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SBS 2003 NTBackup takes 20+ hours

bluetab asked
I have a client running SBS 2003 SP2 with Exchange SP3.  They have a two 140GB drives (divided into into two partitions) configured as RAID 1.  There is 18% free space on the C partition and 40% on D.

We have NTBackup configured to run on a nightly basis to external USB drives.  The backup used to take 7 hours then starting on 10/23 the backups now take about 20 hours to complete.  I have tried changing USB ports and setting up a new USB drive but the problem persists.  The server has USB 2.0 ports.

Does anyone have an idea as to why the backups would be taking so long now?  There was no increase in the amount of data stored on the server.  The only change on the network was that we replaced four old XP workstations with new Windows 7 machines but that should not affect anything on the server.  We are running AVG on the server but no scans are scheduled and I've disabled the Resident Shield and Virus Scanner to see if that improves things.  

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
Watch Question

check if the disks are fragmented. run a defrag on them to check. also might be good to check if the raid is still good.. it could be in a degrated state..

check what processes are running and use the performance monitor to check the I/O on the disks to determine what is running.

have you implemented anything on the win7 machines like offline folders? are the clients turned off (just to be sure)

Senior Technical Consultant
have a check in the logs to see what changed around the time the backup slowed down. might be a windows update or driver update has changed things
Top Expert 2014

How much data are you actually backing up?  I couldn't calculate from the info above since I don't know your partition sizes.

Hi Bluetab,

Will you be able to let us know what NTBackup configuration are you running on?
You configure the NTBackup through the "Server Management" or from NTBackup?

Have you manually tried transferring files into the USB disk? How is the speed like?


Thanks everyone for the questions.  here's some answers.

P_Nuts: C drive is fragmented some but it's primarily the Exchange DB files.  D drive is only 3% fragmented.  RAID is in a healthy state
I/O & Processes: the processor is only running about 5% and nothing going on with the disk I/O

Karl: I'm going through the event logs and will post back

Footech: Data Backup there is a toal of about 95GB being backed up

Cybera: The backup was configured through Server Management.  I created a manual job last night using NTBackup to backup just the data store (35 GB) and it took about 8 hours.  I have manually copied about 1 GB of data to the drive but I didn't get a good feel for how long it took.  I will try again tonight and time it.


After reviewing the logs I found several errors with the ntfs event id 13561.  The server is a stand-alone so I'm not sure why this was happening.  But I followed the steps in the article below and added the reg key "Enable Journal Wrap Automatic Restore".
I also errored when I mentioned that there was no problem with the RAID.  The RAID was reporting a general transfer error when the server attempted to reboot.  

The ntfs errors have also disappeared and there is no longer any errors reported by the RAID manager during bootup. I'm glad everything is now working although I am confused as to why it happened in the first place.

The server is about six years old and we were looking to replace the server late next year and will probably bump that up to the earlier part of the year.  Thanks everyone.

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