Top 3 Solutions to VSS Insufficient Storage Error

Many users may have encountered the VSS insufficient storage error to create either the shadow copy storage file or other shadow copy data when using Windows Backup and Restore or other software. This article will show you how to fix this VSS error.


By Delia Updated on October 19, 2022

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The Problem: VSS Insufficient Storage


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 0x8004231f

This article aims to solve VSS error 0x8004231f on Windows 11, 10, 8, etc. or Windows Server 2022, 2019, 2016, 2012, etc. But first of all, you may need to know why do you receive this error. Here are some possible reasons:

Reason 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 on a partition and consume disk space.

Reason 2: The defined maximum size of the Volume Shadow Copy is smaller than the needed size to complete the shadow copy may also be 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.

maximum shadow copy storage space

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

3 Proven Solutions to VSS failure

When VSS backup fails and prompts you insufficient storage available to create either the shadow copy storage file or other shadow copy data, how to solve it? Here I suggest you check whether the problem is caused by the above-mentioned reasons first, and then try the corresponding solutions.

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" .

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”

Vssadmin Delete Shadows 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 command:

vssadmin list shadowstorage

Vssadmin resize shadowstorage command:

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

If you want to allocate more 900MB, you can run the following command:

vssadmin resize shadowstorage /For=C: /On=C: /maxsize=900MB

Vssadmin Resize Shadow Storage


  • 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=900MB

Solution 3. Remove drive letter from 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.

Change Drive Letter and Paths

Besides, some users may receive a similar error message:


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, there is a reliable backup software embedded with built-in VSS technology - AOMEI Backupper. It can help you create live backup without any obstacle.

It have different editions for different user groups. If you are using Windows 7/8/10/11, try AOMEI Backupper Professional. If you are running Server 2003, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019, 2022 (and its R2 version), you can use AOMEI Backupper Server that supports all the sever-based OS.
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.
You can enjoy more useful features, such as Scheduled Backup (daily, weekly, monthly, event-triggers, USB plug in), Incremental or Differential Backup (save time and space), Automatic Backup Cleanup (avoid backup disk full), etc.

You can simply hit the button below to download the 30-day free trial:

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP
Secure Download

*If you want to try the Server edition out, please click here to download it.

How to create a VSS backup step by step without any problem

1. Install AOMEI Backupper and launch the main interface. Then, click System Backup under the Backup tab.

System Backup

Note: To create other backup, you can choose Disk Backup, File Backup, Partition Backup in the given picture above.

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" instead of Microsoft VSS under the Backup Service.

Use AOMEI Backup Service

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 restore to different hardware. If you want to restore an image file without booting Windows, you may create recovery environment with AOMEI Backupper in advance.

Wrapping things up

The above solutions help you to solve the VSS error that insufficient storage available to create shadow copy. If you find them too complicated and do not want to go through the whole process, here is another simple way by using backup software - AOMEI Backupper, which has its own VSS 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. If you have multiple machines, you could upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Tech or TechPlus edition, both will be a better choice.

Delia · Editor
Delia owns extensive experience in writing technology-related blog posts, and has been a part of AOMEI since 2020 to provide expertise in data security and disaster recovery. She works with Windows operating systems, SQL databases, and virtualization platforms such as VMware and Hyper-V, specializing in troubleshooting and advising on data protection and migration.