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OK, I HATE Microsoft apps!  NTBACKUP failing

Posted on 2006-04-04
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Windows Server 2003.   Windows NTBACKUP.   LTO Certance Ultrium 2 SCSI Sequential Device.

Ok, I set a scheduled backup to run on Friday, and a Diffy backup Mon - Thurs. using Windows NTBACKUP.
I installed the tape drive, backed the data up manually, and restored it to test the hardware and software.  All ran ok.
The first scheduled backup was set for Monday night... A Differential Backup.
On Tuesday,I checked to see if the scheduled diffy backup ran on Monday night...the log showed it was a success;  and the files that were backed up were in the Restore Media set, indicating all worked ok.

So I thought all was ok, and did not look at it again.  Until today when the client said that they needed a file restored.  When I looked at the Restore Set, the only files that were backed up were the ones that I checked on the 'Tuesday' I listed in the paragraph above!  No other diffy backups or full backups occured since then.

I checked the log files in the C:\Documents and Settings \ %user% \ Local Settings \ Application Data \Microsoft \ Windows NT \NTBACKUP.   It only lists the last 10 backup attempts (I guess '10' is the Windows default).  All ten log files contain the following info:

' Cannot locate the specified media or backup device. This backup operation will terminate.'

Now either the client did not insert the tape properly (I doubt this is the case because I gave them explicit directions.  Plus the tape that I left in the tape drive should have sat there through Thursday for the diffy backups, which would be overwritten by successive diffy backups), or there is something else wrong.

Somebody told me that there is a known issue with Windows NTBACKUP on Server 2003 where the scheduled backup works the FIRST TIME,  but not after that!  Can this be?  How better could Msoft have conspired to make me look like a retard after all the tedious work and checking I did?  The client is going to dump me ;(

Event Viewer every night of a scheduled backup which failed:
11:59:00 am.  Event ID: 7036.   Source: Service Control Manager
The remove storage service entered the running state

11:59:43 am.  Event ID: 98.    Source: Removable Storage Service
RSM was stopped

11:59:43 am.  Event ID:  7036  Source:  Removable Storage Service
The Removable Storage Service entered a stopped state.

Please help and if you fix this, you are a genius!
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Question by:cliffordgormley
11 Comments
 
LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Darwinian999
ID: 16378495
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Q_21264119.html explains why this happens, and how to fix it.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:cooledit
ID: 16378867
hi, there

I see you have that LTO tape drive what is that attached to SCSI controller brand Model. 39160 SCSI card ?.

Look under the drivers device managers. If it is looking like this 39160/39160D this is the wrong driver and will cause headaches and sleepless nights. This is the driver default used by Microsoft.

Change it to 39160 Ultra 160.

You need the service pack 1 for Windows 2003 here is another known issue doing scheduled backup on win 2003 Server without Service pack 1.

Cooledit.
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Author Comment

by:cliffordgormley
ID: 16383607
Hello cooledit
We are running 2003 SP1.
I checked the SCSI Driver and it is:  Adaptec SCSI card 39160 Ultra 160 SCSI, so it looks correct.   Does it look correct to you?

Hello Darwinian999,
Let me check out your link and I will get back to you.
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Author Comment

by:cliffordgormley
ID: 16385908
Darwinian999:  I tried to add the /um switch according to the ntbackup statement by selecting Properties.  It saves it, but when I checked the .bks and .job files associated with the scheduled backup job, there is a Red X through next to the filenames in Windows Explorer.  It looks like it is not accepting the /um switch.

Thanks
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:scrathcyboy
ID: 16386175
NTBackup is only a stripped down version of a full backup program originally done by Seagate.  Should not rely on it for crucial backups without using the settings: "always compare backup contents on tape to source".  This is the only way to trust this program, because lots of things go wrong.  Also, with some tapes, you will find if you append to tape, it "seems" to work (i.e. NTBakcup says it worked) but it did nothing.  One way to fix this problem is to always set the tape to "erase" before the backup, that works.
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Author Comment

by:cliffordgormley
ID: 16386251
what tape backup software do you recommend?
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:scrathcyboy
ID: 16386654
Most big companies use Backup Exec for Enterprise, now sold by Veritas, from which old code NTBackup is derived.  this is expensive, and be forewarned, suffers from many of same problems you see in NT Backup.  There is big difference of opinion across net on what is the best (.e.g check google for "best tape backup software") and you see lots of people not happy with either NTBackup or Backup Exec.

What is the best is what works reliably for you and does not skip whole backups because of one silly glitch in the software.  My opinion is that Backup Exec suffers from this very same flaw, but others dont think so.  I find the BU Exec interface very illogical for new users, but other people love it.  In the end, it is what works and doesnt lose a backup for you.  I migrate many clients away from tape to HDD clone and DVD for diffs and incrementals, seems to be easier to restore, but if you have tapes, you want tape software.
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:scrathcyboy
ID: 16386672
Another option is Acronis software, true images for enterprise servers, once again, very expensive, a few more options than BUExec, and good restore capabilities, but dont know if better for tape than BUExec.
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Author Comment

by:cliffordgormley
ID: 16386771
Good comments Scratch,
Yeah, I am mostly famiiiar with NTBACKUP.  I looked at that Veritas stuff once, and it was just too complicated to turn out a simple backup procedure for a first-time user.
Do you know of anything that is both relatively cheap, simple, and reliable?
My client will not want to spend any more money after what has happened so far.
Thanks
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Accepted Solution

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scrathcyboy earned 2000 total points
ID: 16386966
Im like you, Veritas is reverse logic software, as I think, almost impossible to be comfortable with, or sure of results.  Cheap means veritas and acronis are both out, but writing to tape *should* be simple.  So take a look at some of these, see what you think, many have trial downloads, all are +/- $100, and most seem to be more logical than the "big ones".

http://backup.cmsproducts.com/tape-backup-software/index.htm
http://www.backupassist.com/index.html
http://www.freedownloadmanager.org/downloads/tape_backup_software/
    (that one is combined list of many, remember "free" is only download, not the product).
http://remote-backup.com/online-backup-articles/tape-backup-software.htm
    (that is interesting site/opinion, many links to right)
There are many more, like - http://www.backupsoftwarelistings.com/Results.aspx?query=Backup%20Software

In the end, the simplest, most logical for "dumb" end users, that cannot be fouled up, is the best.  The complex interfaces are prone to simple errors, and this is the problem with BackupExec, I feel.  I am sure others will have different ideas, but this is my experience.
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Author Comment

by:cliffordgormley
ID: 16387023
I agree.  Complex is unnecessary in most cases.  Give me a something basic that works and is not prone to user-input errors.

Hey, I am getting a Red X next to my backup.job file in Windows Explorer.  This happens after I modify the backup string within the NTBACKUP Wizard using the Properties button.
Does anybody know why or what it means?  I thought you could edit the backup string...I want to add the /UM switch to the string, and it saves it, but I get a Red X next to the file in Windows Explorer afterwards.  arghh
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