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SBS Backup Fails

Posted on 2011-03-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have just changed over the backup drives for my client from 500 Gb to 2 Tb drives. I had problems getting my eSATA connection working so we started backing up via USB. Now I have my eSATA connection working and I get failed backups. When I manually run a backup, after about 5 minutes I get a message saying "The specified media type is invalid" (see attached). The SBS console DOES see the backup drive.

What do I need to do to get the backup working again?
Backup.jpg
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Question by:LostInWindows
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10 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 35058244
Assuming this is SBS 2008, 2 TB is the maximum drive size, so the fact that you are at that limit it could be causing problems. However more likely is the fact that not all external drives are supported by SBS backup. As a result a web site has been set up just to report compatibility, though the list is very short at this point:
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/small-business-server-2003-2008-2011-external-backup-drives-compatibility-list.aspx
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Author Comment

by:LostInWindows
ID: 35058306
Thanks for the tip. I am using 3 of Lacie d2 quadra 2TB External Drives. They function fine as USB drives. I get this message when using eSATA. Does your comment suggest that I may need to replace these drives with smaller ones?
The web link appeared to discuss USB problems and not eSATA problems.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 35058532
There are issues with both USB and eSATA. The SBS backup utility when run 'takes possession' of the entire drive and formats it for backup. Once done the drive is marked as 'special' and can only bee seen in the backup console and drive manager. It will not show up in My Computer. In order to do so it must be able to make use of the entire drive. If larger than 2TB it will not work and if there are any vendor specific hidden or visible partitions, it cannot do so. I suspect the latter, based on Philip's post (different subject but states the drive has custom partitions).
http://blog.mpecsinc.ca/2010/10/lacie-d2-quadra-1-tb-pc-to-mac-fail.html
I really cannot state if your drive is compatible as I have not tried those units, perhaps others can, but I can point out reasons for some failures.
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Author Comment

by:LostInWindows
ID: 35058609
Hi Rob,
Thanks for the insight. My customer has grown from about 100 Gb of data to 500 Gb of Data in about 18 months. I purchased the 2.0 Tb drives with eSATA to allow for growth and for backup speed. After reading Phil's post it sound like there may be LaCie issues. Do you know of any 2.0 Tb drives that support eSATA that will work?
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Author Comment

by:LostInWindows
ID: 35058653
This whole thing seems strange to me. The drive works perfectly as a USB drive. I moved it to eSATA to increase the read/write speed so that larger backups would happen faster due to the increased data transfer speed offered in eSATA.

Why would one work and the other not work?
When I added these drives to SBS I went into to the Storage manger and deleted every partition found in case LaCie did have partitions they used. Looks that solves the USB issue but then the eSATA mystery still continues.
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Accepted Solution

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Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 35058732
When you run the SBS "configure Server Backup" wizard, does the eSATA drive show up and configure properly? If it gets beyond this point it will "usually" work.

It is possible to use native Windows Server Backup with that or most any drive and use WBadnmin to script the backup, but I don't have much in the way of details as to the scripting process.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc754015(WS.10).aspx
Googling will return some suggested scripts. It is ideal to use the SBS backup though as it allows for a very simple restore process.
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Author Comment

by:LostInWindows
ID: 35059071
Using Configure Server Backup, I do see the drive. It shows 1863 Gb.
Configure-Backup.jpg
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 35059176
When you select it and complete the wizard does it show up as on-line/active in the SBS console under Backup and server storage?
If so I am afraid I cannot suggest anything further. As mentioned some devices, or actually a lot of devices, just will not work. I cannot state if that is the case here. Since it worked with previous drives it seems to be a hardware issue and not an SBS configuration issue.
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Author Comment

by:LostInWindows
ID: 35059247
Yes, the Console shows the backup drive connected active and online. Choosing "configure server backup" also shows it. We have 6 backup drives 3 x 500 Gb and 3 x 2.o Tb. I will delete the 3 old ones after a month or 2. I want to hold onto them "just in case".
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 35059440
Are there any further details in the event logs when it fails? You can find them under Event Viewer | application and services logs | Microsoft | Windows | Backup | Operational
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