Backup for Files - Warning backing up file because it has been opened exclusively by another application

Written By Tami Sutcliffe (Super Administrator)

Updated at March 31st, 2021


The backup finishes with warnings. In the log viewer, you can see warnings similiar to the following:
INFO: Uploading file: C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\outlook.pst
WARN: 30000: Failed to read data block from file: Permission denied [The process cannot access the file because another process has locked a portion of the file.] [13 (0xD)] {eFS:ClieBackup:115}
INFO: Uploading file: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\ACT\ACT for Windows\Email\ActEmailMessageStore.mdf
WARN: 40002: Could not open the file or directory because it has been opened exclusively by another application. [32 (0x20) - C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\ACT\ACT for Windows\Email\ActEmailMessageStore.mdf] {eFS:ClieBackup:1570}

These messages indicate that another application, such as Outlook or ACT have opened a file for exclusive access, preventing other application from reading data from that file.

Normally the open file backup feature will work around exclusively opened files by using the point in time disk snapshot features built into windows (the volume shadow copy services). However, volume shadow copy (VSS) may have failed to initialize or you may have an operating system that does not support volume shadow copy.

You can determine whether volume shadow copy failed to initialize by looking at the messages at the top of the log file that start with VSS.


For users of Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003, or better:

Try each of the following steps in order until your problem is resolved.

  • Go to the Options page and click the Backup tab. Check that the Volume Shadow Copy option is set to Auto.
  • Examine the log file to determine if the volume shadow copy service failed:
    1. Go to the System Status page.
    2. Double click the log entry that finished with warnings (this will start the log viewer).
    3. Look for log entries that start with VSS. (Use Ctrl+F to find.)
    4. Look for a VSS error code. Error codes will start with VSS_E_
    5. Search the knowledge base for the VSS error code to find a resolution to the VSS error.
  • Obtain more detailed information about the failure and email the log file to technical support:
    1. Go to the Options page.
    2. Click the Backup tab.
    3. Change the Volume Shadow Copy Logging mode to Full.
    4. Click Save in the lower right hand corner.
    5. Go to the System Status page.
    6. Click Backup Now and wait for the backup to finish.
    7. Click the log entry that was created by the backup session.
    8. Click the Email button to email the log to technical support.
    9. Go to the Options page and change the Volume Shadow Copy Logging option back to Basic.
    10. Wait for further instructions from technical support.

For users of older versions of windows:

  • Close any applications that may have exclusively open files before the backup begins. If unsure what applications to close, try closing all applications (including windows explorer) before starting the backup. The warnings should not be generated and the files should be uploaded correctly.