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Server Backup Unsuccessful RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have installed WHS 2011. I have no problem making computer backups.  However whenever I attempt to make a server backup, (whether manually or automatically), the process starts, then stops with the message "unsuccessful".  When I check details, I see a message that says the process failed because of a device I/O error.  I am trying to backup the server to a Western Digital 3TB external HD with a USB connection.  Thanks, Ron
    Ronald Gordon
    Tuesday, June 7, 2011 12:27 PM

Answers

  • I have installed WHS 2011. I have no problem making computer backups.  However whenever I attempt to make a server backup, (whether manually or automatically), the process starts, then stops with the message "unsuccessful".  When I check details, I see a message that says the process failed because of a device I/O error.  I am trying to backup the server to a Western Digital 3TB external HD with a USB connection.  Thanks, Ron
    Ronald Gordon


    Maximum supported size for backup drives/partitions are 2TB.

    Either try backup to a smaller driver or divide the mentioned drive to hold one partition of max 2TB (and then you have a spare 1TB partition).

     


    WHS 2011 RTM up and running, v.1 gone to meet its maker...
    Tuesday, June 7, 2011 12:49 PM
  • Thanks.  That did it.  I attached a 1.5TB USB HD to the server and the server backed up with no problems at all.  So, of course, the follow up question is:  My server has 4TB of available space for client computer backups.  I have 2 of my 3 computers backing up to the WHS now.  When I connect the 3rd how will I do a server backup since the client backups will be over the 2TB limit?  Thanks,

    Ron


    Ronald Gordon
    Wednesday, June 8, 2011 2:13 AM

All replies

  • I have installed WHS 2011. I have no problem making computer backups.  However whenever I attempt to make a server backup, (whether manually or automatically), the process starts, then stops with the message "unsuccessful".  When I check details, I see a message that says the process failed because of a device I/O error.  I am trying to backup the server to a Western Digital 3TB external HD with a USB connection.  Thanks, Ron
    Ronald Gordon


    Maximum supported size for backup drives/partitions are 2TB.

    Either try backup to a smaller driver or divide the mentioned drive to hold one partition of max 2TB (and then you have a spare 1TB partition).

     


    WHS 2011 RTM up and running, v.1 gone to meet its maker...
    Tuesday, June 7, 2011 12:49 PM
  • Thanks.  That did it.  I attached a 1.5TB USB HD to the server and the server backed up with no problems at all.  So, of course, the follow up question is:  My server has 4TB of available space for client computer backups.  I have 2 of my 3 computers backing up to the WHS now.  When I connect the 3rd how will I do a server backup since the client backups will be over the 2TB limit?  Thanks,

    Ron


    Ronald Gordon
    Wednesday, June 8, 2011 2:13 AM
  • Maximum supported size for backup drives/partitions are 2TB.

    Either try backup to a smaller driver or divide the mentioned drive to hold one partition of max 2TB (and then you have a spare 1TB partition).

     


    WHS 2011 RTM up and running, v.1 gone to meet its maker...
    Is the max for internal drives also 2 TB ?  I was told in another thread that internal storage could be expanded beyond 2 TB.  http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whshardware/thread/087e3cc5-2435-4eb5-a953-116af7301ed7
      Not sure what to think now.  I still have 745 meg of unallocated space to deal with and will wait until I hear a definitive answer yes or no to add this to the D:\ partition or create another partition with the space.
    Wednesday, June 8, 2011 4:46 AM
  • On Wed, 8 Jun 2011 04:46:42 +0000, turtle_dude wrote:

    Is the max for internal drives also 2 TB ?? I was told in another thread that internal storage could be expanded beyond 2 TB.?http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whshardware/thread/087e3cc5-2435-4eb5-a953-116af7301ed7? Not sure what to think now.? I still have 745 meg of unallocated space to deal with and will wait until I hear a definitive answer yes or no to add this to the D:\ partition or create another partition with the space.

    The size of the volume itself is not the issue here, it is the maximize
    size of a single server backup which is what is limited to 2 TB. I've
    personally spanned several physical disks to create a single 6 TB volume
    with no issues.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    A bug in the hand is better than one as yet undetected.

    • Proposed as answer by turtle_dude Wednesday, June 8, 2011 12:00 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by turtle_dude Wednesday, June 8, 2011 1:14 PM
    Wednesday, June 8, 2011 11:10 AM
  • The message I got said your answer was a proposed solution for the limit in the server backup to 2 TB.  I'm assuming that was due to an automated email message from MS.  Unless I missed something, the question still remains as to how to backup a server that has more than 2TB of data.  So far I see no solution.  Am I reading this correctly or is there some way to backup a server larger than 2TB?  Thanks,

    Ron


    Ronald Gordon
    Wednesday, June 8, 2011 12:34 PM
  • The message I got said your answer was a proposed solution for the limit in the server backup to 2 TB.  I'm assuming that was due to an automated email message from MS.  Unless I missed something, the question still remains as to how to backup a server that has more than 2TB of data.  So far I see no solution.  Am I reading this correctly or is there some way to backup a server larger than 2TB?  Thanks,

    Ron


    Ronald Gordon

    Either the underlying Windows Server 2008 R2 backup or a separate backup solution, software-vise.
    Or a combination of both.

     


    WHS 2011 RTM up and running, v.1 gone to meet its maker...

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011 7:11 PM
  • "Either the underlying Windows Server 2008 R2 backup or a separate backup solution, software-vise.
    Or a compination of both."

     

    I don't understand what you are saying.  When you say the "underlying Windows Server 2008 R2 backup" are you referring to the Server backup that is one of the steps in setting up WHS 2011?  And if that's the case, I think you said the attached external backup HD could not exceed 2TB.  So how could I backup the Server if it had more than 2 TB of data using the built in Server backup step provided by Microsoft?

    And it seems that the alternative you are suggesting is maybe an an add in? 

    Could you elaborate? Thanks,

    Ron


    Ronald Gordon
    Wednesday, June 8, 2011 7:32 PM
  • Ronald, the design of the Server Backup function in the Dashboard of WHS 2011 is flawed.

    It has a limit of only being able to make one definition for a scheduled backup, and that backup definition has a limit of 2TB.

    If you want to take server backups that exceed the capabilities of this Dashboard function for Server Backups, you need to either go directly to the underlying functionality of the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system (on which WHS 2011 is built), or look for a third party solution capable of making server backups that are either (a) capable of exceeding this 2TB limit or (b) taking multiple backup slices of your server storage to exceed the 2TB limit.


    Wednesday, June 8, 2011 9:07 PM
  • Ronald, the design of the Server Backup function in the Dashboard of WHS 2011 is flawed.

    It has a limit of only being able to make one definition for a scheduled backup, and that backup definition has a limit of 2TB.

    If you want to take server backups that exceed the capabilities of this Dashboard function for Server Backups, you need to either go directly to the underlying functionality of the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system (on which WHS 2011 is built), or look for a third party solution capable of making server backups that are either (a) capable of exceeding this 2TB limit or (b) taking multiple backup slices of your server storage to exceed the 2TB limit.



    Thanks for clarifying my earlier atempt!
    WHS 2011 RTM up and running, v.1 gone to meet its maker...
    Thursday, June 9, 2011 8:29 AM
  • "you need to either go directly to the underlying functionality of the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system (on which WHS 2011 is built"

    Could you explain exactly how to do this?  I have not a clue as to what this means.  And I guess you are also saying that MS released WHS 2011 sort of as a beta with no way of backing up the server if it's larger than 2TB?  Thanks,

    Ron

     


    Ronald Gordon
    Friday, June 10, 2011 3:36 PM
  • Ron

    It means you are working with functionality which is not accessible via the WHS Dashboard. You will need to read the Server 2008 R2 documentation to figure out how to use it. I would not say WHS 2011 was released as a Beta (well it was some time ago), but Microsoft (for whatever reason) decided that a 2TB backup was adequate for the Home market.

    Phil

    Friday, June 10, 2011 4:00 PM
  • Hi Phil,

    I'm not clairvoyant either so I have no idea what Microsoft decided about what the home market needed.  I do recall some discussion though, when they dropped DE, that it was partially because larger drives are available now.  It just didn't occur to me that a 3TB could not be used as a server backup.  It just seems to me that they would be thinking that people might need more storage space now rather than less.  And the more computers that are backed up to WHS, the larger the server backup would have to be.  So it does seem like a huge mistake to release WHS 2011 as a finished product with no ability to backup the server to anything larger than a 2TB HD.  When you say, "you are working with functionality which is not accessible via the WHS Dashboard" and that I need to read the Server 2008 R2 documentation, I am at a loss.  I did google the documentation and what I found was not comprehensible to me.  I am somewhat techie, but that level of techieness is beyond my level.  I have no doubt that it is my fault for not reading the fine print before I bought WHS 2011, but I don't read the EULA when I download from iTunes either.

    At least now I know the reason that the 3TB server backup was not working.  Thanks.

    Ron

     


    Ronald Gordon
    Friday, June 10, 2011 4:44 PM
  • Ron

    It means you are working with functionality which is not accessible via the WHS Dashboard. You will need to read the Server 2008 R2 documentation to figure out how to use it. I would not say WHS 2011 was released as a Beta (well it was some time ago), but Microsoft (for whatever reason) decided that a 2TB backup was adequate for the Home market.

    Phil

    If I'm correct, the 2TB limit to backups is not really something WHS 2011 is responsible for, it's all inherited from the way VHD (Virtual Hard Drive) works.

    See VHD Limitations

    Maybe a 64-bit version is needed?

     


    WHS 2011 RTM up and running, v.1 gone to meet its maker...
    Friday, June 10, 2011 10:15 PM
  • Hi Christian,

    From what others have said both here in in the WGS forum, the problem could be fixed, but it seems as if they were in a rush to get it out and weren't too much interested in further development so they put out, what I would call, an unfinished piece of software.  The version of WHS 2011 I have is 64bit.  So while I agree that the inability to backup the server to a drive more than 2TB is NOT something WHS 2011 is responsible for, it is something the developers of that product are responsible for.  After all, it is a product for HOME users not IT folks.  Here's a quote from someone on that other forum:

     

    "Instead of designing the Server Backup function in WHS 2011 to be able to deal with multiple backup slices (so that we could e.g. backup 6TB in three 2TB slices), they've just given us a simple, and hardcoded limit of 2TB. And the backup drive, as you've found, can only be a maximum of 2TB in its backup partition.

    If you want to take a look at these underlying backup mechanisms, then you will have to use a Remote Desktop Connection to log into WHS 2011 directly and display the Administrator's desktop. Click on the Server Manager icon in the Taskbar, and you will have access to the Windows Server Backup system. Even this is limited in what you can accomplish. To really take advantage of what the backup engine has to offer, you would need to get into scripting.

    In an business enterprise situation, the IT support staff will develop and use backup scripts that use the backup mechanisms in Windows Server 2008 R2 to handle multi-terabyte backups.

    I , as a plain old home user, don't have either the luxury or the desire to go there."

     

    Ron


    Ronald Gordon
    Saturday, June 11, 2011 12:05 AM
  • Hi Christian,

    From what others have said both here in in the WGS forum, the problem could be fixed, but it seems as if they were in a rush to get it out and weren't too much interested in further development so they put out, what I would call, an unfinished piece of software.  The version of WHS 2011 I have is 64bit.  So while I agree that the inability to backup the server to a drive more than 2TB is NOT something WHS 2011 is responsible for, it is something the developers of that product are responsible for.  After all, it is a product for HOME users not IT folks.  Here's a quote from someone on that other forum:

     

    "Instead of designing the Server Backup function in WHS 2011 to be able to deal with multiple backup slices (so that we could e.g. backup 6TB in three 2TB slices), they've just given us a simple, and hardcoded limit of 2TB. And the backup drive, as you've found, can only be a maximum of 2TB in its backup partition.

    If you want to take a look at these underlying backup mechanisms, then you will have to use a Remote Desktop Connection to log into WHS 2011 directly and display the Administrator's desktop. Click on the Server Manager icon in the Taskbar, and you will have access to the Windows Server Backup system. Even this is limited in what you can accomplish. To really take advantage of what the backup engine has to offer, you would need to get into scripting.

    In an business enterprise situation, the IT support staff will develop and use backup scripts that use the backup mechanisms in Windows Server 2008 R2 to handle multi-terabyte backups.

    I , as a plain old home user, don't have either the luxury or the desire to go there."

     

    Ron


    Ronald Gordon

    I agree on most parts, I think its quite possible that WHS 2011 either got rushed to RTM to have a finished product for reasons we don't know. Maybe limited development crew/time/resources, maybe something else.

    I don't argue about the removal of DE, but I don't think we home users got any benefit at all from the focus at business side of things - Windows Server 2011 SBS Essentials and what not.

    My hopes is that WHS 2011 will come out as a shining star, much like its predecessor WHS v.1, after 2 or 3 Service Packs - the hard part is that we users need that from the begnining...

     


    WHS 2011 RTM up and running, v.1 gone to meet its maker...
    Saturday, June 11, 2011 6:01 AM
  • It means you are working with functionality which is not accessible via the WHS Dashboard. You will need to read the Server 2008 R2 documentation to figure out how to use it. I would not say WHS 2011 was released as a Beta (well it was some time ago), but Microsoft (for whatever reason) decided that a 2TB backup was adequate for the Home market.

    Phil, can you explain exactly what's backed up with the server? I've been playing with WHS from the start, but I still don't know the ins and outs of server backup.

    This may sound silly, but if I don't ask, I won't know:

    When the server's backed up, are the backups of the client machines included in that backup? IOW, there's the server software and the client machine backups, which would make for a large backup if one has several machines to be backed up. Or, is only the server software itself the only thing that's backed up?


    Nancy Ward
    Saturday, June 11, 2011 2:43 PM
  • From what others have said both here in in the WGS forum, the problem could be fixed, but it seems as if they were in a rush to get it out and weren't too much interested in further development so they put out, what I would call, an unfinished piece of software.  The version of WHS 2011 I have is 64bit.  So while I agree that the inability to backup the server to a drive more than 2TB is NOT something WHS 2011 is responsible for, it is something the developers of that product are responsible for.  After all, it is a product for HOME users not IT folks.  Here's a quote from someone on that other forum:

    Ron, I agree in principal with what you've said. There could certainly have been a more 'home' oriented solution to WHS than we got. Things have changed at Microsoft and thoroughness (such as it was before) doesn't seem to have made the cut. Things aren't the same without Bill Gates.

    BTW, WHS only comes in 64 bit flavor.

    If I'm reading correctly, you're saying you understand that WHS cannot backup to a 3 TB drive (2 TB being the default); however, my understanding is that you can backup to that 3 TB drive, but only 2 TB will be used; thus, a whole TB has been wasted, as WHS 2011 cannot use it.

    There are a couple or three third party solutions in the works (in beta) to replace DE. One is DriveBender and the other is StableBit. Can't remember what the third is. Look 'em up on Bing or Google. I'm told DriveBender has progressed the furthest toward being a solution.


    Nancy Ward
    Saturday, June 11, 2011 2:54 PM
  • Nancy

    Like most tech stuff, it's complicated until you understand what's going on! When you set up Server Backup, you get to choose what's backed up, including your shared folders as well as Client Backups. It is of course all limited by the maximum 2TB backup allowable using the Dashboard

    Have a look at the "Server Backup & Restore" section here:

     Server backup and restore

    Phil


    Saturday, June 11, 2011 3:02 PM
  • Nancy,

    I just mentioned that my WHS is 64bit because in an answer to one  of my previous posts someone said that maybe a 64bit version is needed.

    As for the 2TB limitation on server backup, my 3TB Western Digital HD just would not work as a server backup.  Maybe if I partitioned it into a 2TB and 1TB partitions it would but I just plugged in a different external HD that was less than 2TB and it worked fine.    You know what is even stranger (to me at least) is that my desktop computer is perfectly happy using the 3TB WD HD for anything; backups, disk images, whatever.   So I guess I just don't know enough about how th WHS server backup works to understand why it can't backup the server to the same 3TB HD.

    I have looked at the 3rd party replacements for DE.  Too bad MS is selling this software as a finished product and then letting other people come up with solutions for things  that should have been included in the first place.

    Ron


    Ronald Gordon
    Saturday, June 11, 2011 7:40 PM
  • Nancy,

    I just mentioned that my WHS is 64bit because in an answer to one  of my previous posts someone said that maybe a 64bit version is needed.

    /snip/

     

    I was refering to VHD's, the way Windows Server 2008 R2 (WHS 2011 underlying engine, or core if you like) handles backups. Those are, to my knowledge, 32-bit. See the Wikipedia link.
    That referall is not pointed towards the Operating System.

    WHS 2011 is a 64-bit only Operating System, WHS v.1 is a 32-bit only Operating System

     


    WHS 2011 RTM up and running, v.1 gone to meet its maker...

    Saturday, June 11, 2011 9:12 PM
  • Saturday, June 11, 2011 10:14 PM
  • Nancy,

    I just mentioned that my WHS is 64bit because in an answer to one  of my previous posts someone said that maybe a 64bit version is needed.

    /snip/

     

    I was refering to VHD's, the way Windows Server 2008 R2 (WHS 2011 underlying engine, or core if you like) handles backups. Those are, to my knowledge, 32-bit. See the Wikipedia link.
    That referall is not pointed towards the Operating System.

    WHS 2011 is a 64-bit only Operating System, WHS v.1 is a 32-bit only Operating System

     


    WHS 2011 RTM up and running, v.1 gone to meet its maker...

    Hi Christian,

    I read the Wikipedia link and I see what you were talking about.....not that I actually understand what the article is talking about in the least!  That is way above my grade level and may give me a headache....so I'll just wait for MS or some 3rd party to come up with a solution.  Just a picky point.  I think they should have left the "Home" word out of the name Windows Home Server.  Thanks.

    Ron


    Ronald Gordon
    Saturday, June 11, 2011 11:34 PM
  • On my WHS 2011 I now have 22 unsuccessfull server backups in a row.

    Looking in Server Properties on the Dashboard and the tab Backup, they all have a yellow exclamation mark and stated as "Incomplete".

    Viewing details, it's the Operating System that has the red icon and clicking on it reveals only "Backup status:", no comments or error messages.

    Are there any logs that you can look into for more information?

     

    I've tried restarting the backups, removing the schedule, making a new one, changing target for backup data - no difference.

    Any and all ideas welcome.

     

    /Christian

     


    WHS 2011 RTM up and running, v.1 gone to meet its maker...
    • Edited by ChristianJohansson Wednesday, June 15, 2011 8:03 PM spelling
    • Proposed as answer by GHook Friday, July 15, 2011 5:38 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by GHook Friday, July 15, 2011 5:38 PM
    Wednesday, June 15, 2011 3:41 PM
  • I've partitioned a 3TB drive on a PC into two 1.5TB partitions. When using the backup wizard in WHS 2011 to setup, it still sees the drive as a 3TB and states it will reformat. Is there another way to partition so this will work? The total size of data to be backed up is 1.1TB.
    GerryT
    Friday, August 19, 2011 2:06 PM
  • I've partitioned a 3TB drive on a PC into two 1.5TB partitions. When using the backup wizard in WHS 2011 to setup, it still sees the drive as a 3TB and states it will reformat. Is there another way to partition so this will work? The total size of data to be backed up is 1.1TB.
    GerryT
    WHS2011 will typically create a 2TB Partition and the remainder of the space on the disk into a second partition. The maximum amount of data that can be backed up by WHS2011 is 2TB.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Friday, August 19, 2011 2:38 PM
  • A drive that you're going to use as a server backup drive is always reinitialized, and a 2 TB partition created (if the drive is big enough). I don't believe any additional partitions are created on server backup drives, however I don't have a 3 TB drive to test this with. This behavior is by design.

    If you're configuring the drive to use in server storage, and you partition/format the drive yourself, then Windows Home Server uses the partitions it finds. If you install an uninitialized disk it will behave as Phil has described.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Proposed as answer by Ken Warren Friday, August 19, 2011 5:36 PM
    Friday, August 19, 2011 5:36 PM
  • I also ran into the 2g problem - plugged in aq 3g grive and just got backup errors - it did not partition it to 2g. After a lot of trials and then finding this stupid limit I then tried to backup to a 2g partition on the 3g drive using the system utilities - still does not work, still no helpfull eror messages either.  I can't seem to get ANY backup to work on ANY partition on this larger USB drive.  Any ideas?

    And, I certainly agree that this is poor quality on the part of MS!

    Saturday, September 10, 2011 4:58 AM
  • Amusing 1

    I am using an Internal 2 TB HD for Server Backup

    Alert message saying that "Free space is low in Server Backup"

    MS advice on how to Resolve this alert - 1 . Connect a larger Hard Disk.... !

     

    Amusing 2

    From MS On line Help  "Learn more about setting up server backup"

     

    To configure server backup, you must connect an external hard drive to the server to use as the backup target hard drive.

     

    This server backup area does no credit to MS.

    Other than that I really like this WHS 2011

    David

     

    Saturday, September 17, 2011 6:18 PM
  • I searched for this forum since I have the same problem.  I have tried two external 3 TB drives with no success.  Both allow the backup process to be started and then fail with no explanation of what happened.   I do like WHS 2011, but agree that there are some serious shortages, this being one.  I am also disappointed that no where that I found is it documented that 2 TB is the limit of a backup drive.  I had to search for the answer.  As mentioned in other posts, the main reason that I purchased this was for the automated backup, 2TB is a very small limit.
    Monday, September 19, 2011 1:26 PM
  • Hello

    The problem is that new external hard drives use sectors of 4096 instead of 512.  The backup feature in Window server 2008 and Window home server 2011 isn't compatiable with this sector size.  See this link for more info.

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsbackup/thread/5d9e2f23-ee70-4d41-8bfc-c9c4068ee4e2/

    Windows 7 has the same problem.  Don't know why Microsoft doesn't fix this.

    John

    Monday, September 19, 2011 1:56 PM