NTFS 55 Errors on VolumeShadowCopy

A Windows 7 x64 workstation logged the following error at least once a day, apparently whenever a Volume Shadow Copy was requested, e.g. for a backup:

Log Name:      System
Source:        Ntfs
Event ID:      55
Task Category: (2)
Level:         Error
Keywords:      Classic
Description:    The file system structure on the disk is corrupt and unusable. Please run the chkdsk utility on the volume \Device\HarddiskVolumeShadowCopy11.

The number of the VolumeShadowCopy varied.

Running chkdsk c: /r did not solve the problem.

Somewhere I read that this might be related to corrupt data in the system restore area. I decided to ignore the errors for a while and see if the bad restore point rotated off the machine. However after two or three months, I was still getting these errors every day.

What Worked

Temporarily turning off System Protection before running a chkdsk seems to have fixed the error. Note that this means you will lose recent versions of your system so don’t do it if you’ve been making changes lately like installing updates or drivers. Here are the steps:

  1. In Windows Explorer, right-click on the computer and choose Properties.
  2. In the left pane, click on System Protection.
  3. Under Protection Settings, highlight the C: drive and click the Configure button.
  4. Under Restore Settings, choose the Turn off system protection radio button and click Apply. This took a few minutes.
  5. Under Disk Space Usage, click the Delete button to remove the restore points. Click Continue.
  6. Click OK to close the System Protection dialog.
  7. Open an administrative command prompt and run chkdsk c: /r. Type Y to have it run at the next restart, then restart your computer. This may also take awhile.
  8. After the restart, go back in to System Protection as above and re-enable the Restore Settings for the C: drive.

To see your chkdsk results, look in the Application event log for Wininit event 1001. (I blogged about this here.)

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