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What is your solution for 2TB Backup Limit?

Posted on 2011-03-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I went to do a Bare Metal Restore backup on our main server (Win 2008 Server R2) using Windows Server Backup and got the message "Volumes larger than 2088958 megabytes cannot be protected".

I tried selecting only folders to get around the limit, but on Bare Metal Restore you are not allowed.

What solutions are there? Different backup software? Reduce the volume size? (Only using about 300GB so far.)
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Question by:challengeday
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Tekyguy earned 1000 total points
ID: 35132640
I'd reduce the volume size, or upgrade to 2008-R2.  This is an issue with 2008 - doesn't deal with 2TB+ volumes well.  There maybe an expensive solution.  But many other backup software will have this issue.  I guess MS was really 'looking forward' on this one.
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by:challengeday
ID: 35132672
Thanks Tekguy.

We *are* on R2. R2 doesn't solve the 2TB limit for bare metal restore (ie: full backup) :(

Anything to consider on reducing the volume size?
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by:noxcho
noxcho earned 1000 total points
ID: 35136191
Looks like you are using GPT style partitioned drive. You can shrink the volume to 2TB size or use third party tools such as Paragon Drive Backup 10 Server.
I am using their HDM2011Suite tool on 16TB drive and it works without problems for backup&recovery plus partitioning.
Still I would like to have a look on your current configuration. Can you post here a screen shot of your Windows Disk Management window?
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by:challengeday
ID: 35140840
Here it is. What can you tell me?
disk-manager.jpg
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by:noxcho
ID: 35142300
What type of RAID are you using? How many drives? Does your motherboard support uEFI?
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by:challengeday
ID: 35143054
RAID 5 - Capacity 2.73 TB
4 Drives (1 TB each)
Don't know about uEFI. How do I find if my motherboard supports it?
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by:Tekyguy
ID: 35143584
Sounds like a pretty new server if prepping BMR backup.  TIP:  I'd start over - dump the RAID 5 - go with RAID  1 or 10, and keep your partitions smaller, esp the Primary C partition.  Raid 5 is really legacy anymore.
RAID 10 tip:  RAID 5 vs 10
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by:noxcho
ID: 35145962
Hi challengeday, to check if your motherboard supports EFI, look for it in BIOS. Or simply check with the mobo maker. If EFI support is enabled in your BIOS then you should be able to install Windows onto GPT drive with supports 2TB+ drives easily.
If no EFI support, then simply remove one 1TB drive from this RAID (RAID5 works with 3 disks) and use it as standalone drive. Copy there the OS from RAID and use it for OS drive.
Or get another smaller drive(s) and configure let's say 320GB drive for OS and move the OS from your RAID to it.
Then delete OS from 3TB configuration. Convert the drive to GPT and enjoy using the whole space on it.
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by:challengeday
ID: 35167347
Thanks for participating!   I just tried using Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Advanced Server and it backed up no problem. Did not have to reduce drive size. My next step is to test a Bare Metal Restore to see how well it works.
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Expert Comment

by:Antimidas
ID: 36554651
Just for clarification, Windows Server 2008 R2 S1 has this same limitation with the built-in backup feature.  For bare metal, I keep the OS on a 64GB SSD and map Program Files and everything else to a RAID5 (which is not obsolete compared to RAID0 or RAID1 as others have said).  For the RAID5 volume, I select the folders and files to backup and hope I never use more than 2TB if I want to continue using this solution.  That gets me my base level backup of everything I need to rebuild my server.  Beyond that limitation, I use Karen's Replicator to copy changed files over to a DroboPro 16TB.
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