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Problem with WHS Server backup and new WD 3 TB USB 3 drive

Posted on 2012-08-14
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
WHS 2011 Server backup to a new WD 3 TB USB 3.0 drive fails with the error message:

Backup Status:

The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error.

My I-O Data 3 TB works on the same USB 3.0 add-in card and backups to it are successful but it tends to overheat, so I wanted to swap it out with the WD 3 TB.  I have installed the WD SES x64 drivers and the drive can be seen in My Computer since I've given it a letter and in Disk Management.  It works just fine on Windows 7 Machines.  It seems as though WHS 2011 has started to use it because it has placed a windowsimagebackup directory on the disk.  The cable is the same that I've used to connect it to Windows 7 computers and seems to be firmly seated on both the computer and the drive.  The server backed up just fine to the I-O Data drive 30 minutes before this failure.  I would really appreciate help with solving this problem since my other backup drive gradually climbs to a temperature of 52 degrees if it runs for a few hours ands I have to take it offline.  (not very acceptable for a server backup drive!)  Thanks.
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Question by:ermooney
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Expert Comment

by:ryan_johnston
ID: 38294032
Its because it's a 3TB drive.  Server OS's can't utilize external drives bigger than 2.4TB (or something like that).

I had the same issue with a Lacie 3TB drive I had.  My Win 7 laptop saw it just fine but my Server 2008 R2 servers couldn't see it.  The Disk Management saw them as 22TB drives.
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Accepted Solution

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pgm554 earned 2000 total points
ID: 38294363
Ah,yes,what we have is the good ole 4k sector Wndows server backup issue.

You have a 4k sector drive that will not work as  a USB backup device.
The format (VHD) will not back up to 4k sector drives due to it being hard coded to 512byte sector.
They fixed this in server 2012 using the vhdx format.

You got two choices:

1.Find USB drives that still support 512byte
2.Go with a 3rd party (Acronis,Storagecraft,Symantec)

See:

http://gadgets.itwriting.com/998-why-your-new-2tb-or-3tb-drive-will-not-work-with-windows-backup.html

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/1780.external-backup-drives-compatibility-list.aspx

It's not just the 3TB size,none of the newer 4k sector drives will  work because of the format issue.
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Author Comment

by:ermooney
ID: 38294743
Hi pgm554.  Do you think that it might be better to switch to Windows Server 2012 Essentials when it is RTM?  I would then have the capability to schedule automated backup for my client computers that would work with the new drives.  Another install and setting up the connectors again with possible domain issues but cheaper in the long run to buying server backup software.  Thanks for clearing up the problem!
To ryan-johnston:  It's not the drive size.  I can backup just fine to an i-O Data 3 TB drive that overheats.  The problem seems to be with the 4k sector size of the new drive.
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Author Closing Comment

by:ermooney
ID: 38294744
Neatly solved my problem!
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