Acronis RAID 0+1 Server Backup

Hi Experts

Would really appreciate some opinion on this as its really critical

2 weeks ago we 90% finished a new server 2008 install to 11 workstations.  The server is just a PC with hardware RAID 0+1 and 4 x 2Tb drives.  What we missed was the pesky 2Tb limit so therefore wasn't using the whole array.  The OS is installed on a 1Tb partition with nothing else on the RAID.

So we got hold of Acronis Server 11 and are using the boot CD to image backup.  I use Acronis extensively for workstations but haven't for a RAID.

My issue is, the boot CD sees the RAID as 4 separate drives, of which C and D contain the partition but E and F showed nothing.  The backup size is around 340Gb as it contained roaming profiles (something we want to move to separate drives but that's a question for another day).

Just to be sure I backup up all the drives to an external 1Tb drive with about 750gb free space.  After a number of hours at 65% it stopped saying not enough room on the backup location.  I'm presuming that as I chose all the drives it was also backing up the mirror also?

I've now started a backup of the labelled C Drive only, with the intention that I either leave the RAID out of it and use JBOD and move things around accordingly or use another RAID again.  The backup is running much more quickly this time.

How can I be confident that the C Drive is good to put back to a different structure? - this is the only backup and its Saturday afternoon, the Server needs to be put back in the office by Sunday night ready for them to return for work on Monday.  Obviously the image will be verified.

Any opinions or advice for this would be great, I'm just concerned at the '4 disk representation'
pcpoorlyltdAsked:
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Tony GiangrecoCommented:
It sounds like your raid may not be  setup properly. If you are using a raid card, initially, I would go into it's setup and review the config and verify the four drives are in the raid. I always use a raid 5 on servers and create multiple partitions so I have insurance that is a drive dies, I won't use data.

If you want to ensure your data is being backed up properly, I would take a backup and try restoring it to another box and see it it boots after the restore completes.
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pcpoorlyltdAuthor Commented:
in the F10 RAID config it shows as a RAID 0+1 3,.67Tb - which is correct.

In SBS it also shows the same, but the partition cannot be extended beyond 2Tb as its MBR.  If I try and create anything outside the 2Tb everything is greyed out, i.e. cant do it as it's not GPT.

My initial attempt was to change from MBR to GPT but this failed and I spend a whole weekend converting it back using Acronis Disk Director.

It's taken 2hrs 45 mins to backup 50% of the 340Gb, and its still going, what I would like to try and do is, once the backup is complete, boot back into SBS and install Virtual Machine and try and restore it in the VM to see if it works - could this be done?
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Tony GiangrecoCommented:
That sounds like a good plan. I try staying away from any SCS O/S and only use the full O/S versions.

Here is a link detailing the limitations. Note, the limit is expanded for Raid-5 configuration. You might want to go in that direction after your backup completes.

Also, try backing up to a large external USB drive. It may be easier to restore from. We use 2 & 4 TB external USB drives for server backups.
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Tony GiangrecoCommented:
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pcpoorlyltdAuthor Commented:
Its just so annoying - if I'd have been aware of the 2Tb limit I wouldn't have created the 3.67Tb 0+1 (over 4 x 2Tb Drives under MBR) - its caused so much hassle

Like my first post mentioned - I'm just worried by the fact that in the backup it showed a C Drive with the 1Tb partition on it, a D Drive with a 1Tb partition on it and the other 2 disks had nothing there. (I'm guessing these were the stripes and the available drives were the mirrors)

I suppose if Acronis had showed 1 Drive (3.67Tb) and 1 C partition of 1Tb then I wouldn't be having this conversation - however as it showed 4 separate physical drives - that concerns me that backing up the C Drive only - is getting the image that I need to recovery.

Thanks for your input so far!
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Aaron TomoskySD-WAN SimplifiedCommented:
It looks like Acronis is seeing the raw drives which it shouldn't do with a raid card in raid mode. The raid card would be setup in jbod mode which means its not really doin anything. The os is doing the 0+1. Any chance this is hats going on?
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pcpoorlyltdAuthor Commented:
No in the F10 hardware RAID at post screen it says 0+1 and using the 4 x 2Tb drives - hence the capacity of the RAID - 3.67Tb

On this setup was one 1Tb partition, it couldn't be extended over 2Tb due to the 2Tb limitations.

I'm of the same opinion Acronis should see 1 Drive, I even added the nvidia RAID drivers to the Acronis boot disk - so its strange.

The C Drive which I backed up is now 80% verified so we shall soon see.
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Aaron TomoskySD-WAN SimplifiedCommented:
If you install Acronis into windows and use it to backup from there it should then use the windows raid drivers and thus only see one drive
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pcpoorlyltdAuthor Commented:
It failed doing that - plus I've been having issues with major slowness, i.e. copying files from usb HD to desktop etc at less than 1Mb / sec.

There's no way I would have done that anyways due to the slowness - in all honesty I think the RAID on the MSI board (nvidia) is pap

Update* - even more strangely after the backup completed in the boot CD after 6 hours, damn thing wouldn't boot.  So I mounted and browsed that TIB image, looked ok.  I'm currently restoring that onto one of the drives, this time with no raid setup.

It looks as though I'll get a system going of nightly scheduled backups to different USB's like this

Drive 1 - O.S and Exchange (2Tb)
Drive 2 and 3 Mirrored - Folderredirects (2Tb)
Drive 4 - Shared (2Tb)

Use 3 USB Drives (2 x 2Tb and one 500Gb), schedule Acronis to backup via this plan

USB 1 - 500Gb
USB 2 - 2Tb
USB 3 - 2Tb

Taken off site when not in use

Mon - Drive 1 to USB 1
Tue - Drive 4 to USB 3
Wed - Drive 1 to USB 1
Thu - Drive 4 to USB 3
Fri - Drive 1 to USB 1
Sat - Drive 4 to USB 3
Sun - Drive 2 to USB 2  (This less frequently as the drive is mirrored)

How does that sound?
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Aaron TomoskySD-WAN SimplifiedCommented:
Sounds confusing ;)
I backup to a big ol drive array and replicate offsite. YourPlan sounds like tape rotation to me
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Aaron TomoskySD-WAN SimplifiedCommented:
Sounds confusing ;)
I backup to a big ol drive array and replicate offsite. YourPlan sounds like tape rotation to me
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Gerald ConnollyCommented:
So you have 4 x 2TB drives (NB de facto standard is to use "b" for bits and "B" for Bytes) configured as RAID10 (the use of RAID 0+1 is ambiguous, hopefully you really mean mirror sets that are striped) giving you a RAIDset of approx 4TB.

It sounds like you have either presented this 4TB as 4 * 1TB LUNs that you have assigned as C:, D:, E:, F: or you presented a single 4TB LUN and created 4 partitions of 1TB each.
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Gerald ConnollyCommented:
How about a screenshot of disk manager?
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pcpoorlyltdAuthor Commented:
You'd think so - however the RAID was setup at 3.67TB 1+0.  I created a single partition of 1TB on it.  I could create a 2nd 1TB partition, but the rest of the disk structure in disk manager ended up being greyed out.

However I'm past that now and I went ahead with not using RAID.

Everything went great, reinstating the backup and just incorporating the SATA Drivers instead of using the RAID drivers - I saw no performance difference.

It all went drastically bad though, as I installed a few updates, and "successfully" moved data shares to other drives / partition - such as FolderRedirect, Shares, Exchange DBase and WSUS.  I couldn't boot after that.  I'd get a black screen with the mouse then it would restart.  Stopping it at the BSOD I got

STOP: c00002e2 Directory Services could not start because of the following error:
A device attached to the system is not functioning.

Error Status: 0xc0000001.
Please shutdown this system and reboot into Directory Services Restore Mode, check the event log for more detailed information.

All I could do was get into DSRM, and the event logs didn't help me at all.

In all honesty I'm not completely confident in the hardware, after all it's only a Fujitsu pi 3410 board with an nvidia nforce 630i chipset

I'm just in the process of once again putting the Acronis image back on, would be a lot quicker if the 320+GB weren't included in the FolderRedirects!
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Gerald ConnollyCommented:
So recreate the LUNs and just present it as 2x2TB LUNs rather than one big chunk that will get round the 2TB problem, then you can create 2x1TB partitions on each.
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Tony GiangrecoCommented:
I agree with connollyg:, Your SBS O/S and raid card may not be fully compatible with each other when using that copnfiguration. I use raid-5 on all my Dell servers with multiple 1TB drives and it works well, but I don't use SBS.
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Tony GiangrecoCommented:
Have you been able to get the system operational again?
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