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Large size (< 2.5 TB) backup fails

    Question

  • I am trying to backup my 3 TB of storage spaces and single disk data since I set up Server 2012 R2 Essentials for many times - 30 times or so - but backup always fails.

    Only if I reduce the amount of data to 20 GB, it started to work eventually.

    It seems, there is a big problem of Server Backup to do the initial backup - at least in my case. Only if I reduce the amount of data from about 3 TB to about 20 GB, it worked eventually. Now, I want to backup the rest in one take and I am failing.

    I am using drive c: (SSD 120 GB), D: server folders with 3 TB of data. I choose to backup about 20 GB, it works eventually. After the initial backup, everything works, all subsequent backups run. 

    If I want to backup the 3 TB afterwards, it fails. Error is: Windows backup encountered an error when writing to backup disk. I am using an external, 4 bay, USB 3.0 drive enclosure as 6.8 TB storage spaces drive. The server folders are 6.2 TB but used only 3 TB.

    It costs me a lot of time, watching over the backup process and also waiting until a 3 TB backup fails.

    Can somebody please tell me, if this is known behavior? Has somebody else experienced this?

    The 'knowing' people from Microsoft: Is there any explanation for this failure? Should I use smaller sizes and work my way up the ladder, each time I run backup? E.G. starting with one directory and add more after each successful backup?

    Well, I had this behavior with all server versions up to now. From WHS to VAIL to 2012 R1 and now R2 - retail versions.

    Thank you in advance for your help. It would really save me time and nerves to have a solution to this problem.

    My server has 8 GB of memory and an AMD six core T1090 processor.

    Wednesday, October 02, 2013 10:20 PM

Answers

  • The solution of the riddle of the large backup failures.

    Well, first of all: This problem has nothing to do with Microsoft! It was just a wrong configuration of the server.

    The backup has not finished yet, but I am currently at 55% of 2.36 TB of data backed up. See window below.

    What happened until now was that every backup exceeding system reserved, local disk (c:) and bare metal failed. I made some successful backups but only if I limited the backup to the items mentioned above. The backup of the large storage spaces device failed always.

    The reason for the failure was device not ready, external USB drive was switched off, disk reading errors in event log etc.

    I was using the USB option in power options in control panel already but it seemed to have no effect. After correcting the SATA settings in the BIOS and switching off the USB option in the power option, everything seems to work.

    I made a clean install of R2 on this server hardware and used it before without such problems with R1. That's why I didn't check the BIOS settings and I am also not understanding fully, why the IDE setting instead of AHCI caused such behavior - timing problem in the driver, writing to different targets - I don't know.

    Well, it seems problem solved. One thing may be, the Action Center maintenance function reported a block level error for backup to Microsoft in detail. May be there is something.

    Thank you again everybody who tried to help me. This was a tricky problem.

    • Marked as answer by mabuse786 Wednesday, October 16, 2013 3:45 PM
    Wednesday, October 16, 2013 3:45 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Thanks for your posting.

    Is there any error in the event log when backup fails?

    Please post here.

    Regards.


    Vivian Wang
    TechNet Community Support

    Saturday, October 05, 2013 11:59 AM
  • Hi Vivian,

    Thank you for taking care. Here are the typical error messages from Server Backup.

    As you can see, backup runs for hours and then suddenly stops, because the VSS device -I guess - is not ready. Meanwhile, by constantly trying, I succeeded now after nearly THREE DAYS, the backup was running to backup a bit more. The files I am backing up are 30 GB or more in one piece. I am clicking 100 to 200 GB more each time after the 'three days backup run' and it seems to work. However, this is a tiresome process.

    Also, in Windows Server 2012 R1, my external USB stayed on, while the server was on. Now, with R2, it switches off after some time. Could you please be so kind and check, what are the differences of USB keep alive between R1 and R2? I am using the same hardware as before and it would be nice, if USB devices switched on, keep this state, while the server is also on.

    Thank you very much in advance. 


    • Edited by mabuse786 Saturday, October 05, 2013 10:13 PM typos
    Saturday, October 05, 2013 10:05 PM
  • Sorry, I didn't give you a 'good picture'.

    The event viewer has this entry for a similar event:

    The backup operation that started at '‎2013‎-‎09‎-‎29T22:21:31.680713700Z' has failed with following error code '0x80780166' (Windows Backup encountered an error when writing data to the backup target.). Please review the event details for a solution, and then rerun the backup operation once the issue is resolved.

    And here you can see the first successful backup running for nearly three days - puhhhh :-)

    If you need more information, please let me know.
    • Edited by mabuse786 Saturday, October 05, 2013 10:24 PM Changes
    Saturday, October 05, 2013 10:11 PM
  • Hi Vivian,

    I want to send you my eventlog from backup. Can I PM you or do I have to post this public here?

    Thank you in advance.

    Kind Regards

    Markus

    Wednesday, October 09, 2013 5:12 PM
  • 1. What is the target space that is used for backup. There should be enough space?

    2. How do you backup your data (from GUI of command prompt)?

    Regards

    Milos

    Wednesday, October 09, 2013 5:22 PM
  • Hi Milos

    You can see the drives here:

    I use GUI or better scheduled, daily backup at 23:00. Usually I start it from dashboard, if it doesn't start automatically.

    Maybe the picture is too small:

    Drive c: SSD, 111 GB, 77,1 GB free (system)

    Drive d: MS storage spaces device (6 x 2 TB disks), 6205 GB, 3765 GB free (server folders, WSUS)

    Backup Pool 1: 6820 GB, 5733 GB free

    • Edited by mabuse786 Wednesday, October 09, 2013 6:05 PM Changes
    Wednesday, October 09, 2013 5:53 PM
  • Hi ,

    Please try to free the Backup Pool and make the free space more than 6TB, which means the free space (6TB) on the destination is twice than the backup target (3TB).

    See if this works. Thanks.


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Monday, October 14, 2013 8:57 AM
  • Hi

    I did as you wrote: Delete all backups via wbadmin, then backup was not set-up in Dashboard. Deleted the Storage spaces drive, created a new one and set-up backup again via Dashboard.

    Started backup at 1708 hours and here I am now at 423 GB of 2,4 TB. Couldn't include the image, because my 'account is not verified' (?).

    After about eight hours. I live in Europe, therefore I am going to bed now and check tomorrow what happened. Will let you know.

    Thank you again for your help. Highly appreciated.

    Markus

    Monday, October 14, 2013 11:26 PM
  • Here is the result:

    No idea what to do now. This is the same result as always.


    • Edited by mabuse786 Tuesday, October 15, 2013 6:55 AM typos
    Tuesday, October 15, 2013 6:54 AM
  • Well, got an idea, what to do next.

    I have checked the event viewer and found many read errors from VSS copy and even one occurrence of a reset of the SATA interface. I mean, there are often these kind of errors related to Shadow Copies but it seems, it still works.

    Due to these kind of errors, I checked in the device manager, that the correct and latest drivers are installed, they are - AMD SATA drivers, two of them. Then I also checked the BIOS and found one small misconfiguration. This board has a split SATA configuration. The total number of six SATA ports is split into half and each three of the ports are controlled by a different chip on the main-board, which needs to be set independently in the BIOS. Well, I found that three ports were set correctly to AHCI but the other three were set to IDE.

    I mean, this should cause no problems but I don't know how the storage spaces driver are reacting on this kind of configuration. After changing the ports from IDE to AHCI this did not cause any problems except some additional disk activity after starting the server again. The drive is still there, the data is also there.

    I am trying now another backup and wait for the result. If this fails again, I will make a clean install of the server and see what happens afterwards. I will post the result here.

    Tuesday, October 15, 2013 12:24 PM
  • The solution of the riddle of the large backup failures.

    Well, first of all: This problem has nothing to do with Microsoft! It was just a wrong configuration of the server.

    The backup has not finished yet, but I am currently at 55% of 2.36 TB of data backed up. See window below.

    What happened until now was that every backup exceeding system reserved, local disk (c:) and bare metal failed. I made some successful backups but only if I limited the backup to the items mentioned above. The backup of the large storage spaces device failed always.

    The reason for the failure was device not ready, external USB drive was switched off, disk reading errors in event log etc.

    I was using the USB option in power options in control panel already but it seemed to have no effect. After correcting the SATA settings in the BIOS and switching off the USB option in the power option, everything seems to work.

    I made a clean install of R2 on this server hardware and used it before without such problems with R1. That's why I didn't check the BIOS settings and I am also not understanding fully, why the IDE setting instead of AHCI caused such behavior - timing problem in the driver, writing to different targets - I don't know.

    Well, it seems problem solved. One thing may be, the Action Center maintenance function reported a block level error for backup to Microsoft in detail. May be there is something.

    Thank you again everybody who tried to help me. This was a tricky problem.

    • Marked as answer by mabuse786 Wednesday, October 16, 2013 3:45 PM
    Wednesday, October 16, 2013 3:45 PM