Drive's partition table becomes corrupt generates error during backup with either Backup Exec System Recovery (BESR) or Symantec System Recovery (SSR)


If the drive's partition table has become corrupt attempting to create a recovery point set or independent backup generates one of the errors listed below and fails.

Error Message

Error EC8F03EA: Cannot create a virtual volume image of the selected drive. Error E0020002: Device \\?\SymantecSnapshot0 cannot be opened. Error EBAB03F1: The disk structure is corrupted and unreadable.


Error EC8F03EA: Cannot create a virtual volume image of the selected drive. Error E0020002: Device \\?\SymantecSnapshot0 cannot be opened. Access is Denied


Method 1: Check for Heavy Disk fragmentation or Disk errors

Use the Windows CHKDSK utility to do a thorough scan of the volume(s). Then use the Windows defrag utility to de-fragment the volumes. If the drives are severely fragmented, run the defrag several times. If Windows cannot de-fragment the volume(s) effectively because of a fragmented MFT, or a drive that is reaching capacity, etc., use a third-party de-fragmentation utility to run a boot-time defrag.
WARNING: Running  CHKDSK /r /f will make changes to the disk that may result in data lost please take adequate measure of backing up data from the disk before running this utility.
More information regarding CHKDSK can be found at:

Method 2: Backing up to the source drive with adequate free disk space.

Symantec Technical Support does not recommend the backup of a drive to itself; however, if the need to arise be sure that the source drive has more 20% free contiguous space available above the additional use space.
Example: A 500 GB drive, has 250GB of used space, even with compression,  would not be recommended to backup to itself; however if it had only 150 GB or less of use space then temporarily backing up to itself should work.
Method 3 : Check the vss writers
Check the "vssadmin list writers".
It may show "stable" state without the backup being run. Thus run the backup and check the status , the writers may go into a failed state.
NOTE: If any errors are found with a specific writer, contact the writer's corresponding application manufacturer technical support for further assistance.
For more information refer

Terms of use for this information are found in Legal Notices.



Did this article answer your question or resolve your issue?


Did this article save you the trouble of contacting technical support?


How can we make this article more helpful?

Email Address (Optional)