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Windows Backup - I/O Device Error, think this needs re-visiting

    Question

  • Hi guys,

    I setup a brand new system for a customer to be used for video editing among other things. System works great except for Windows Backup fails to complete. I have read other forum articles from here and elsewhere on the web mainly http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-system/windows-7-backup-fails-with-error-code-0x8078012d/c87171cc-dbef-45e3-bbe1-ef0d4050fe72?page=2 and http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itprogeneral/thread/6583f4b4-c989-4231-b6b9-2a53b4b62db2 with no success at all.

    Have taken something things 1 step further. Because it is indicating an I/O problem,, first I tried CHKDSK /R on both internal and external HDD's. I tried using a different USB drive, no luck here so I tried imaging the HDD using 3rd party imaging software. It fails again. It will always fail during the system image however unchecking this option in the backup setup then fails with it stopping at random files.

    I also get an error 80% of the time when running 'Create a system image' from within backup. What is unusual about this is that it works 20% of the time yet there is more work on the USB.

    One thing I am going to try is to setup the normal backup to backup to another physical disk inside the system itself and see what happens. If it works every time than it seems the culprit is USB, if it doesn't then I am very lost. I will report back with my findings however if someone else can suggest something to try it will be appreciated.

    Saturday, July 23, 2011 9:54 AM

Answers

  • I would suspect that it's the primary disk preparation where the OS installation resides.

    Open Disk management

    Select the primary disk with the OS

    Right-click the disk for the context menu and shrink the volume 1mb-10mb.

    Now try a complete pc back up (create a system image)

    Does it find the backup target usb drive?

    Does it now complete?

    Begin a restore option after it completes. Does it find the backup on the usb drive? Cancel it.

    Saturday, July 23, 2011 11:03 AM

All replies

  • I would suspect that it's the primary disk preparation where the OS installation resides.

    Open Disk management

    Select the primary disk with the OS

    Right-click the disk for the context menu and shrink the volume 1mb-10mb.

    Now try a complete pc back up (create a system image)

    Does it find the backup target usb drive?

    Does it now complete?

    Begin a restore option after it completes. Does it find the backup on the usb drive? Cancel it.

    Saturday, July 23, 2011 11:03 AM
  • Nano Warp,

    I had done as you requested and I shinked the volume by 5MB. Tried backing up to USB Drive as well as another internal HDD to eliminate the USB factor. At first I thought it worked but the 3rd time it did a backup, same problem again. Been running the backup for nearly 2 weeks now with these modifications and it seems to new backup 60% of the time.

    Unfortunatly in Windows Backup I can't find anyway of it telling if the last backup was successful or not so I have been going into the Event Viewer. In the event viewer every time it fails it seems to stop on a random file wheather it be USB or internal. When it does work I opened the restore option and it did find the backup.

    Wednesday, August 03, 2011 11:15 PM
  • An internal HDD is not really the optimal location in case of a power or physical catastrophic event. Ok for testing though.

    You can test by starting a restore operation, then it attempt to locate a backup. Then you will be able to "see" the available backups by date to select from for the restore. You can then cancel the process.

    There can be application conflicts that will interfere with the backup.

    Test with the clean boot method. Disable some application services and try the backup to narrow down the possible app causing the problem

    Perhaps temporaily disable the anti-malware software.

    You may want to review the build. A corrupted installation dvd, BIOS updated?, motherboard drivers correct?

    From an elevated command prompt run sfc /scannow for the system file checker.

     

    There are too many variables. The problem should not exist with a new clean installation. Good Luck finding the culprit!

     

    Thursday, August 04, 2011 11:46 AM
  • I am having a similar problem. If i run the backup while i am working, I think it has completed a couple times. However if i run it when i am not using the computer, such as on a schedule late at night, or if i start it at the end of the day when i leave, then it always starts but never finishes. Since this is on an external USB hard drive, i am wondering if the external devices get disabled when the computer goes into sleep mode or whatever.

    Should computer go to sleep when running a backup?

    Does this shut off external devices even though it is writing to them?

     

    anyone?

    Sunday, October 02, 2011 8:21 PM
  • @EricM_AMS,

    That seems like a reasonable explanation.

    Click Start|Control Panel\System and Security\Power Options\ and select the change my plan settings to reach\ Edit Plan Settings

    Now select change advanced power settings and set the hard disk power off to enough time for the backup to complete.

    Try that.

    You could also disable (uncheck the box) in device manager, power management tab for the usb controller in the properties section to"allow the computer to power off..."

    Monday, October 03, 2011 11:09 AM
  • Sorry for taking so long to get back but only recently finished with this problem and thought I would let everyone know the solution I found. After trying everything listed above, nothing had worked so I decided to manually copy all the customers data and reformat. Once I installed Windows 7 again without network connected I ran my backup procedure which consisted of running Windows Backup, Create System Image, running Windows Backup again, restarting the PC then running Windows Backup again. This took weeks as every time I installed a driver, update or application I ran through this backup procedure again. I backed up to the customers original external USB HDD and not once did it fail. Every single time perfect.

    So in the end I never did find the cause however I did resolve it with a reformat. Thanks for your help along the way.

    Thursday, November 10, 2011 1:51 PM
  • Found the issue, after weeks of searching!!! The issue is with Seagate drives and some WD drives, using 4k bytes to write. Copied from the forum:

    It does not look like MS will be supporting these drives in 2008/Win7.

    "SBS 2011 is based on Windows 2008 R2 Server. Backup uses VHD (Virtual hard disk) format to store the data. The 4k Sector support is not available for VHD in Windows 2008 & R2 (VHD cannot be created on 4k sector size disks). Hence backup cannot provide support for 4k disks.

    In Windows 8, a new VHDX format is created that supports > 2 TB data storage and 4k sector disks. Therefore only in Win8 the backup is supporting 4k sector disks.

    When the Win8 based SBS systems will be launched then you can expect support for 4k."

    also see KB article 982018 at MS

    Sure enough, I used a generic external drive case with a new WD 500g HD, and BINGO!!!  Two Weeks now, daily backups and no issues. Check the byte size of your drive.

    Shawn

    Monday, February 25, 2013 6:20 PM