Error: Backup failed because the agent was unable to access a necessary file path on the protected system



When you try to start a backup for a system protected by the ShadowSnap agent, you receive the error message, "Backup failed because the agent was unable to access a necessary file path on the protected system."

In legacy versions of the Datto IRIS environment, this error message was "Final Error: #2 The System Cannot Find The File Specified."


  • ShadowSnap Agent


  • A common cause for this error is a damaged disk on the protected machine, or bad sectors on the physical-layer of a protected volume.
  • It can also indicate a corrupted ShadowProtect installation or conflicting ShadowProtect installs (Previous versions, Server, Desktop, non-MSP installs)
  • There is insufficient space in shadow storage to use the VSS snapshot during the ShadowProtect backup process. For additional information about troubleshooting Shadow Storage issues, review this StorageCraft Knowledge Base article (external link).


  1. Set Share Compatibility Mode from the advanced options tab on the agent, and ensure there is a public DNS entry in the Networking tab.
  2. Check the agent version running on the production machine, and update it if necessary.
  3. Make sure that no previous versions of the software have been installed and no ShadowProtect backup jobs are being run.
  4. Check Device Manager for any abandoned 'StorageCraft Snapshot' devices. These may be listed under 'Other devices' or 'System devices' and may require enabling 'Show hidden devices'. If they are grayed out, right click on the item and then choose Uninstall.
  5. Force a differential merge from the Advanced section under the Configure Agent Settings page.
  6. Run a chkdsk /r to fix and repair any bad disk sectors on the target server.

Advanced Solution

If all of the previous steps have failed, you can try an advanced solution.

This involves editing the Windows registry, so proceed with extreme caution.
  • Go to the Windows menu, and type regedit into the search bar.
  • In the Registry Editor, click the File menu, and click Export...
  • Save a backup of your registry.
  • Next, navigate to this key:

Delete the folders inside of this key, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Delete STC snapshot keys (click to enlarge)

If you receive a permissions error, try the following procedure:

  1. Download PsExec from
  2. From the command line in the same directory as psexec.exe, run the following command:
    psexec.exe -hsi regedit.exe
  3. Again, try to remove this key:

Repair agent communications with the protected system, and attempt the backup again.

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