SBS 2011 Windows Server Backup issue

We're trying to use the "Backup Once" Wizard in Windows Server Backup.

Here are the options we select:
- Bare Metal, System State, C:, and E: (our data volume)
- Storage Type: Local drive -- formatted with NTFS, plenty of space for multiple backups
- VSS copy backup

When we go to run the backup, we get the following error:

"One of the specified source volumes has an invalid format and cannot be protected using Windows Server Backup. Only volumes formatted with NTFS can be protected."

The C: and E: volumes are NTFS. In Disk Manager, we also have a volume labeled "OS" which is 9 GB, which is actually FAT32. How did this volume come about? Our main boot drive is RAID 1, we formatted it ourselves in NTFS.

When we remove "Bare Metal" and "System State," we are able to proceed with the backup. However, we then get an error that says "Volumes larger than 2088958 megabytes cannot be protected." Our E: is 3 TB. So we can't backup our largest data volume?

We can successfully do an isolated System State Backup if we run our own script from the command line.

We'd like to be able to do a Bare Metal backup now and then.

Is Windows Server Backup so limited as to be virtually useless? Or is there some way we can use it?
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Hi danny,

The OS partition is probably your server's system restore data is stored. I wouldn't mess with it, but if you're intent on getting the native bare-metal backup done, I'd use something like BootIt NG, Acronys, or other similar software to make a backup of it and then delete it to make Windows' native tool happy.

Having said this, however, I suggest that you actually look into BootIt NG, which is a great program for doing bare-metal bakcups, and it won't choke on partition types.

d4nnyoAuthor Commented:
Do you mean "BootIt Bare Metal?" Looks like BootIt NG is discontinued.

Have you run this on SBS 2011?

Is it a Norton Ghost-type imager? Can it be ported from one PC to another?

How do you restore? I don't see any mention of a boot CD. If I image to a USB drive, how do I recover?

I can always ask these of the manufacturer but if you have first-hand experience, that would be helpful.
Yes, Boot It Bare Metal is what it's called now. Yes, in principle, it's the same type of software as ghost, only less bloated (I used ghost for about 2 versions, when it came out, and loved it; afterwards it went the way all symantec products have gone, and I just tossed it aside).

You create either a bootable flash drive or cd/dvd with the installer that you download from their web site. That's how you start-up the computer and then take it from there... let's you resize partitions, move them around, create images of them, etc.

You can create an image of a partition and save it as a file to another partition on the same drive or to an external drive. NG also had a backup drive function, but I never used it; I stuck to just imaging partitions to either back-up or to replicate full installs throughout several computers.

I don't think that the underlying OS would make a difference, and I've never used it in a raid environment, so I can't comment but you can ask the developer directly and I'm sure they'll be happy to steer you in the right direction.

Good luck!

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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Your FAT32 9GB drive seems to be an OEM partition with OS image inside. Did this server come with OS preinstalled?

As for volumes bigger than 2TB. This is limitation of VHD. Microsoft saves the backup into virtual drive without compression it means that to save your 3TB drive it needs to create 3TB VHD drive. But the VHD can be only 2TB. So yes, this is impossible.
Get a copy of Paragon Drive Backup 10 Server or Hard Disk Manager 12 Server and and perform the backup with it as you want.
d4nnyoAuthor Commented:
The OS did come pre-installed but we re-installed from scratch.

We're running Retrospect SBS 7.7 and it's working well, definitely backing up the mail-store, this is one of the plugins.

We just need an backup-image creator for monthly images of the server, and for imaging before config changes.

Last question: Can we run BootIt Bare Metal on a live Exchange database? Or do we have to shut down services first?

No, in order to run Bare Metal or NG you need to shut down the computer and boot it with the Bare Metal or NG media.

Considering the nature of an "image" backup, I don't think you can run it while the drive you're imaging is being altered in any way.

Having said this, though, I think that Acronis or Paragon have a way to do imaging while windows is running - I recall having seen mention of this in one of the product pages years ago, but can't remember exactly where. Maybe another product from the developer of bootIt would do it, but I've never looked beyond bootIt NG or BM.

Assuming that you must shut down in order to do your monthly image, I would separate data and os+sw in two partitions. This way I would use a regular backup solution for the data and an image backup for os+sw. The smaller os+sw partition would definitely make the process run much faster, minimizing your downtime.

I would also use external sata to further reduce downtime while the partition is imaged.

noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Paragon uses Microsoft VSS Service for data bitmap snapshots so it takes the image of the entire HDD while the server is in use. No need to restart it. Along with your retrospect tool it is going to be a good protection plan.

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