Windows Server Backup Fialing During Shadow Copy Phase

I administer a Windows Server 2008 box. For the past few weeks, our backups have only sporadically worked. Event Viewer and errors within WSB tell me that something is happening during the Shadow Copy phase of the backup. It appears that the Storage MiniPort Driver cuts out during this time and that's what's causing the backup.

There have been no changes made to the machine prior to this happening. We actually have Shadow Copy turned off on this server, so there's really nothing there to back up. Is there a way to turn this part of the backup off? Should I be looking more at the Storage Miniport Driver?

I found a link that suggested upping the limit of time the backup attempts to create a Shadow Copy before it times out. I'm currently attempting my first backup after making that change.
Wesley JohnsonIT AssistantAsked:
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Can you post the message of EventViewer here?
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Wesley JohnsonIT AssistantAuthor Commented:
The two that seem to occur around the time the backups are attempted:

"The device 'Storage miniport driver" (long address, will type it all out if it helps)  disappeared from the system without being prepared for removal."

"The devices "Msft Virtual Disk SCSI Disc Device' (another long address) disappeared from the system without being prepared for removal."

I assume this means the external drives are sporadically inaccessible at the time of the backup. We have a rotation of three WD external drives for our backups. I've noticed before while the backup is happening that a notification that the "Storage Miniport Driver" was successfully installed randomly displays. I've tried switching USB ports in case the one we used was going bad. The only other thing I can think of is the cable, but we don't have any extras.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Do you have a powered USB hub you can test the external drives with?
The sporadic disconnections are not a good sign. They are usually caused either by bad driver or by failing USB port (power for example is not enough).
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Wesley JohnsonIT AssistantAuthor Commented:
I'll see if I can dig up a hub to test. A bad port was my initial thought; upon that thought, I moved it to one of the ports in the back. The drive was put into a front port by the person who previously performed these tasks. I know those ports usually carry a lower voltage.

The storage miniport driver is my biggest suspect in this case.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Wait. Are you running Hyper-V on this server?
I assume yes. Because the second error refers to virtual disk. According to MS this can be just simply ignored: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/958669
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Wesley JohnsonIT AssistantAuthor Commented:
Hyper-V is on the server.

Is there a way to tell the backup to ignore the shadow copy phase? We don't have that enabled on our main drive. It's still sporadically timing out. Tuesday the backup ran as planned; yesterday it failed.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
As far as I know - no.
Are you imaging the Host or the virtual machines? As far as I understood the host is being imaged. Maybe you need to backup virtual machines only?
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Wesley JohnsonIT AssistantAuthor Commented:
Just imaging the host.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
If the host is used for running virtual machines only (does not play any other role) then you do not need to backup it often. More important are virtual machines. I would keep imaging virtual machines daily and imaging host once per month.
Whatever happens with host - you can reconfigure it and then import your virtual machines.

Microsoft says ignore the error events and does not consider them to be some danger for the server.
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Wesley JohnsonIT AssistantAuthor Commented:
Our backups work so sporadically, though. This server is also a host to network shares we have set up for staff to use; that's really what we'd hate to lose. But, just yesterday, we finally have our server upgrade appointment scheduled. I'm going to abandon this question and re-open if it happens after our new ones are in place.

I'm going to give you points for all your advice, though.
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Wesley JohnsonIT AssistantAuthor Commented:
Didn't exactly solve my problem, but he gave me great advice.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Thanks. Thats why I wrote IF the host....
If it has shares sure the backup is obligatory.
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Windows Server 2008

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