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DPM 2010 System State/BMR Fails on Dell Blade servers RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    We have a Dell blade used as a primary DPM server which is being backed up by a secondary DPM Server, a powervault, at a remote site.

    WSB is installed on both servers and works without a problem when started from the command line ( wbadmin start systemstatebackup -backuptarget:C: ).

    There is plenty (>100Gb) of free space on the target drive on each server to store the system state.

    Both servers are running Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard x64.

    The blade can successfully back up the powervault - databases and system state - however the powervault refuses to back up the blade system state.

    When the secondary DPM server, the powervault, tries to back up the system state of the blade it encounters a volume formatted as Fat32, which isn't allocated a drive letter but is mounted (according to the registry on the blade anyway), and WSB fails as expected because the volume is not NTFS. It appears that all our Blade servers have this partition; it is certainly not one that we created and is probably part of the OS install by Dell.

    The question is.... can we tell DPM's remote WSB command not to back up the peculiar volume - that is to have DPM behave exactly as the command line?

    Thanks in advance

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010 2:27 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    So, if I understand your senario correctly, you are doing DPM1 <---> DPM2 cross protection.   DPM1 can protect DPM2 systemstate, but DPM2 cannot backup DPM1 systemstate.

    DPM uses Windows backup to create a systemstate. On DPM1, Run this command from an administrative command prompt and see if it displays any additional errors:

           wbadmin.exe start systemstatebackup -backuptarget:C:

    If the error isn't self expainatory, please open a thread in the Windows backup group concerning the wbadmin error.

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsbackup

    Once Wbadmin can take a succesfull systemstate backup, DPM systemstate backups should succeed.

     


    Regards, Mike J [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 9:56 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,

    So, if I understand your senario correctly, you are doing DPM1 <---> DPM2 cross protection.   DPM1 can protect DPM2 systemstate, but DPM2 cannot backup DPM1 systemstate.

    DPM uses Windows backup to create a systemstate. On DPM1, Run this command from an administrative command prompt and see if it displays any additional errors:

           wbadmin.exe start systemstatebackup -backuptarget:C:

    If the error isn't self expainatory, please open a thread in the Windows backup group concerning the wbadmin error.

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsbackup

    Once Wbadmin can take a succesfull systemstate backup, DPM systemstate backups should succeed.

     


    Regards, Mike J [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 9:56 PM
    Moderator
  • >>Once Wbadmin can take a succesfull systemstate backup, DPM systemstate backups should succeed.

    wbadmin start systemstatebackup -backuptarget:C: works, without error, on both DPM machines (both DPM1 and DPM2) when run from an admin level cmd window.

    DPM obviously uses some subtlety, whilst invoking WSB, to also attempt to backup the FAT32 boot partition.

    Looking at the cmd script DPM uses (apparently C:\Program Files\Microsoft DPM\DPM\bin\LHSystemStateBackup.cmd) I am guessing DPM generates a list of volumes and passes them to the script one at a time. Or perhaps it assumes that the boot volume is also C:... which in this case it isn't.

    The boot partition is not visible from the cmd shell but is flagged as "active, boot" in disk manager.

    It is reasonable that DPM should try to back up this partition becasue, without it, the server wouldn't boot.

    We have noticed that when installing Windows 2008 R2 x64 on Servers the installer creates a 100Mb boot partition which is formatted as NTFS and so does not provide a problem for WSB when invoked by DPM. I have just confirmed that the 100Mb partition generated by the Wk28R2x64 installer does not present a problem to DPM when backing up systemstate.

    Regards

     

    Friday, August 20, 2010 1:40 PM
  • Ben,

    Are you protecting systemstate (only) or are you protecting MBR.  There are major differences in the way Wbadmin protects each.

    Based on your tests, I'm thinking you are protecting BMR, in which case you need to troubleshoot using a different command.   

     

    1) Set up a network share on a remote machine \\server\bmrshare

    2) From an administrative command prompt on the PS, type:

                  wbadmin.exe start backup -allcritical -backuptarget:\\server\bmrshare

    At this point, it will list the volumes included in the BMR backup.

    IF YOU GET THIS ERROR:

    Retrieving volume information...
    One of the source volumes specified has an invalid format and cannot be protected using Windows Backup. Only volumes formatted with NTFS can be protected.

    Check the solution in: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/dpmssandbmrbackup/thread/fd69ec6a-be99-4c3c-aaff-cfacbb1e2f78

    Else continue...

    3) troubleshoot any Windows backup problems that occur, once this works, DPM should be able to take BMR backups.

    4) Check the disk space required for the BMR by looking at the \\server\bmrshare and make sure the PG on the DPM server has enought disk space allocated for the replica volume to hold the BMR backup.

    NOTE: BMR backup does NOT require any disk space on the PS, DPM writes directly to the DPM Servers replica volume. However, if you only select SystemState (not bmr option) - then DPM will require ~15GB free space on the PS.

     


    Regards, Mike J [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Friday, August 20, 2010 8:12 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for that last post Mike - it seems the default configuration of Dell servers is incompatible with DPM :)

    I am trying to protect both system state and bare metal recovery.

    I have tested the solution in the link you posted (basically getting rid of the Dell partition) and wbadmin appears to back up the test server just fine to a test share.

     

    Regards

     

    Ben

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010 2:16 PM