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Windows Server Back on SBS2011 using 4TB drive with drive sector 4k

Posted on 2014-07-16
Medium Priority
1 Endorsement
Last Modified: 2014-07-17
Hi All

I have recently had my 2x 2TB seagate drives fail that have been used for the SBS2011 Server Backups for ages. These were replaced with new 2x4TB seagate drives.  However the backups keep failing since the new drives.

I have done some digging and it looks like SBS Server back has issues with drives with 4k sectors and seems to only want to on  drives with 512 byte sectors.

is there a way around this ? i have seen some links about 512e formats, but im not sure how to get this working on the external 4TB seagate drive and then to get windows server backups to work with this?

Question by:optimus_nz
LVL 84

Accepted Solution

David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 1000 total points
ID: 40201255
There is no way around it. The further reason is that Windows Server Backup uses VHD virtual drives as its file format. The VHD format presumes the use of 512byte sectors, and the drivers that read and write data are optimised for this. You cannot create or mount VHDs on a disk with 4K sectors.

Microsoft Information 1
Microsoft Source 2
Western Digital Fix

Assisted Solution

by:Adam Ray
Adam Ray earned 1000 total points
ID: 40201257
You are correct. SBS2011 Server Backup (2008 R2) only works with 512byte sectors. I also found the references to being able to get drives with 4K sectors working in 512e mode...

But for what it's worth I've spent quite a bit of time on it in the past and have never been able to get a Seagate drive over 2TB to work.--I never tried any other brand, but did see posts about getting a >2TB Western Digital drive to work  http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/889b01be-d333-4fc7-b005-e12b7b236ad7/problem-with-windows-server-backup-2008-r2-with-advanced-format-4k-drive
LVL 57

Expert Comment

ID: 40201309
First, we need to know the model of your new drives to determine if those are 512e or 4k drives. Then, it would be valuable to see the full error message.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 40201452
Either get 512 sector disks, or use a 3rd party backup software. Getting 512 sector disks is probably cheaper, and the disks you already have can probably used for other things easily...
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Philip Elder
ID: 40201941
Windows Server Backup uses a VHD file as its repository.

VHD files only support an underlying 512b setup on disk.

VHD files have a supported size of ~2TB maximum.

Therefore, one can only use 512b disks for backup with about 2TB of space being used.

We hit this early as we had a bunch of backup drives that needed to be rotated out (3 year life limit in our rotations). Purchased a bunch of Seagate Advanced Format drives (did not know they were) and hit the wall.

We then purchased a bunch of WD Black 2TB WD2002FAEX drives as they are 512b. We just deployed our last few sets of these drives.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40203165
thanks all, this pretty much confirms what i did find out on web yesterday

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