Transactions Logs & Backup

Posted on 2004-11-02
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Hi all,

I have a problem where my transaction logs are starting to fill up my local C:\ on my Exchange 2003 server.  I've done some reading and it's seems that the logs are hanging around because my Arcserve v9.0 (build 2050) backup isn't completing all stages.

Basically the backup of my F:\program files\Exchsrvr\MDBDATA is failing.  When I check my backup tape contents, the .stm & .edb files are not backed up.  However I am getting a full brick level backup as well as a full backup of my C:\ drive.  The error in arcserve is as follows:

E8604  Failed to startbackup EC=invalid userid or password

This has only started to happen in the last couple of days, before this everything has been working fine for a good couple of months.  I've tried a few things with Arcserve but still have the same problem, and I'm running out of disk space.

I could move the transaction logs on a different disk or parition, but this isn't really necessary if my arcserve backup is functioning correctly.

Can you help ?

Question by:stevendunne

    Author Comment

    This arcserve error seems to point to the backup agent.  However Im able to perform a brick level backup successfully with the agent, and can configure the backup agent successfully with the current username & password.  So the configuration of the backup agent & username\password used for it, don't seem to be the problem ?

    Very odd

    LVL 104

    Expert Comment

    You have two major problems.
    1. You are using Arcserve. Ever tried to do a restore with it?
    2. You are doing brick level backups. These are not enough to clear the logs out.

    You need to do a backup of the information stores, using the Exchange agent.

    Do NOT try to backup the files themselves, even using an open fire agent as this will corrupt your Exchange installation.
    For a successful backup for diaster recovery purposes you just need to backup the information stores and the system state. Everything else can be recreated once the domain controller is recovered.

    Do NOT attempt to delete or move the logs files by hand. Exchange must do them. Trying to do anything with the transaction logs yourself will bring the Exchange server down.
    It is actually good practise to have the Exchange transaction logs on a different drive. Ideally you should have the OS on one physical drive, the logs on another physical drive and the databases on another.
    If you want to move them, then this is the offical word on how to do it:


    Author Comment

    How about using the backup utility with Windows 2003 to backup the information store & system state ?
    LVL 104

    Expert Comment

    The backup utility in Windows is Exchange aware if Exchange is installed on the same machine, so using that is certainly an option.
    Where the client doesn't want to pay for a third party Exchange backup application it is sometimes the only option to run the Windows backup utility to dump the Exchange content to a file, then backup those files on to tape.
    It does increase the recovery time, but sometimes you have to live with things like that.


    Author Comment

    I'll make a few changes on tonights backup and see how I go.

    Why isn't Arcserve that good then ?  I've only done mailbox restores from brick level backups, you know restoring inbox\folders etc  This is why I use brick level backups for.

    If not Arcserve, then is backup using the windows 2003 backup utility ok ?  Backing up the information store and system state to a file, then having the network backup that file up to tape ?
    LVL 104

    Expert Comment

    The general concensus in the Exchange community is that Arcserve is good for backing up but poor for restores.
    Why do you think the renamed it?

    Brick Level backups are also generally considered a waste of time. Exchange has lots of mechanisms built in which can make doing brick level backups pointless. I don't do any of them and haven't needed to do a restore.

    Google for the "Ed Crowley Never Restore Method" for guidance on alternative methods.
    This is a posting on a blog written by some MVPs which you might find interesting:

    And some quotes collected about Computer Associates (CA - makers of Arcserve).



    Author Comment

    I managed to resolve the arcserve issues, and have a clean backup and the transaction logs have been removed.

    I tried a scheduled windows backup, but got the following in the report:

    Backup Status
    Operation: Backup
    Active backup destination: File
    Media name: "Backup.bkf.bkf created 02/11/2004 at 22:30"

    Backup of "*****\Microsoft Information Store\First Storage Group"
    Backup set #1 on media #1
    Backup description: "Set created 02/11/2004 at 22:26"
    Media name: "Backup.bkf.bkf created 02/11/2004 at 22:30"

    Backup Type: Normal

    Backup started on 02/11/2004 at 22:30.
    The 'Microsoft Information Store' returned 'Backup is already active.

    ' from a call to 'HrESEBackupSetup()' additional data '-'The 'Microsoft Information Store' returned 'Functions called in an invalid sequence.

    ' from a call to 'HrESEBackupClose()' additional data '-'
    The operation was ended.
    Backup completed on 02/11/2004 at 22:30.
    Directories: 0
    Files: 0
    Bytes: 0
    Time:  1 second


    The operation did not successfully complete.


    Any ideas ?
    LVL 104

    Accepted Solution

    Is Exchange on the same drive as Windows?
    If so then this is a known problem. You cannot do system state and Exchange in the same job. You have to do them in seperate jobs.

    Here is the KB article that explains everything:


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