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How to deal with Windows Server Backup application stopping before running Exchange backup?

Hi all,

We have just started to use Windows Server backup to run an Exchange 2007 backup. It hasn't run before. We have just configured the GUI wizard in Server Manager. I don't suspect mistakes in that, as we have followed directions from sites like Exchange Blog and others. Seems easy enough.

FYI, there has not been another backup application on this server before. We are trying to run a full backup that will truncate logs. The Exchange server is SP3 and rollup 2. It is running on Windows 2008 SP2, in a VM. The VM is running in Hyper-V on Windows 2008 R2. (No SP, but all latest updates applied.)

We are trying to back up to a network location. (The network location with a VNC name has no spaces in it and I have succesfully tested that the location can be accessed) what is happening is that when we try to run the "backup once", it is failing almost immediately. This message is in the log for Windows Backup:
"The backup of the volume was stopped before the backup started running."

The logs are perfectly clean, without errors before the backup, and upon boot up...

After the backup fails
In the event logs (Application):

Log Name: Appliction
Source: Microsoft-Windows-CAPI2
Event ID:  513
Description:
Cryptographic Services failed while processing the OnIdentity() call in the System Write Object.
Details:
AddCoreCsiFiles : BeginFileEnumeration() failed.
System Error:
Access is denied

Log Name: Appliction
Source: Microsoft-Windows-Backup
Event ID:  517
Description:
The description for Event ID 517 from source Microsoft-Windows-Backup cannot be found. Either the component that raises this event is not installed on your local computer or the installation is corrupted. You can install or repair the component on the local computer.


Windows Server Backup was not installed until after SP3 rollup 2 was installed. The server was rebooted after.

Please let me know what you think. It would be very much appreciated.
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gs-rho
Asked:
gs-rho
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1 Solution
 
Svet PaperovIT ManagerCommented:
This could be an issue with the vss writer for Exchange 2007. The following blog might help: http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2008/08/25/3406172.aspx
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gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
I'll check it out. Thanks.
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gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
Just so you know, this is a Windows 2008 SP2 server. This article seems to be primarily for Win 2003. That seems relevant since Win 2003 doesn't have "Windows Server Backup" (as far as I know.)

The VSSadmin list writers command produces results that list all the writers as "stable".
The VSSadmin list providers command on this server produces one result of Microsoft.
Those seem normal.
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yairgeCommented:
Hi,

First Try backup stuff from the command line, the gui is crap, its much better in cl. it will help you to debug the problem better.

start with
wbadmin start backup –backupTarget:\\networksharelocation: -include:c: –systemstate -vsscopy

if works go to vssfull
wbadmin start backup –backupTarget:\\networksharelocation: -include:c: –systemstate -vssfull

try also:
wbadmin start backup –backupTarget:\\networksharelocation: -include:c: -vssfull

vsscopy - only use if other backup programs are used to backup also, doesnt support incremental
the default should be vssfull.


if the error proceed paste the command line output

like: wbadmin start backup –backupTarget:\\networksharelocation: -include:c: –systemstate -vsscopy > output.log
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gs-rhoAuthor Commented:

I have some familiarity with this command line method...

What does "-include:c:" mean in this?

If I am using "vssfull", I thought it would include all the volumes. Or does it only include the volumes you specify in "-include"?
If I have mounted volumes, do I need to specify them, as well? I have the volumes mounted on C: with the database on them. I'm wondering if I specify C:, will those get backed up or do I have to specify the mounted volumes. ( I would not know how to name them in this script, as they do not have letters assigned to them, of course.)


I also noticed if I go to Disk Management and look at the properties of a drive... in the Shadow Copies tab, each of the volumes says "next run time" >  "disabled". I am not sure if this means anything or relevent to this issue. Thought I would throw that out.
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yairgeCommented:
I have some familiarity with this command line method...

What does "-include:c:" mean in this?
it means c letter partition will be included(the os most like to be on C:), it can be also -include:c,d,e,f togeder

you can use -allcritical switch this will include all pairitiions that are needed in order to load to os, so it will auto put c paritiion inside the backup.

If I am using "vssfull", I thought it would include all the volumes. Or does it only include the volumes you specify in "-include"?

-vssfull
You use the VSS Full Backup with VSS Aware applications like SQL Server, Exchange Server to clear the transaction logs when the backup completed succesfully. This is what they mean with 'Clearing application logs'.

The best way to explain this is: Other backup applications clear the Archive bit when the file is backed up, so they know this file has already been done. When the file gets changed in any way after the backup, the archive bit is set again so the backup application knows that the file needs to backed up.

The VSS Copy Backup doesn't do anything with the archive bit, if it's on, it's on. If it's off, it's off. If you use another product to backup the same volume, use the VSS copy backup. If Windows Server Backup is the only program you use, use the VSS Full Backup.

in order words, use vsscopy if you have ther software backing up, but note VSSCOPY - doesnt support Incremental Backups!!!

If I have mounted volumes, do I need to specify them, as well? I have the volumes mounted on C: with the database on them. I'm wondering if I specify C:, will those get backed up or do I have to specify the mounted volumes. ( I would not know how to name them in this script, as they do not have letters assigned to them, of course.)


I also noticed if I go to Disk Management and look at the properties of a drive... in the Shadow Copies tab, each of the volumes says "next run time" >  "disabled". I am not sure if this means anything or relevent to this issue. Thought I would throw that out.
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yairgeCommented:
for the shadow copies part, it doesnt metter as wsb creates vss snapshoys manually when u start the backup
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gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
If I have mounted volumes, do I need to specify them, as well? I have the volumes mounted on C: with the database on them. I'm wondering if I specify C:, will those get backed up or do I have to specify the mounted volumes. ( I would not know how to name them in this script, as they do not have letters assigned to them, of course.)

Any idea about this part? Seems pretty important. I was searching Google for details relating to this question, but cannot find anything.
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yairgeCommented:
It will backup what you tell to backup, allways make sure to do restore tests after you managed to backup.

If you have paritiions that doesnt contain letters you can specifiy their GUID, its unique idientifer that doesnt change.

you can get the guids by rnning mountvol command under command line
it should be somthing like this \\?\Volume{238d5980-dd01-11df-8857-806e6f6e6963}\
then add this to the command -include:\\?\Volume{238d5980-dd01-11df-8857-806e6f6e6963}

make sure it doesnt finish with \. it only can finish with }
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gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
I found out how to state the mounted volumes in the script. I scripted it, and ran it, and basically I have now eliminated the GUI as the problem. It still has not worked. It stopped with the same error...

the script I used:

wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:\\192.168.x.x\wdmb_r1_0\Exchange_WS_backup -include:c:,d:,p:,t:,\\?\Volume{32DB3684-52C6-21DF-9CED-00155D4D2900}\,\\?\Volume{CBD4CFFC-59CF-17DF-BCC4-00155D4D2600}\ -allcritical -vssFull

I ran it...

C:\users\administrator>wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:\\192.168.x.x\wdmb_r1_0\Exchange_WS_backup -include:c:,d:,p:,t:,\\?\Volume{32DB3684-52C6-21DF-9CED-00155D4D2900}\,\\?\Volume{CBD4CFFC-59CF-17DF-BCC4-00155D4D2600}\ -allcritical -vssFull
wbadmin 1.0 - Backup command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2004 Microsoft Corp.

Retrieving volume information...

This would backup volume  { NAMES OF VOLUMES }  to \\192.168.x.x\wdmb_r1_0\Exchange_WS_backup.

Do you want to start the backup operation?
[Y] Yes  [N] No  Y

Backup to \\192.168.x.x\wdmb_r1_0\Exchange_WS_backup is starting.

Creating the shadow copy of volumes requested for backup.

Backup stopped before completing.

Sumarry of backup:
--------------------------

Backup stopped before completing.
More data is available

C:\Users\administrator>



So, we're back to the beginning...
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gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
By the way, the same errors are written to the Application log as when using the GUI. It is completely the same.
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gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
Guess your last one didn't post for me, before I went ahead to push this further. Thanks for posting the mount point names, anyway... I actually found them in Disk Management though.

I modified the script so that the "\" were removed from the mount point names, and ran the script again. Not surprisingly, the results were exactly the same.

No go. I think we may be barking up the wrong tree trying to figure out if the scripting or GUI wizard isn't done right. It must be something else.
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yairgeCommented:
paste the result in cl here
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gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
C:\users\administrator>wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:\\192.168.x.x\wdmb_r1_0\Exchange_WS_backup -include:c:,d:,p:,t:,\\?\Volume{32DB3684-52C6-21DF-9CED-00155D4D2900}\,\\?\Volume{CBD4CFFC-59CF-17DF-BCC4-00155D4D2600}\ -allcritical -vssFull
wbadmin 1.0 - Backup command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2004 Microsoft Corp.

Retrieving volume information...

This would backup volume  { NAMES OF VOLUMES }  to \\192.168.x.x\wdmb_r1_0\Exchange_WS_backup.

Do you want to start the backup operation?
[Y] Yes  [N] No  Y

Backup to \\192.168.x.x\wdmb_r1_0\Exchange_WS_backup is starting.

Creating the shadow copy of volumes requested for backup.

Backup stopped before completing.

Summary of backup:
--------------------------

Backup stopped before completing.
More data is available

C:\Users\administrator>
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gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
It seems that I have now, upon running the wbadmin script,  I have now cleared the error from the appliction log that mentions Microsoft-Windows-CAPI2

...by using this document...
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/itprovistasp/thread/14abbc90-cab5-4fc6-953a-96c1929f9a7b

The System Writer was missing before and now it appears under vssadmin list writers

However, when I run the wbadmin script, I still get the same result above...

...
Creating the shadow copy of volumes requested for backup.

Backup stopped before completing.

Summary of backup:
--------------------------

Backup stopped before completing.
More data is available

C:\Users\administrator>
...

In the registry, I am only getting the Event 517 error now. It seems like something has advanced, but there is still a problem keeping it from backing up.
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gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
It seems it is failing because Windows Server Backup does not support an implementation with LCR running on the Exchange server...

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/exchangesvravailabilityandisasterrecovery/thread/52753682-9c8b-4191-acbd-b3fc671b6a25/

Windows Server Backup (for Exchange) really does not have very good documentation.
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gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
Apparently, I'm going to have find another way to back up the server. I don't think it's feasible to stop LCR and restart it, every time I want to back up. I'm not even sure if that's possible.
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yairgeCommented:
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gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
I think I got all my VSS issues worked out. I have no errors from that anymore and I have the right things listed for tests like vssadmin list writers / providers.


Contrary to what I said above, apparently, there are some ways around this LCR issues listed in here...
http://blogs.technet.com/b/dhardin/archive/2009/10/21/vss-backup-using-windows-server-backup-on-exchange-server-2007-sp2-fails-when-lcr-or-scr-is-enabled.aspx 

This worked for me in terms of the fact that it did get past the Exchange consistency check, but the problem I've been dealing with, where it just quits is even before that...

Yes, that doesn't make sense unless I did get past that primary issue... and I did. But the only way, I could get by it is if I do not list the volumes that are MOUNT POINTS in the script... or in the GUI wizard....but that's an issue because of what's on them.

Okay... so... I ran a backup in WSBExchange, and chose the drives that it told me were needed for full system restore (C:, D:). I copied it to a network location, and I chose VSSFull option. I left out the MOUNT POINTS. If I include the mount points it does not back up at all and gives me the error I listed above...

Summary of backup:
--------------------------

Backup stopped before completing.
More data is available


So, I still don't know what it does that. The problem is that the mount points have my databases and logs on them... so, that's a problem, isn't it?? I can get the backup to run and complete, but I'm not backing up what I need apparently. The worst part is because it is not touching the volumes with the database and logs on it, the logs are not truncating. I see people using scripts, etc., to run this with mount points listed and how to state them, but this still isn't working. I don't know what else might be stopping the mount point from backing up.

Any help out there would be MUCH appreciated.
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gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
Now I've found this...
http://www.msexchange.org/articles_tutorials/exchange-server-2010/high-availability-recovery/uncovering-new-exchange-2010-volume-snapshot-vss-plug-in-part1.html

As you may notice, each LUN has been presented to Windows Server using drive letters. Note though that I could have used mount points if Exchange 2010 was installed on Windows Server 2008 R2 and not Windows Server 2008 SP2. Mount points are currently not supported by the Exchange VSS plug-in, when installed on Windows Server 2008 SP2. You can read more about this issue in the article where I uncover the Exchange 2007 SP2 version of the VSS plug-in.
 
Limitations

You can only use mount points if Exchange 2010 is installed on Windows Server 2008 R2. If you have installed Exchange 2010 on Windows Server 2008 SP2, mount point are currently not supported.


With what I'm seeing, I would assume this is the same for Exchange 2007.
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yairgeCommented:
i suggest then ask microsoft on windows server backup forum.
the support is crap, but its what you got
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gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
Didn't solve it
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gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
Probably good solutions there for other people.
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