Blog: Backup

A Windows 8 machine was being backed up with the Windows 7 backup. The backup completed all the file level backup but it failed backing up the system image. I found various articles indicating that the problem was in creating the shadow copy, and apparently it tries to create the shadow copy on the system partition instead of the larger “C” partition (in this case). In this case, the system partition (partition #1 on the physical disk 0) was 1GB and the C drive (partition #2 on the physical disk 0) is about 450GB. [more]

I used the partition program Mini Partition Home Edition V7.7 (downloaded from http://www.partitionwizard.com/download.html) to resize the C drive smaller, then shift it so the system partition can grow contiguously. I increased the system partition size to 2.5GB. Then, the Windows 7 backup program ran to completion and backed up the system image also.

In using the Mini Partition program, I had to remove all USB drives from the system. If USB drives are found, then the Partition Wizard will error out when it reboots to apply the partition changes. This problem is discussed in the FAQ’s for the Partition Wizard found here: http://www.partitionwizard.com/faq.html


 

A system was running GUID partition tables (GPT) in place of MBR and UEFI instead of BIOS. After a restor from backup, when trying to enable BitLocker, I got an error saying, “Element not found”. This vague error message did not provide any helpful results on Google, so I tried running BitLocker from the command line. Running the command “manage-bde –on C: -tpmandpin” gave me an error code (0x80070490) to go with the vague message. A Google search for the error code yielded this link to TechNet that says this is a known issue when moving hard drives between systems using the UEFI boot firmware and that running “bcdboot %systemdrive%\Windows” command will fix it. The command did not fix the problem, but it pointed me in the right direction. Some more searching led me to this link that talks about how to manually delete the “bootmgfw.efi” file in the UEFI boot partition. After deleting the file and then running the “bcdboot” command from the TechNet article, BitLocker encrypted the drive.


 

BackupExec jobs may fail when they are set to append only, and the customer uses new media.  Either copy the job and set the new job to overwrite, or change the media settings to allow append.

BackupExec 2012 has a new feature that allows “no-metal restores.”  The restore actually performs a P2V conversion.


 

A customer called a few weeks ago saying they did not have Internet access and could not access the network. A storm had gone through the area the night before, so I started by having them check to make sure the Internet equipment was online. There were no problems with the network equipment, so I asked the onsite IT person to check the server rack. Upon walking into the server room, I could hear alarms going off. He said it was the UPS that was beeping.

Their DHCP, DNS, WPAD, and File Server is all on one server, which is plugged into this UPS.  I went onsite and bypassed the UPS for power to their servers. The UPS would not turn the outlets on and referred to an overload error. I called APC tech support and they said this error meant that there was an internal fault in the UPS and it would have to be replaced. A replacement UPS was sent and installed. It appears that an electrical event occurred during the storm the night before and messed up the UPS. Since then, the company has purchased an additional UPS so that one power supply from each server can be plugged into each UPS. Hopefully, if this ever occurs in the future, one of the UPSs will remain online.


 

The other day I had an issue come up with a customer where VSS (Versative Storage Server) integrated file system backups stopped working for some unknown reason. Usually, a reboot fixes these types of issues, but backups continued to fail after a reboot. I started a support call with the backup vendor and after seeing the error logs, the support tech seemed fairly sure he knew what the problem was. This error is usually caused by a malformed path within the registry. So he had me run the following commands on the server and send him the output. [more]

vssadmin list writers >> c:\writers.txt
vssadmin list providers >> c:\providers.txt
vssadmin list volumes >> c:\volumes.txt

diskshadow /L c:\shadow.txt
list writers detailed

After reviewing the text files created, he found the malformed path:

- File List: Path = c:/windows\hpsum_1327455089, Filespec = hpsumserverw32.exe

To correct the issue, I searched the registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\ for “c:/windows\hpsum_1327455089” and corrected the path to “c:\windows\hpsum_1327455089” . After doing this, the backup ran fine. Further research uncovered the root cause. During the last maintenance window, HP System Update Manager was used to update the HP System Management Homepage on these servers. This malformed registry key was created by HPSUM during the upgrade.


 

When setting up VaultLogix online backup, make sure the server is not configured to apply Windows Automatic Update and reboot during the backup window. The problem that occurs is Windows Automatic Update reboots the server in the middle of a backup, VSS shuts down, but can allowed enough time to commit a partial backup which can leave off drives that need backed up. On the next backup, the agent will think there is new data and commenced to reseed those drives on the subsequent backup. Which can cause a problem, if the network has a slow connection that had to be seeded with a mobile vault, because backups will never be able to catch up.

If this occurs you must stop the re-seeding, purge all of the impartial backups since the error occurred. Then resynchronize the Vault Logix DTA file. Then the agent will not try to reseed data that is already backed up and just do the deltas for the selected drives.


 

FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) is a free Firefox backup utility that functions as an add-on.  You can have it do scheduled backups, backup your whole profile or pieces and parts (including other add-ons, cookies, etc.).

This is most helpful for me since I use NoScript to limit which scripts are allowed to run as well as Permit Cookie to determine which site cookies I want to retain after I close Firefox.  Whenever I rebuild a laptop, it's handy to not have to manually install all add-ons, etc. [more]

http://softwarebychuck.com/febe/febeFAQ.html


 

The CommVault Exchange Mailbox iData agents do not backup mailboxes associated with disabled Windows user accounts. The backup job reports a "success" for the job, but when the details of the backup are explored, the backup set does not contain any data. Additionally, requesting a listing of all failed objects for the backup job results in a "no failures" status. According to CommVault, this behavior is by design as is the "successful" backup status. After all, the job did not technically fail if it is not designed to include mailboxes belonging to disabled user accounts. This is very strange given that, in general, CommVault iData agents have an "inclusive by default" behavior.  This can become a real problem if you try to restore data for a former employee whose Windows user account was disabled when they left the company.  The lesson here is that you should always test your backups. Even if the backup report and all job status notifications indicate you are good....test anyway.


 

I installed Exchange 2010 on a new Windows 2008 R2 server for a customer. I was attempting to do a test move on a mailbox from the old Exchange 2003 server and it failed. I found that the Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Replication service was stopped and it would not start. I did some online research and was unable to find a solution.  After further investigation it was discovered that the VaultLogix Classic Agent used for the online backup was using the same port as the Mailbox Replication service. I spoke to a VaultLogix support technician who showed me a registry key that would change the default port from 808 for the agent.

I change “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\EVault\InfoStage\Agent\AgentPortNumber” to port 807 and was then able to start the Mailbox Replication service. [more]

During the installation of the backup agent it will not allow you to change the port. However another method to change the port number once it is installed, is by opening the Classic CentralControl application right click on the server name and choose “Properties. Then change the port number to an available port.


 

I was setting up Backup Exec 12.5 to function as a VCB proxy to back up our VMs at a VMDK level and ran into a few problems. Version 12.5 has this functionality built in so it was fairly simple to back up a VM from the SAN to the VCB proxy. Restoring it back to the vCenter cluster, on the other hand, was a different story. The first problem I ran into was in running a simple restore. The job would fail as it would try and convert the machine. Simple fix: Install VMWare Converter Standalone on the proxy. [more]

Problem 2: The job would fail and give me a suggestion that I might try restoring the machine as a redirected restore job.

Problem 3: When I tried to set up the job for a redirected restore, I receive “Access is denied.” when it attempts to connect to the vCenter and datastores.

Solution: UAC was causing the access to be denied. If I started Backup Exec as an administrator or disabled UAC on the machine, I was able to get access to the datastores and set up the redirected restore. From there, my restore jobs were successful. Now I did run into other slight problems with this restore, but I’ll save that for another time.