VSS backup fails due to invalid characters in partition names

I was attempting to set up a simple Veeam backup agent on a standalone Windows PC when the installer hung on ‘detecting external devices’. Cancelling the search showed the software was fully installed but when I tried to create a new job it produced an error dialogue ‘Failed to parse shadow volumes layout XML..”

The reason for the errors/issue is that the PC in question had, at some point in its past, had its disk cloned using one of the EaseUs backup/cloning products. Apparently this software creates invalid partition names during the process – and has done for years – and you can see these in the original error dialogue. This issue isn’t exclusive to Veeam, it will also affect any system that relies on VSS for backups/imaging. There isn’t (that I know of) a native method within Windows to rectify this, you need a 3rd party tool.

Search for ‘GPT fdisk utility’ on Sourceforge, download and extract it.
Open an administrative command prompt and cd to the extract folder, run the relevant .exe

The help within the utility is limited to say the least, but you first need to select the drive you want to examine/edit. Assuming you just have the one drive in the system (numbering starts at 0) enter:


This will activate the disk and give an indication of how many partitions are present. You can inspect the information for each partition by entering i followed by the number, for example (for partition #1):

i 1

If the Name field contains garbage or odd characters you can simply rename it by entering (for example for partition #1):

c 1

Followed by the new name – keep it simple, e.g. Basic partition. When you have made all the changes you require, you need to write the changes back to the tables by entering:


Confirm you wish to continue and your backup should now be configurable and/or run correctly.

Thanks to ‘scrambler’ on the Acer forums for doing the legwork and the info on the utility.

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