Symptoms

Customer restored VMware vCenter Server from OS-level backup and observed unable to do so with core VMware services failing. Even though the backup did not reported any issues we could not restore successfully NTDS database for VMwareVCMSDS service.
In total we identify following services as being unable to start successfully:
1) VMware Virtual Center Server
2) VMware vCenter Inventory Service
3) VMWwareVCMSDS
4) VMware vSphere Profile-Driven Storage

Cause

When backing up System State and Services Databases, DS-Client would normally use Volume Shadow Copy Service (on Windows Vista or newer). It also backs up everything what is deemed as necessary, using the information returned by those VSS Writers that are marked as System Writers.
On the other hand, when backing up the rest of the shares (non System State and Services Databases), DS-Client honors the
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\BackupRestore\FilesNotToBackup registry key (and all its values underneath).

Now, this ADAM (VMwareVCMSDS) Writer is not marked as System Writers. Therefore the files associated with it are subject to the filter constructed
based on the registry key mentioned above. For whatever reason, VMWare added the associated path to that key, so DS-Client skips the backup.

Solution

Therefore, in order to back up the corresponding data, here are recommendations:
- remove the "ADAM (VMwareVCMSDS) Writer" value from the registry key mentioned above (or rename the paths from its value, to something like
C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\VMwareVCMSDS\adamntds.dit
C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\VMwareVCMSDS\edb*.log
- check(select) the "Backup through volume shadow copies" set's Advanced Option