SQL Backup task failed. Error message – SQL Writer not found

In my Virtual Environment the ConfigMgr database has been happily living on another Windows Server 2008 R2 / SQL 2008 R2 server seperate from the ConfigMgr 2008 R2 Site Server and has previously succeeded in performing a site backup.  However today, when I thought I’d perform another backup manually I was greeted with a failure message in the smsbkup.log related to “SQL Writer not found.”

Nothing had changed in my Virtual environment other than the application of SQL 2008 R2 Cumulative Update 4 – which was applied as a possible fix for a SQL Reporting Services error I kept getting.  A quick googling didn’t reveal any decent answer except to give the SYSTEM account SYSADMIN permissions on the SQL Server 2008 server – which whilst not ideal, seems to work for the time being and I can suffer it in a non-production environment.

If you are thinking of applying SQL 2008 R2 CU4, then please test your ConfigMgr backup routine before and after and let me know if this is the culprit!  I’m loathe to roll-back the CU4 given I’ve only just got the SQL Reporting Services Role appeased!

Andy