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Backing up the Vail OS to an NTFS partition on the same drive not allowed? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I just had to reinstall VAIL on my 7 x 2TB hard disk system after adding a SAS SuperMicro PCIe card. Not sure what went wrong... Everything is fine now excpet that backing up the Vail operationg system to  the fastest 2TB drive (WD Black remaing 2TB drives are slower) doesn't seem to work any more. I had throught that this worked before, e.g. VAIL residing on the 60 GB partion on the WD-Back root partition & the resit of the drive formatted in NTFS occouping the VAIL backups.

    But perhaps I am mistaken as removing one of the remaing 6 "Green drives" from the storage pool and reallocating to NTFS seems to allow me to backup VAIL to that HD. I am more concerned about installing something on VAIL that prevents me from booting than the WD Black drive failing on me.

    If this is the case I may be better off to add a 2.5" 500 GB drive for VAIL to backup to maximize my storage capacity in my mini-itx setup. That's all I got room for in my ennclosure.

    Thanks.

    Saturday, August 7, 2010 11:16 PM

Answers

  • I have found that it's not possible to use Windows Server Backup to create a backup in one of the server shares/"drives". I suspect this is because of an interaction between Drive Extender and Windows Server Backup, but I don't know anything beyond that. In order to be able to use Windows Server Backup to back your OS up to a partition on your system drive, you must do the following:

    • When installing Vail, make sure that the system partition is small enough that there will be enough space left afterward for backing it up to another partition. For example: allow the default 60 GB 
    • After installing Vail, exclude the system drive from server storage.
    • Create a partition on the (now) free space on the system drive, and configure Windows Server Backup to back up to that partition.
    There are other options. The basic idea is to create a partition that isn't managed by Windows Home Server. Though I can't figure out why you would want to do this; if your system drive fails (the most likely reason for wanting to restore) you will lose your backups with your system drive. Backups should be to media that you can relocate off site, or at least to media that are physically separate form the server (though if the backups remain on site you're still subject to force majeure disaster scenarios like fire, flood, and theft). Given this, I haven't bothered to bug anything on Connect, but you can do so if you like.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, August 8, 2010 4:35 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • I just had to reinstall VAIL on my 7 x 2TB hard disk system after adding a SAS SuperMicro PCIe card. Not sure what went wrong... Everything is fine now excpet that backing up the Vail operationg system to  the fastest 2TB drive (WD Black remaing 2TB drives are slower) doesn't seem to work any more. I had throught that this worked before, e.g. VAIL residing on the 60 GB partion on the WD-Back root partition & the resit of the drive formatted in NTFS occouping the VAIL backups.

    But perhaps I am mistaken as removing one of the remaing 6 "Green drives" from the storage pool and reallocating to NTFS seems to allow me to backup VAIL to that HD. I am more concerned about installing something on VAIL that prevents me from booting than the WD Black drive failing on me.

    If this is the case I may be better off to add a 2.5" 500 GB drive for VAIL to backup to maximize my storage capacity in my mini-itx setup. That's all I got room for in my ennclosure.

    Thanks.

    I doubt that's how you had it before.  Although I haven't tried backing up the OS, I have done backups of the shares and it will only allow you to backup to a non-Vail drive.
    Saturday, August 7, 2010 11:44 PM
    Moderator
  • Windows Server Backup should allow you to back up to any drive letter or separate physical disk.  If you have your system disk partitioned into two drives you should be able to back up "bare metal recovery" to the second partition on that drive, provided it has a drive letter, or to any other partition with a drive letter, or to a dedicated backup disk, or to a network share.

     

    What is preventing you from doing it?  Are you getting an error, or not seeing the appropriate option?

    Sunday, August 8, 2010 3:21 AM
  • I have found that it's not possible to use Windows Server Backup to create a backup in one of the server shares/"drives". I suspect this is because of an interaction between Drive Extender and Windows Server Backup, but I don't know anything beyond that. In order to be able to use Windows Server Backup to back your OS up to a partition on your system drive, you must do the following:

    • When installing Vail, make sure that the system partition is small enough that there will be enough space left afterward for backing it up to another partition. For example: allow the default 60 GB 
    • After installing Vail, exclude the system drive from server storage.
    • Create a partition on the (now) free space on the system drive, and configure Windows Server Backup to back up to that partition.
    There are other options. The basic idea is to create a partition that isn't managed by Windows Home Server. Though I can't figure out why you would want to do this; if your system drive fails (the most likely reason for wanting to restore) you will lose your backups with your system drive. Backups should be to media that you can relocate off site, or at least to media that are physically separate form the server (though if the backups remain on site you're still subject to force majeure disaster scenarios like fire, flood, and theft). Given this, I haven't bothered to bug anything on Connect, but you can do so if you like.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, August 8, 2010 4:35 PM
    Moderator
  • Well, I went back excluded the 2nd partition of the VAIL boot drive from the server storage (DE) & formatted that partition to NTFS. So VAIL is then on the c: drive occupying 60 GB while the d: drive is no longer part of DE (as it is NTFS), but now available to store the backup image of the OS or so I thought. However, when I go to Home -> Setup Server Backup -> Prepare to backup Server -> Select the Backup Destination (check: show all internal & external drives) there are no drives to select from, e.g. the drive list is empty. So I am unable to backup the OS to the D: partition.

     

    However, if I remove any other drive from the storage pool and format it to NTFS then the backup destination & drive letter shows up & I am able to do so. So it looks like one cannot backup to the same drive the OS resides on. I understand that backing up to a separate or removable drive is more desirable anyway longterm but I am simply not setup that way right now while I am just "playing in the sandbox" to better understand the OS.

     

    Kurtosis

     

     

    Sunday, August 8, 2010 6:57 PM
  • Hmm. I tested this scenario back in April, and I swear it worked then. If it doesn't, it's going to be a limitation of Windows Server Backup, which is the server backup engine in Vail. In other words, there will probably be no change to this functionality.

    Realistically, of course, a backup to a drive in the machine being backed up is nearly useless unless you're going to take that drive off-site.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, August 9, 2010 12:45 AM
    Moderator
  • Ken, I also thought that this worked before when I first installed VAIL about 6 or 7 weeks ago. Then somehow an OS update about a couple of weeks ago did not install correctly (when shutting down the updates never completed) led to rebuilding the OS as it would no longer boot.

    Kurtosis

     

    Monday, August 9, 2010 8:06 PM