Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Solved: Error Snapshotting Volumes (DISK2VHD)

Windows XP
I encountered the error "Error Snapshotting Volumes" while using the DISK2VHD tool to virtualize an old XP dev environment. The error is DISK2VHD's own description of an error that occurs with the shadow copy features of XP. This error is not confined to the DISK2VHD tool, and may occur with anything that relies on the usage of the shadow copy features. Most often, these tools are backup programs.

Fortunately, this is quite a well defined problem and Microsoft has a knowledge base article detailing the cause and resolution. The article goes into more depth about the symptoms and cause of the problem and does not actually mention the error message that I received from DISK2VHD, but it is in fact the root cause of the  error and the resolution steps discussed solved my error on the first attempt.

Here is the chewed version from the knowledge base article:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
  3. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\ContentIndex\Catalogs
  4. Click the registry subkey for each program that is listed under the Catalogs registry subkey. For each registry subkey, verify whether the Location registry entry exists.
  5. If the Location registry entry is missing for a selected program, verify whether the program is still installed.
  6. If the program is not installed, right-click the registry subkey for the program under the Catalogs subkey, and then clickDelete. If the program is installed, correct the location information.
  7. Restart the computer, and then use Windows Backup Utility to test this problem.
In my case, it was Visio that was previously uninstalled, but still had a registry entry that was running amok with my virtualization task. Simply removing the rogue registry entry got me on my way again and finally I have the dev environment virtualized.