Errors trying to backup in SBS 2003 R2 to an external hard drive

Posted on 2007-08-10
Last Modified: 2013-11-05
we are trying to do backups to an external USB hard drive (maxtor One Touch III).

first, sbs server management shows the last 10 backups.  do older ones get purged or is there a more complete list of backups and their results?

More importantly, it seems we'll get a fairly consistent pattern of 2 good backups then 3 failed backups.  this is not dependent of the day the backup runs or similar...  you can manually start backups and get the same results.  the log on the last failed backup looks like this:  the gist is that it found an error writing to the (external?) drive.. but then farther down, it says:   Error: SERVER\Microsoft Information Store\First Storage Group is not a valid drive, or you do not have access

so there's 2 seperate issues?  and the log from last night says that ackup was successful..  now I am looking - there's the backup file from today's (failed) backup is about the same size as yesterday's (successful) backup!?  so it's erroring out with fairly serious messages and it did run?  

the external drive has lots of space - backups are about 45 gb and there's 300gb free on the 500 GB drive.

I've run scandisk and it came up with no errors.

any advice!?

Backup started on 8/10/2007 at 2:18 PM.

Error: The device reported an error on a request to write data to media.
Error reported: Unknown error.
There may be a hardware or media problem.
Please check the system event log for relevant failures.
The operation was ended.
Backup completed on 8/10/2007 at 2:40 PM.
Directories: 0
Files: 2
Bytes: 10,266,310,380
Time:  22 minutes and  12 seconds

Error: SERVER\Microsoft Information Store\First Storage Group is not a valid drive, or you do not have access.


The operation did not successfully complete.
Question by:babaganoosh
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    You are having a problem backing up exchange.  specifically the information store (the files that have all of your mailboxes.

    YOu can fix this by excluding the following directory:
    C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\First Storage Group\mdbdata
    (or whereever you data is located)
    I'd recomment doing a separate backup of the exchange store (make for easyer recovery).  open NTbackup, and look at the selectino list toward the bottom.  There are sections to backup SQL and exchange

    Author Comment

    why should I be having problems?  Are there apps / things I can do to do mainenance on the store?
    LVL 11

    Assisted Solution

    Yes the logs are purged beyond 10, unfortunately you'll have to write a script to copy them somewhere else if you want more.  If you Google you'll probably find some scripts to do this for you.

    To rule the external drive in/out try letting the backup run to the local drive of the server for a few nights and see if it succeeds/fails.

    starmonkey is saying that you should backup Exchange by selecting the Information Store in the list of backup sources in NTBackup, you should not backup C:\Program Files\exchsrvr\ in a normal file backup.  I reckon you probably aren't doing this anyway?

    Have you tried deleting the job and recreating it from scratch?

    Have you seen this?

    Are the drives on the server itself quite full?  Is there at least enough room for a second copy of your Information Store to be created on one of the drives (some backup programs have Exchange spool the backup to a temp folder, then write it to the backup media)?
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    The issue could be that the backup job is set to backup the information store and data files.  That would make for a huge backup.

    Zeniths questino is realy important.  You want to have pleanty of room on your server for a second copy of the informatino store.  Exchange 2003 allows you to use a recovery store which is quite nice if you only need to restore one mailbox.  But you won't be able to use it if you don't have enough room for a 2nd copy

    Author Comment

    star - you say:

    The issue could be that the backup job is set to backup the information store and data files.  That would make for a huge backup.

    I thought that's what the SBS backup will do - backup the entire computer, minus temp folders.  and I add the clientinstall folders on the excluded list.

    the store is about 10 GB and there's 25 gb free on the 75 gb drive.  so free space is OK?
    that said, the backup winds up being about 40 - 45 GB.  so that would max out the free space but doesn't seem to be an issue because backup does work OK about 1/2 the time...

    you think breaking the backup into exchange and everything else would work?  2 smaller backups rather than 1 larger? but sbs out of the box does 1 type of backup, so setting up 2 different backups would be a chore?  just enter the 2nd backup in scheduled tasks?

    I haven't remade the backup, I guess I will try that next?

    zenith - 10 logs isn't an issue. just curious if there were more.
    that link to microsoft talks of incremental backups.  this backup from sbs is a full backup each time so that's not the issue.

    and the backup being 45 GB, won't work to backup to the hard drive itself...

    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    If you are backing up the files and the store, you are backing up the same data twice, two different ways.  In general, I like to customize my backup selection lists to avoid surprises.
    I guess it is a personal preferance, but I find it easier to have different backups for the server and the server data.  IMHO, the server systems I administrer don't change from day to day, only the data does.

    So what I end up doing is backing up the server (OS, config, etc) only once every 3-4 weeks.  But the data (exchange store, file shares etc) I back up everynight.

    Makes for a faster backup.

    I'm not sure 25 Gigs is enough.  out-of-disk space issues are confusing for me, I can't realy see what shadow coppies is doing, temp files durring a backup etc.  Disk space is cheap, so I try to keep at tlease half of my drive space free on my servers as a sort of insurance policy

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