Windows Backup stuck on "running consistency check for application Exchange" for 72 hours

Hello,
We just recently migrated from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010 on W2K8 standard server 64 bit (not R2) with SP2 which went well with no real issues.  After the migration we started a backup job of the Exchange database by using the built in Windows Backup which is Exchange aware but got stuck right after VSS finished doing a snapshot.  The point we got stuck on is "Running consistency check for application Exchange" and we have been waiting for about 72 hours (more not less).

Specs of the server is as follow:
Dell PE2900 with Dual Xeon 2.5 GHz CPU
16GB of RAM
250GB OS Drive RAID1
900GB Exchange partition RAID10
450GB Exchange log files RAID10

We are backing up to a 1.5TB external storage connected via eSATA but we have never reached a point where the backup job starts to write to the backup disk so I am pretty sure that it is not a throughput bottleneck issue to the external drive.

We currently have over 430GB of log files (bunch of 1MB files) and 361GB Mailbox Database and growing. We need to cleared off the log files after a successful backup but we have never gotten to that point.  I appreciate your comments and suggestions on this as we are running out of storage space due to ever increasing log files.

Thank you
agedikianAsked:
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agedikianAuthor Commented:
Hello bryon44035v3,
Thanks for the links.  I did see these links before I posted here but I was really hesitant to follow them since they were specifically talking about Exchange 2007.  Although I don’t recall the exact details, I know that there are significant changes in database functionality in 2010 which I worry about.  

The built in backup solution should be working and I would like to focus on that more completely before I consider bringing back an obsolete tool and try to hack it to work.  As you also know that I do not have a good backup so I really cannot take any chances at this point.

I did find this new link below that suggest the length of time it may take to get through the consistency check may be directly related to the number of actual log files.  Because I have drastically more log files then the poster in the following link, I will allow it more time to get through.  Unless I find a more direct approach to the problem, I will wait for the current backup job to finish.

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/exchange2010/thread/88adaae6-2930-4785-a85f-9ae4d837eca2

Thank you again.
 
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B HCommented:
i dont have access to an exchange2010 box at the moment, does it still offer circular logging, so the log files don't build up?

would it be better for you to script an export to pst, then back up the pst's?
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agedikianAuthor Commented:
Looks like Exchange 2010 does offer circular logging and it is currently set to off which was its default position.

Here is some more info I found about circular logging for EX2010 which suggests not to turn it on.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd877010.aspx

Scripting to a pst file may be an option but I have many mailboxes that are over 20GB of used space.  It has been my experience that PST files over 10GB give a lot of problems on occasion.  Client Outlooks are all 2003, perhaps 2007 PST files are more reliable?

Thanks
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B HCommented:
i just got an email from a client that has this exact same problem now with exchange 2007, sbs2008, 'backup once wizard' ... i'll report back here if i find anything that might be more useful for 2010
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B HCommented:
ok so far, i forcibly reinstalled ntbackup and it's currently (and correctly) streaming out a backup of exchange to my removable media

here's how i did it, it's super easy:
http://cs.thefoleyhouse.co.uk/blogs/karl/archive/2008/02/10/how-to-backup-exchange-2007-on-server-2008.aspx
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B HCommented:
more info:  i know it says 2007 on 2008... but the article foundation is from vista.. the DLL file is from exchange 2003, and in any case, it's working fine at the moment
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agedikianAuthor Commented:
Hi bryon44035v3
Sorry for the black out.  I decided to just wait it out and see if the actual backup process will start if I give it enough time to process the consistency check so, last Friday I started the backup process again. Here we are a week later and the backup is still stuck on running consistency check process.  I think I will let it go through the weekend and see.  

Last week however, we lost about 20GB of space on the server due to log files which is worrying.  If the backup does not start before next Friday, and space willing till then, I will try the Exchange 2007 backup hack and get us through this initial backup process.  I will keep you posted.

Thanks
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B HCommented:
ntbackup may or may not truncate your logs, but you can delete them once you have a good backup
(or at least move them off to some offline storage for a month just in case)

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agedikianAuthor Commented:
Yes, I actually have an additional 400GB on the server in a separate partition so I will move the log files there through this process if need be.  Thank you.
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agedikianAuthor Commented:
Hi bryon44035v3,
Finally…I let the backup process go over the weekend and into the week.  I actually needed to go out of town so I let the backup go until today.  Found out that the backup actually finished on the 26th which is 10 days after I started the job!

Thank you for your help!

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B HCommented:
wow glad it worked out, eventually... hopefully everything will be back to normal now
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agedikianAuthor Commented:
This solution was a backup plan.  Actual solution was just waiting for the backup to complete.
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JammyPakCommented:
Hi agedikian - I'm starting to have this exact same problem on one of my new 2010 servers...can you confirm for me - did you actually follow the directions in any of those links, or did the backup eventually finish? (after 10 days?!)
thanks
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agedikianAuthor Commented:
Hi JammyPak,
The actual solution was to just wait and see.  It just worked after 10 days!  I decided to wait because all the working solutions that the links pointed to were for Exchange 2007 and I did not feel comfortable to try it on a production 2010 server.  Hope that helps.
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stonnewayCommented:
agedikian, do you remember how many logs you had ? You said that you drastically more logs than normal, how many though? I've been asked to have a look at an Exchange 2010 box which hasnt been backed up since installation and now has 100,000+ logs. The backup is taking forever (clearly).
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