Symantec BESR 8.5 - Single Job Multiple Removable Drives

Hi guys,

We're using BESR 8.5 for a small company using SBS 2008  using 5 x removable HDD's that connect via USB.

It seems that BESR seems to recognise the HDD's individually and not just use the drive label as the storage location. For example I went thorugh and labeled all the drive's as drive Z:\. I then created my schedule to backup to drive Z:\ and it works fine. Plug in a new drive (check it comes up as Z:\ and it does), run a test backup which fails and BESR says the location is not available. Plug the original drive (that we created that schedule with) back in and all is well, the backup runs again.

To work around this for the moment we have create 5 seperate schedules (mon - fri) which works fine, unless of course they forget to change the drive over, and then fails (as it doesn't see the correct drive for the correct day).

Looking at the USB drives BESR seems to create a VProRecovery directory with a VProRecoveryStorage.ini file on each of the drives. I tried copying this from the drive I created the backup location to all the subsequent drives but it still says that Schedules device is not present.

If anybody else has been able to succeed with this can you let me know what you did, or any other sugestions that would be great.

Having a mon - fri backup schedule is fine, but I can't rely on the users in the office to change the drive, and sometimes we get just a weekly backup because they leave it in there for weeks on end, and only the day the drive corresponds to does it backup to.

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Syed Mutahir AliTechnology ConsultantCommented:
We are using RDX1000 with 5 cartridges.
 Good thing about the rdx is that the drive letter stays the same (same  in your case too), what I have done additional is :
created the same folder (exactly the same way) "F:\Backup" on every  cartridge.
 I have one job running "Mon-Sun" and the number of recovery points are  limited to TWO, with the setting to delete them automatically.
Are you going to connect all the 5 drives at once and then run your schedule ? ( I don't think so  - just clarifying)

If you are connecting the drives daily, make sure the same folder name exists on every drive, and because they would have the same drive letter, it will be "z:\backupfolder" on all drives.

Now, in another scenario, what I had to do was to backup to the local drive every night and created a batch file to copy the recovery points to the usb drive in the folder, works the same as above but this client had some issues with drive so I had to do this.

in short - create the same folder on all drives (fresh start) and then run your backup job. just have one backup job and make sure you have independant recovery point set not "recovery set".

Let me know if you have any more questions - I will keep checking back too
Nick_AustraliaAuthor Commented:
Ahh I see - yes difference is I'm just backing up to the root of the drive not a folder on the drive. I'll try that but the RDX is a little different because the interface remains constant and just the media changes (it's Sata also may make a difference). I'll give that a go soon when next onsite.
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
I have seen this issue plenty of times, BESR assigns a unique ID to each system.

The easiest workaround is to attach to a different system and create a share of the USB drive.  Since you're going to the share it doesn't know anything about the underlying drive and you can swap the hard drives around.  

Remember that this can be attached to pretty much any server or workstation and it will work.

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Syed Mutahir AliTechnology ConsultantCommented:
Paulsolov has a good point of sharing the drive over the network and then backing up to it ; you may see some speed issues (what do you think paul ? ) I haven't attempted over the network backups using BESR, but I am sure it won't hurt much.

Hope it works out for your scenario.

Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
It's actually as fast or faster over the network because you're dividing your I/O.  Over a gigabit network you usually get 1GB to 2GB per minute and you tax your source server
Nick_AustraliaAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your comments, i'll try both and let you know how I go. They have a tendancy to turn their machines off at night so it might not be an option either. Share to itself?
Syed Mutahir AliTechnology ConsultantCommented:
Well, you can then either share the USB Drives and point besr to the shares or you can backup to local disk and copy the whole folder to your usb drives via a batch file using task scheduler.


you can backup to usb drives with the same folder.

Syed Mutahir AliTechnology ConsultantCommented:
Yes I mean share it from the server and browse the network to get to the share :-)

dont forget to create a folder (exactly the same name) on all your usb drives.
Nick_AustraliaAuthor Commented:
THanks Paulsolov - you were right on the money.

Interestingly I created the share on a Folder on the USB drive ie e:\backup and the share was Backup. When I created the folder on the other drives (which already had been labeled e:\) the Share appeared by itself which I guess means that windows remembers what it's shares are, and if the folders the same name, the share must live there regardless that they are completely different drives.

Anyways it's working perfectly now and i'm happy. After this long the guys are pretty good now with putting the correct day in anyway, but I'd prefer it backup to the same drive over and over in the abscense of someone changing the drive or forgetting, rather than no backup at all.
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