SQL Writer Error – ‘sysdatabases in SQL server instance is empty.’

You might have noticed an error in the application log for some server with in your environment which says sysdatabases in SQL server instance <Instance Name> is empty.



This is a SQLWriter error when we have a VSS based backup solution implemented.The backup solution is using SQL Server VSS Writer Service to connect to SQL and this account doesn’t have sysadmin rights or not part of logins.In most of the cases SQL Server VSS Writer Service will be running on Local System account.

Solution to clear the error message


We have to add back NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM if it was removed and grant sysadmin rights incase Writer Service is using Local System account.

I am curious to understand if any one of you are facing this issue.


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