# Full backup on Windows Server 2008 R2

• ### Question

• Hi All,

I have a problem similar to the following one:

The question is:

We ordered our latest DELL PowerEdge server without OS and after installing Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 discovered this hidden 2GB OS partition. After assigning a drive letter Z: to it I discovered that it's empty (I don't see any file or folder in it) but the hard disk drive / properties reports 14.4MB of used space and 1.98GB of free space. Even showing hidden files and folder I cannot understand what those 14.4MB refer to.

Is this partition useful or not, shall I delete it or convert it to NTFS? We need to start doing the full backup on this server.

Thanks,

Alberto

Monday, April 12, 2010 7:46 PM

• Hi Alberto,

The partition is a the system active partition, it should contain the boot files. Normally they are hidden in the default explorer view as they are marked with system and hidden attributes. You can view the contents of the partition by "dir /s /a /x" from an admin elevated command prompt, or by enabling viewing of system and hidden files in the file folder view option in exploere.

I recommend moving the boot files to the windows partition using the bcdboot utility method, as in the threadhttp://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsbackup/thread/d6a5b150-dd71-4bfb-a5c6-c53310dd3c2f, then attempt the backup. For file recovery, volume recovery requirement, you can configure backup of the windows partition alone. But, for Bare Metal Recovery backup, conversion of the system partition to NTFS is needed.

A normal clean setup installation for windows creates the system partition as NTFS only. If an OS is preinstalled, then on top windows is installed, then the partition's format is not changed. Not sure why the system partition is FAT32 in this case.

Thanks,

Abhinav

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
• Marked as answer by Monday, April 19, 2010 9:43 AM
Friday, April 16, 2010 12:16 PM

### All replies

• Hello Alberto,

If you ordered your dell with no base OS, then you can reformat the entire drives to NTFS and install your OS..But you may want to give Dell a call and make sure it doesn't contain any hardware/bios config files

Isaac Oben MCITP:EA, MCSE
Monday, April 12, 2010 8:41 PM
• Reformat is not an option at this time, the machine is up-and-running a we need to do full backup ASAP.

DELL says that the partition doesn't belong to them (I am not sure if they aren't cheating), can Windows Server 2008 R2 create this 2GB OS partition silently?

Ho can I see if it contains something useful if Windows Explorer doesn't reveal anything on it (even showing hidden files and folder) but there are 14.4 MB of used space?

The server has 2x250GB disks in RAID1 mirror configuration, can this partition be a support for the RAID configuration?

Thanks again,

Alberto

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 6:41 AM
• Hi,

The hidden partition may be the system partition containing the files needed to boot the system. If this is the case, the Bare Metal Recovery backup would not be possible, as the partition is FAT32. Please follow the steps in this thread http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsbackup/thread/d6a5b150-dd71-4bfb-a5c6-c53310dd3c2f to convert it to NTFS and get the backups running.

Thanks,

Abhinav

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 3:45 AM

I will read carefully the post you recommended above. If the hidden partion may be the system partition containing the files needed to boot the system, why I cannot see any files into it? Do I need a special tool to see them? I read that many others can see files like recycle bin, bootmgr, bootsect.bak, bcd, bcd.log, bootstat.dat, memtest.exe, etc. while I cannot.

Thanks,

Alberto

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 7:26 AM
• Hi,

In diskmgmt, is the partition marked Boot or System under the Status column?

Check if the partition is a critical partition from the backup perspective. To check it, open wbadmin.msc, goto Backup Once->Different Options->Custom. In AddItems, select the Bare Metal Recovery option. The volumes which are critical will be autoselected. Or in commandlets, add the snapin "Windows.ServerBackup", run the commandlet 'Get-WBVolume -CriticalVolumes', it will show the list of critical volumes. If the partition in question is critical, would suggest to convert it to NTFS for the Bare Metal Recovery backups. If the partition is not critical, would suggest to schedule the bare metal recovery backups, investigation about the partition contents can be done independently.

Thanks,

Abhinav

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
Thursday, April 15, 2010 5:30 AM

The FAT32 OS partition is marked as Healthy (System Active Primary Partition)

When I select the Bare Metal Recovery the FAT32 OS partion is left UNchecked, only System state and Local disk C: are checked.

But after selection the backup destination and pressing finish I get the following error:

---------------------------
Windows Server Backup
---------------------------
One of the specified source volumes has an invalid format and cannot be protected using Windows Server Backup. Only volumes formatted with NTFS can be protected.
---------------------------
OK
---------------------------

Isn't this strange?

I can't sleep at night until I can do a backup of this machine Abhinav, thanks again,

Alberto

Thursday, April 15, 2010 10:13 AM
• Hi Alberto,

The partition is a the system active partition, it should contain the boot files. Normally they are hidden in the default explorer view as they are marked with system and hidden attributes. You can view the contents of the partition by "dir /s /a /x" from an admin elevated command prompt, or by enabling viewing of system and hidden files in the file folder view option in exploere.

I recommend moving the boot files to the windows partition using the bcdboot utility method, as in the threadhttp://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsbackup/thread/d6a5b150-dd71-4bfb-a5c6-c53310dd3c2f, then attempt the backup. For file recovery, volume recovery requirement, you can configure backup of the windows partition alone. But, for Bare Metal Recovery backup, conversion of the system partition to NTFS is needed.

A normal clean setup installation for windows creates the system partition as NTFS only. If an OS is preinstalled, then on top windows is installed, then the partition's format is not changed. Not sure why the system partition is FAT32 in this case.

Thanks,

Abhinav

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
• Marked as answer by Monday, April 19, 2010 9:43 AM
Friday, April 16, 2010 12:16 PM
• Abhinav,

Here is the result of the dir command you recommended. Now I can see what there's inside this partition.

I will try during the weekend to follow your suggestions and let you know on monday.

I really want to thanks you so much!

Alberto

 Volume in drive Z is OS Volume Serial Number is 07D9-0B15 Directory of Z:\11/26/2009 02:53 PM  <DIR>     BOOT     Boot07/13/2009 05:39 PM      383,562       bootmgr11/26/2009 02:53 PM        512       BOOTSECT.BAK03/29/2010 03:07 PM  <DIR>            $RECYCLE.BIN 2 File(s) 384,074 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> CS-CZ cs-CZ11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> DA-DK da-DK11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> DE-DE de-DE11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> EL-GR el-GR11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> EN-US en-US11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ES-ES es-ES11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> FI-FI fi-FI11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> FR-FR fr-FR11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> HU-HU hu-HU11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> IT-IT it-IT11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> JA-JP ja-JP11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> KO-KR ko-KR07/13/2009 05:20 PM 485,440 memtest.exe11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> NB-NO nb-NO11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> NL-NL nl-NL11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> PL-PL pl-PL11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> PT-BR pt-BR11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> PT-PT pt-PT11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> RU-RU ru-RU11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> SV-SE sv-SE11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> TR-TR tr-TR11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ZH-CN zh-CN11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ZH-HK zh-HK11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ZH-TW zh-TW11/26/2009 02:53 PM 65,536 BOOTSTAT.DAT11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> FONTS Fonts04/15/2010 12:06 PM 24,576 BCD04/15/2010 12:06 PM 21,504 BCD.LOG11/26/2009 02:53 PM 0 BCD~1.LOG BCD.LOG111/26/2009 02:53 PM 0 BCD~2.LOG BCD.LOG2 6 File(s) 597,056 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\cs-CZ11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 89,168 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 89,168 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\da-DK11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 87,616 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 87,616 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\de-DE11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 91,712 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 91,712 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\el-GR11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 94,800 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 94,800 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\en-US11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 85,056 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui07/13/2009 06:11 PM 43,600 MEMTES~1.MUI memtest.exe.mui 2 File(s) 128,656 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\es-ES11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 90,192 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 90,192 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\fi-FI11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 89,152 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 89,152 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\fr-FR11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 93,248 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 93,248 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\hu-HU11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 90,688 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 90,688 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\it-IT11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 90,704 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 90,704 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\ja-JP11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 76,352 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 76,352 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\ko-KR11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 75,344 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 75,344 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\nb-NO11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 88,144 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 88,144 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\nl-NL11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 90,704 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 90,704 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\pl-PL11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 90,704 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 90,704 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\pt-BR11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 90,176 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 90,176 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\pt-PT11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 89,664 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 89,664 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\ru-RU11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 90,192 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 90,192 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\sv-SE11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 87,616 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 87,616 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\tr-TR11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 87,104 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 87,104 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\zh-CN11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 70,720 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 70,720 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\zh-HK11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 70,224 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 70,224 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\zh-TW11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..07/13/2009 05:17 PM 70,208 BOOTMG~1.MUI bootmgr.exe.mui 1 File(s) 70,208 bytes Directory of Z:\Boot\Fonts11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> .11/26/2009 02:53 PM <DIR> ..06/10/2009 12:31 PM 3,694,080 chs_boot.ttf06/10/2009 12:31 PM 3,876,772 cht_boot.ttf06/10/2009 12:31 PM 1,984,228 jpn_boot.ttf06/10/2009 12:31 PM 2,371,360 kor_boot.ttf06/10/2009 12:31 PM 47,452 WGL4_B~1.TTF wgl4_boot.ttf 5 File(s) 11,973,892 bytes Directory of Z:\$RECYCLE.BIN03/29/2010 03:07 PM  <DIR>            .03/29/2010 03:07 PM  <DIR>            ..03/29/2010 03:07 PM        129       desktop.ini        1 File(s)      129 bytes   Total Files Listed:       38 File(s)   14,978,239 bytes       78 Dir(s)  2,135,625,728 bytes free
Friday, April 16, 2010 12:40 PM
• Thanks Abhinav,

Now everything is working, you are my hero!

Alberto

Monday, April 19, 2010 9:42 AM
• devddept, which steps did you take?

• Move files using bcdboot?
• Convert FAT32 to NTFS?
• Create a new system volume?
• Other?

-spxl

Thursday, August 12, 2010 1:29 AM
• Thursday, August 12, 2010 1:40 PM
• Hi, I had the same issue with a new Dell server with WIN2K8 R2.

I resolved the issue by assigning a drive letter to the 2GB partition; I then used command line:

Convert X:  /FS:NTFS

(X being the drive letter assign to it through Disk Management)

I got a message saying the drive was being used by another program, and asked if I would like the conversion to take place next time the Server restarts; I chose Yes.

I restarted the server, and the conversion took place.  The partition became NTFS, and I was able to Backup the server.

Monday, November 29, 2010 4:01 PM
• Are you guys kidding me? So when Windows Backup isn't supporting a standard windows configuration you just present a workaround? In my eyes that is eating dirt... Microsoft, correct it and redo it!
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 1:32 PM
• This simple fix worked for me. We get our servers from Dell with no OS and they all had the fat32 2 gig partition. This is a problem when install Bitlocker.Here are my results, I did not need a reboot but did anyways and it works fine.

Thanks Browntastic!

First I went into Disk manager and assigned that partition a drive letter, I used F:

Then from elevated cmd prompt - - -

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]

C:\Windows\system32>convert f: /FS:NTFS

The type of the file system is FAT32.

Enter current volume label for drive F: OS

Convert cannot run because the volume is in use by another

process.  Convert may run if this volume is dismounted first.

ALL OPENED HANDLES TO THIS VOLUME WOULD THEN BE INVALID.

Would you like to force a dismount on this volume? (Y/N) y

Volume dismounted.  All opened handles to this volume are now invalid.

Volume OS created 3/27/2013 6:01 PM

Volume Serial Number is 061D-C62F

Windows is verifying files and folders...

File and folder verification is complete.

Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.

• Proposed as answer by Monday, October 19, 2015 5:30 PM
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 6:30 PM