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Windows 2012 Server Backup

Posted on 2014-03-22
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Last Modified: 2014-03-23
Hi,
 
 I am getting errors when I tried to backup Windows 2012 Server running Hyper-V (with 5 VMs).
 First, I selected C drive (Win2012 OS), then "Bare metal recovery" and "System state" was automatically selected. When I selected external 2TB USB drive as backup destination, I get an error.  Please see attached.

Next time I tried to choose just "OS" and I also get an error. Please see attached.

When I just selected C drive (without "Bare metal recovery" and "System state" selected) and D drive, it backed up without a problem.
Also when I just selected "Hyper-V & all VMs", no error there either.

Can you help?
Windows-2012-Backup-Error-Screen.doc
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Question by:sglee
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Expert Comment

by:Santosh Gupta
ID: 39947618
Hi,

Please format your USB drive with NTFS format and check,
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39947624
Ok. I have not formatted it manually. Right out of the box, I plugged into the server and Windows Server backup program took over the formatting as I backed up just C and D drives.
I will try to format it in NTFS and try again.
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Accepted Solution

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noxcho earned 200 total points
ID: 39947706
Actually the error saying you about the OS partition which contains BCD file. And this OS partition has no drive letter. It is usually formatted in FAT32 file system. Fpassign to it a drive letter and convert it to NTFS using convert command in cmd.
This has nothing to do with external USB drive as you even do not get to the step when the target for backup must be selected.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39947718
@noxcho
You are correct. I formatted external USB manually in NTFS, but I see the same errors.
If I just choose C, D and HyperV, I get no error.
However if I choose Bare metal recovery, system state, or OS, then I get an error.

I set up W2012 just like I have been. No different this time. Why am I getting this error?
What is the difference between OS and C drive?
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Assisted Solution

by:Santosh Gupta
Santosh Gupta earned 50 total points
ID: 39947731
Hi,

OS labeled disk is System reserved partition. it holds the Boot Manager code and the Boot Configuration Database. Sec¬ond, it reserves space for the startup files required by the BitLocker Drive Encryption feature.

Where as C drive holds Operating system.

Assign the letter to OS named disk, from Disk management and then convert it to NTFS partition.

command prompt window, type: convert drive_letter: /fs:ntfs
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39947740
Computer ManagementIn Computer Management, I see 2GB OS partition.
I am curious what is that for and why it is that I have to manually assign a drive letter and convert it to NTFS partition?
In other words, why weren't those two things not done during Windows 2012 installation?
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39947752
CompMgmt.msc in another W2012 InstallationAbove is the screenshot from another W2012 installation.  I don't see 2GB OS partition there.
Can you explain to me how I ended up having OS partition on this W2012 installation?
The difference that I can think of in setting up this w2012, I had to erase install, remove and reinstall OS install multiple times.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Santosh Gupta
ID: 39947791
Hi,

In both system screenshot, System reserved is present. only size is different.

In first System, it is renamed as "OS"
and in second system, it named with "System Reserved"
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39947797
CompMgmt on Current W2012I see what you are talking about.
But then what is that 39MB Healthy for?
Also can you explain to me (1) why OS partition (2GB) has FAT 32 partition instead of NTFS like the other W2012 and (2) how come this OS partition size is 2GB whereas it is only 350MB on the other server?
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Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39947870
You need to format server again and ensure that only one system reserved partition with system drive will remain
You will come to know that when you do partitions

Other wise I think you need to provide drive letters to both disks (2 GB and 39 MB) and convert it into NTFS
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39947888
I tried to install SBS2011 as single OS for the server once. Then I changed my mind to setup Windows 2012 so that I can set up multiple VMs - SBS2011 being one of Virtual Machines in Hyper-V. Now I think I remember seeing an extra partition when installing W2012 ...

I can't afford to reinstall Windows 2012 from the scratch because I have spent days to set up multiple virtual machines - SBS2011 (setting up user accounts, restoring data from old server, and the rest of SBS2011 setup) & Windows XPs - and joining workstations to the SBS2011 ... etc.

So is there any harm for keeping extra partition if I provide drive letters to both disks (2 GB and 39 MB) and convert it into NTFS and keep the server as it is?
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39947903
I assigned a drive letter 'Z' to OS partition and tried to convert it to NTFS.

PS C:\Users\Administrator> convert Z: /fs:ntfs
The type of the file system is FAT32.
Enter current volume label for drive Z: OS
Convert cannot run because the volume is in use by another
process.  Convert may run if this volume is dismounted first.
ALL OPENED HANDLES TO THIS VOLUME WOULD THEN BE INVALID.
Would you like to force a dismount on this volume? (Y/N)

should I say 'Y'?  Is it ok to dismount that volume while W2012 OS is running?
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LVL 36

Assisted Solution

by:Mahesh
Mahesh earned 250 total points
ID: 39947907
There is no harm in it to keep both partitions and actually now you don't have any choice

In reality you need only VM backup and do not required system state , bare metal backup
If the server gone down completely and if you need to restore system state backup on different server hardware or if server OS disks gone and you replaced disks and reinstalled OS, your system state backup is not of use
(MS required that system state backup must be restored on same server as crashed and with same OS - ideal condition which i guess never happens)
You can restore system state backup but it will give you warning before restoration

However in any case your VM backup is useful and VMs can be restored on another server if required
Hence if you can avoid system state backup and just fire VM backup, still it works
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Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39947908
Yes you need to dismount it
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39947925
After I dismount & convert it to ntfs, do I remove the assigned drive letter Z from the partition?
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LVL 36

Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39947938
Yes, it will work
The primary requirement is all disks should be NTFS which contains content of system state to work with windows server backup
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LVL 46

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 39947966
You cannot convert this partition into NTFS in Windows and you cannot dismount it. The OS is booted from this partition. Boot the server from Windows installation DVD and in command line assign to it drive letter then convert this partition to NTFS.
You do not need to reinstall the server. Just make sure that all partitions are NTFS because MS VSS which is used to take backup works only with NTFS and newer file systems of Microsoft.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39948219
I hear two opinions -
1. I can dismount the partition within windows and
2. I should do it in command line after booting the server from install dvd.
which opinion is correct?
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LVL 36

Assisted Solution

by:Mahesh
Mahesh earned 250 total points
ID: 39948318
In reality I don't understand how FAT32 partition has arrived ? In my environment all servers have system reserved partition near around 100 MB with NTFS
You must be used server manager CD of server manufacturer
http://www.networksteve.com/forum/topic.php/On_a_Dell_server,_is_it_safe_to_convert_a_2GB_FAT32_system_parti/?TopicId=28549&Posts=3

i found posts where computer won't boot after converting this FAT32 partition to NTFS, however there is way out
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/2241c44a-6328-45d0-a959-a1176f944960/windows-crashed-after-converting-system-reserved-partition-from-fat32-to-ntfs?forum=winservergen

Also i don't see any difference between two conversion options as both doing same task and hence there is no need to boot server with windows DVD to convert system reserved partition, after conversion if your server remains unbooted you can simply boot your server with windows DVD and use "Repair startup" option which will clear your problem

Mahesh.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39948625
Backup Selection WindowBackup Items SelectedBackup Confirmation
@ Mahesh
The first link that you posted is very much like my situation. I have a brand new DELL T320 server with two SAS 600GB HD on RAID 1 (disk mirroring). Quite honestly I don't know how I have FAT32 partition.

http://www.networksteve.com/forum/topic.php/On_a_Dell_server,_is_it_safe_to_convert_a_2GB_FAT32_system_parti/?TopicId=28549&Posts=3 

Anyway I have to try to convert and see if it will boot or fail. Since there is a chance it may not boot correctly after the conversion attempt, perhaps I need to have a backup plan.
I don't mind reinstalling Windows 2012 again as long as I can restore VMs from the backup. I simply can't afford to redo everything - setting up VMs, setting SBS2011 in VM ... too many days of work. So I am going to backup what I can first.

If I want to make a good backup of VMs, should I shut down the VMs before backing them up or it does not matter?
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Assisted Solution

by:noxcho
noxcho earned 200 total points
ID: 39948739
These partitions are OEM partitions and created by Dell for their specific purposes. Normally on this 2GB partition the software for RAID monitoring and recovery is located.
As for the difference in whihc mode to perform the conversion - from boot cd it is the safest. All operations which are potentially dangerous for data (such as file system conversion, resize, cluster size change etc) must be done in non-Windows environment.
As for the backup question: it does not matter. But i do it when they are shut down.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39948753
@ noxcho
OK. Let me do the conversion in DOS environment. I have assigned the driver letter Z: to that 2GB OS parition.
Can you provide steps and commands to run after rebooting the server using W2012 DVD?
I have not done this and would be great if you guide me thru the process.
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Assisted Solution

by:Mahesh
Mahesh earned 250 total points
ID: 39948847
If server remains unbooted after conversion, you need to simply boot server from dvd and select startup repair which will cure your problem
You need to give drive letter from gui in advance
Then you go to command prompt in above dos mode by booting your server through windows DVD and need to run convert D: /fs:NTFS
Replace drive letter with you provided earlier
It will prompt you with warning message, you need to press y and hit enter
At this step if you reboot server you might be left unbooted
Hence instead of rebooting, in the same command prompt window browse to ram drive (Might be X: where Recovery files located) and browse below path
X:\sources\recovery and run StartRep.exe which will cure any possible issue
Then reboot the server normally
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39948866
CompMgmt.msc after file system conversionAfter debating whether to run conversion in DOS or windows, I decided to run it in Windows Powershell and it ran successfully.
------------------------------------------------------

Windows PowerShell
Copyright (C) 2012 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

PS C:\Users\Administrator> convert Z: /fs:ntfs
The type of the file system is FAT32.
Enter current volume label for drive Z: OS
Convert cannot run because the volume is in use by another
process.  Convert may run if this volume is dismounted first.
ALL OPENED HANDLES TO THIS VOLUME WOULD THEN BE INVALID.
Would you like to force a dismount on this volume? (Y/N) y
Volume dismounted.  All opened handles to this volume are now invalid.
Volume OS created 3/6/2014 12:49 AM
Volume Serial Number is 9EF9-A7DA
Windows is verifying files and folders...
File and folder verification is complete.

Windows has scanned the file system and found no problems.
No further action is required.

2,139,095,040 bytes total disk space.
      540,672 bytes in 9 hidden files.
      155,648 bytes in 38 folders.
   18,235,392 bytes in 78 files.
2,120,159,232 bytes available on disk.

        4,096 bytes in each allocation unit.
      522,240 total allocation units on disk.
      517,617 allocation units available on disk.

Determining disk space required for file system conversion...
Total disk space:               2097152 KB
Free space on volume:           2070468 KB
Space required for conversion:    15053 KB
Converting file system
Conversion complete
PS C:\Users\Administrator>
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LVL 36

Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39948903
Actually its not PowerShell command, its standard windows native utility and even well works with elevated command prompt

Now please reboot server once and check if it works to get rid of real question please

You already know now what to do if boot fails
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39948919
Backup in ProgressComp MgmtI was able to reboot the server successfully after the conversion.
I was able to select "OS(Z:), Bare metal recovery" and "System state" without seeing an popup window in the backup selection screen.

Final questions:
(1) What is that 39MB Healthy on the left side of OS (Z:) partition
(2) Now conversion is done, do I need to remove drive letter Z: from OS partition?
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LVL 36

Assisted Solution

by:Mahesh
Mahesh earned 250 total points
ID: 39948923
Yes, you can remove drive letter
Even if it is there nothing will be impacted
I'd remove drive letter to avoid confusion and to get it formatted mistakenly
It will behave now just like other standard servers

The 39 MB partition, you must need to ignore it, its created by manufacturer server manager DVD and leave it as it is untouched (actually you don't have any option to delete that)
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39948927
I see.
Thanks you all for your help in this matter and I appreciate it.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 39948940
If I may ask one more question...
I just created a daily backup schedule to back up entire server (OS + all the VMs in Hyper-VMs)
That said is it necessary to set up separate backup within SBS2011/VM  (where all the user files are stored and active directory information resides) just in case someone misplaced files or folders?
If I can't restore a specific file or folder (that is missing) in certain VM via Windows 2012 Server backup, it may be necessary to backup SBS2011 on a daily basis separately.
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LVL 46

Assisted Solution

by:noxcho
noxcho earned 200 total points
ID: 39948945
39MB partition is Dell EISA partition, almost all Dell servers with preinstalled Windows have this partition. It can be deleted and its deletion changes nothing. But as it takes only 39MB - let it be there.
And yes, remove the drive letter. You do not need it anymore there. Z: drive letter is often used by mapped shares so keep it free.
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LVL 46

Assisted Solution

by:noxcho
noxcho earned 200 total points
ID: 39948950
Redirect the user folders to single specific share or machine and backup this machine daily. Thus you save space and time.
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LVL 36

Assisted Solution

by:Mahesh
Mahesh earned 250 total points
ID: 39948981
You need to take active directory system state backup (SBS) on daily basis

This is required to save you in case of AD database corruption , authoritative restore in case of AD objects deletion

Mahesh.
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