI Backupper Server, which has its own technology to perform live backups instead of using Microsoft VSS.

AOMEI Backup Service is a useful feature for users who have VSS insufficient storage error. But it can only be used on several computers. If you have multiple computers, you could consider upgrading to AOMEI Backupper Tech or TechPlus edition.