Windows Server Backup Issues

We actually use CA Arcserve for backups and they are running fine.  The reason we want to do a Windows server backup is because our Virtual disks are showing a failed status, but the server is up and running with no noticeable issues.  Dell said the only way to fix this is to backup everything, delete the virtual disks, create new ones, and restore everything.  I know our CA Arcserve backups are working, but it worries me that the others are failing and I'd also like to have a second option.

The error we are receiving is "The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error.  That is on the "system State" drive.  Initially the exchange consistency check was failing.  I fixed that buy moving corrupt mailboxes to a new mailbox database.  Then the C drive was giving an I/O device error.  I fixed that by shrinking the volume for the C drive, but I don't know how I would accomplish the same for the System state.... any suggestions?
Sean RhudyPresidentAsked:
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A good product to use (instead of Windows Backup) is Veeam.  There is a trial version of Veeam Backup & Recovery available, and there is also a free version available - both will allow you to back up your virtual machines.

If you have a physical machine which needs backing up, you can use Veeam Endpoint Protection to back up a physical machine.  Be warned however that pretty much the only way to back up Windows OS's (virtual or physical) is to use the Windows Snapshot feature (also known as Volume Shadow Copy Service, or VSS)- and if this is the cause of your failures, then different products are not likely to work either.

This is not a sales pitch or advertisement.  I do not work for Veeam, but I use Veeam products in my organization.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
If you test the partitions with CHKDSK inside the Windows - does it report any problem?
Sean RhudyPresidentAuthor Commented:
Hi LesterClayton,  Our CA ArcServe backups use VSS and are running fine, so I don't believe it's a VSS issue.

Hi noxcho,  They do not report any issues. I ran chkdsk against the C drive and it came back clean.  Also, the backup gets past the C drive during it's inital tests and doesn't the system state "live" on the C drive?
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
How many partitions do you have on the drive?
If MSR is there then assign to it a drive letter and check it as well. Perform the check with CHKDSK R/ X: where x; is your partition drive letter.
Sean RhudyPresidentAuthor Commented:
Hi noxcho, I have a small 39mb partition that isn't labeled, I'm assuming that's the MSR?  I also have the Recovery partition, C Partition, and D Partition.
Sean RhudyPresidentAuthor Commented:
When I right click the 39mb partition I only get "help", no option to assign a drive letter.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Hi seanrhudy, you can try assigning the drive letter to it via Diskpart.exe (command line).
Anyhow, have you checked the other partitions with CHKDSK R/?
Sean RhudyPresidentAuthor Commented:
I have checked the other partitions and they came back fine.  I will try assigning the drive letter now, that won't take the server down, correct?
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Yes, correct. After check is completed you can remove the drive letter as well.
Sean RhudyPresidentAuthor Commented:
chkdsk doesn't show any issues.  Getting I/O device error on Recovery and System State.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Can you take a screen shot of Windows Disk management and post it here?
Sean RhudyPresidentAuthor Commented:
Disk Management Screenshot
Sean RhudyPresidentAuthor Commented:
Any suggestions?
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Sorry, lost this question in work hurry. Can you try to backup the partitions one by one? Does any of them report the error when backed up standalone?
Sean RhudyPresidentAuthor Commented:
Run Individually, the system state fails because of an I/O error, and the C drive fails because of an I/O error.  But the data drives run successfully.  A chkdsk doesn't reveal any issues and ArcServe D2D backs them up successfully.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
So, the problem is in C drive then. And system state takes backup of system data from C.
Can you run chkdsk c:/r command and when finished repeat the backup attempt?
Sean RhudyPresidentAuthor Commented:
I ran it twice and same result each time.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Ok, then the problem seems to be more deep so that even CHKDSK cannot work with it.
Perform the following test:
1) Create new virtual disk of the same size.
2) Restore backup from ArcServe and then try to boot from this disk. You can use for it a new test VM
3) If it boots then try to run on it Windows Server Backup and see if it takes the image.

This way you can see if the backup create by ArcServe is valid. And if yes - then you can exchange the system virtual disks and fix the problem this way.

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Hello Seanrhudy,

Can you update me with the following ?

1. Check if System Writer is listed on the server and in stable state ?
2. How many providers are available on the machine ?
3. Any other VSS or NTFS related errors in System & Application log in Event Viewer during the backups ?
Sean RhudyPresidentAuthor Commented:
Had to restore from backup.
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Windows Server 2008

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