Windows Server 2008 backups

garyoh used Ask the Experts™
can anyone describe how server backup works? Here is why. I show a directory C:\public\departmentA\work_in_Progress\customerZ\ArchiveFiles\project23.xls erroring out as not there, the famous "Error [0x80070003] The system cannot find the path specified" error. I went back and looked at the three backups prior to this one and the directory and files are not there. And the path and directories are not found currently. So how does Windows see this path and file if it isn't there? i think it is possible it was there at one time perhaps but it isn't now and wasn't before. Is that directory and contents stored somewhere? I just dont understand how this works.
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noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

The backup process works as follows:
Step one - initialize MS VSS Service
Step two - create snapshot of the data bitmap
Step three - create the virtual container for backup
Step four - Start writing the data from drive to storage according to the information received from data bitmap.

Now to the problem itself. I am not sure 100% but it seems so that information about this data location is written in MFT and to some reason it was not deleted or corrected after you moved the file.
Try to run CHKDSK x:/f (where X: is a partition drive letter) on all volumes this usually removes empty records and crosslinks.
Then try backup again.
I see this error (or similar) when the backup job was created to explicitly include this directory (or file) and the directory (or file) is later deleted.  The backup application doesn't know that you wanted to delete the directory (or not), it only knows that a directory it was told to back up is no longer there -- so it gives you an error.

Case 1: In the GUI of a backup application, I put a single checkmark in the box for C:\ of a server, and make no other selections.  There is a directory C:\Merger.  While the directory is there it (and everything else in C:\) will be backed up.  If the directory is removed, C:\ will still be backed up without error.  I would also expect that a new directory C:\Reports, created after the backup specification was created, will be backed up on the next scheduled backup job of this specification.  

Case 2: In the GUI of a backup application, I explicitly select all of the directories and files in C:\, and save the job.   C:\Merger is included in the job specification.  When I later delete C:\Merger, I will get an error message saying that the directory is not found; the only ways to clear the error would be  either edit the job specification, or, recreate the directory.  Note: If I now create a new directory C:\Reports, it will NOT be backed up, since it was not included in the list of files and directories to be backed up.

Recommendation: Select the highest-level directory that contains all the files and directories you want to back up.  If you want the whole server, then select C:\, don't select the individual directories in C:\.
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Wait, is it a file backup or a drive backup?

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