External USB Hard Drive and Backup Problems

Tahir2008
Tahir2008 used Ask the Experts™
on
Hi,

I have recently been having some problems with Segate Expansion and Black Armor drives connected to an SBS2008 server. When the drives are first connected all seems to work fine, they are detected without a problem, however, on both occasions when the client swaps the drives to rotate the backup drives they are no longer detected even though they are listed on the USB Mass Storage under device manager.

I have spoken to Segate who say neither of these drives are supported on server operating systems even though I have used them before and some of our clients are currently using them without a problem.

I then decided to plug the drives into an XP computer which detects the drives without a problem and then try and connect to the drive over the network however the server keeps showing the following message:

'Not enough server storage is available to process this command'

I have tried the registry hack:

'To solve this problem open the Registry and navigate to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Services \ lanmanserver \ parameters and check if the string IRPStackSize exists. If it does not exist create a new Dword with the name IRPStackSize.

The default value for this Dword is 18 and you should raise the value by adding 3 to it. The first value for IRPStackSize would be 21. Reboot your computer and see if that solved the problem. If you still get the error message add 3 again and reboot your computer again.

The maximum size for IRPStackSize is 50.'

Which has not helped but instead results in the server BODing when attempting to connect to the external USB drive on the XP computer.

Any ideas?
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Neale WilliamsService Delivery Manager

Commented:
Are the users disconnecting the drives through Windows or just unplugging them? I find USB drives to be unreliable for backups.
If you can, a better long term solution would be to move away from USB to either tapes or offsite replication.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
SBS is very fussy about which drives are compatible and which are not. Many work for data storage but will not work for the back up. As a result there was a Wiki created just for reporting findings as to what dives people have found are compatible and which are not. It obviously is not a complete list but is helpful.
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/1780.aspx

Author

Commented:
I looked at the list recommended and the drives we are using are not listed yet my other client who uses SBS2003 seems to work fine. I went back to the server today and plugged in the drives and they are re-detected, unplugged them and replugged them and they still get detected.

I have no idea why on certain removals when they are replugged it fails to detect the drive in the OS.
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Commented:
did you check the filesystem of the remote harddisks??

Author

Commented:
All running NTFS

Commented:
Well if the BlackArmor drives are there with NIC interface connect them to LAN and map them on the server. You can connect them to an XP machine also and map the drives to check
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
I am not familiar with Black Armor drives, but if they offer NIC interfaces, you cannot use that for the SBS backup. SBS will only backup, using the SBS backup, on a schedule, to a physically attached drive.

Commented:
well why not try using Acronis Echo Enterprise server edition
Map the drives once they are connected to an xp machine
and image the harddrive
and then schedule an incremental backup daily or twice in a day or whatever meets your requiremens
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
SBS has a VERY nice built-in backup utility that makes backups and partial and full restores very easy, and at no extra charge. The backups are also integrated into the SBS daily monitoring and reporting features. In my mind it would not really be ideal to have to connect a drive to an external PC, map a drive, purchase additional software, and back up to that device, rather than configure the native application properly. SBS requires the SBS specific version of Acronis, which I agree works well, but runs $499. You could buy 5 compatible USB backup drives for SBS for less. Just my thoughts.

Author

Commented:
The BlackArmor drives I have do not have NIC, only their NAS versions have NIC and that is no good as it comes with its own backup software which is the only way to browse the drive using the NIC. Their backup software is called Memo or something.

We use Shadow Protect for our backup purposes, Acronis is far too unreliable and I have had so much trouble with them, their support and product as a whole that I will not touch that product at all. However saying that, their Echo version of the product was excellent and Acronis is based of Shadow Protect.

The problem I am having would be the same problem with Acronis if I was using it as when the drive is plugged in sometimes it is detected and other times its not detected, my client does not have access to the server so only plugs it in and unplugs and as a result does not see whether the drive is detected or not. We only know the backup failed when we receive the email notification, after looking at the logs it states it was unable to access the destination object and that is because the Black Armor drive failed to mount.

I spoke to Segate who said they cannot assist when its used on a server operating system so I used it on a XP PC with the same results so now will be talking to them as well to see if they can now assist.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
ShadowProtect is excellent. Sorry I assumed you were using SBS backup. The compatibility issues discussed apply primarily to SBS's own backup.

Are the drives connected when you plug them in but not at the time of the backup? Is there a possibility they are "going to sleep"? If so there is a recent update to the drive compatibility site addressing the problem:
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/1780.aspx

Author

Commented:
The site does not outline any updates for the Black Armor, I even contacted Segate and asked them if there is any firmware updates and they said no.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
Sorry I wasn't referring to updates relating to Black Armor drives but rather a workaround for drives that "go to sleep" and the backup fails as they are not visible at that time to the backup operation.

Author

Commented:
Yes that could be a problem as they work when they are plugged in. What was this workaround you mentioned?
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
In the link provided, directly under the table, starting with; "Thank you to Merv Porter, SBS-MVP, for writing up the following workaround for USB backup drives that fail to wake from sleep! - Steve "

Author

Commented:
Thanks I will give that a try and update accordingly.
I have found the problem was related to ESET Antivirus which needed certain options to be disabled so it could function.

Author

Commented:
The cause of the problem seems to be related to ESET Antivirus.

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