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  • SBS 2003 R2 - critical problem with NTBACKUP

    Hi all, I'm hoping somebody can help.

    We've installed Windows 2003 Small Business Server R2 Standard Edition onto a Dell server. The server is a couple of years old but is still a Pentium 4, and has 4GB RAM. It's a brand new install of SBS 2003 R2 (retail).

    We have a major problem with ntbackup freezing. We are backing up to an external hard drive (USB2) but we get the same issue if we backup to C:\Temp (and exclude C:\Temp from the backup).

    If I run the backup interactively from the SBS console screen, it runs fine. Every time. But if I run it as a scheduled job (also via the SBS screen) the next morning the server has totally frozen.

    The backup starts at 8PM. The last message in the event log is at 20:00:00:

    20:00:11 Event 7036 from Service Control Manager
    The Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider service entered the running state.

    followed by

    07:53:36 Event 6008 from EventLog
    The previous system shutdown at 20:04:23 on 16/07/2008 was unexpected.

    The backup logs in C:\Documents and Settings\SBS Backup User\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows NT\NTBackup\data are zero bytes.

    We're really stumped. It's a fully patched system (though we have not applied the latest VSS rollup).

    Can anyone suggest a solution? We're a very small company (4 people) and cannot afford tape drives or BackupExec etc. We really want to get this working wth NTBackup. But the scenario of interactive=success, scheduled=fail has really got us baffled.

    Please, as there any pattern or any pointer? Could it be VSS? Could it be something else?

    Many thanks for all and any assistance.



    Jim Willsher

  • #2
    Re: SBS 2003 R2 - critical problem with NTBACKUP

    Power cut maybe somehow? Do you have a UPS that boots the machine back up again?
    I would stay on-site and watch what happens.

    This is similar:
    http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/M..._23249233.html

    http://www.smallbizserver.net/Defaul...mid=11&tpage=1

    http://www.smallbizserver.net/Forums...8/Default.aspx

    The smallbizserver site may be worth a search on.
    cheers
    Andy

    Please read this before you post:


    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: SBS 2003 R2 - critical problem with NTBACKUP

      Many thanks Andy. The second link you gave me sounds the closest. Our server is a couple of years old, but it's fully up to date with BIOS and firmware. But it does sound similar.

      No it's not a power issue. When I've been checking at night around 20:15 I've not been able to get remote access, and when I've logged into our router the server is not showing as an "attached device". When we arrive in the morning the server is still running but unresponsive, and pressing the space bar to wake up the screen etc achieves nothing. We have to pull the plug, hence the "unexpected shutdown" message.


      Reading the threads has given me some ideas. I think I will go and baby-sit the automated job this evening and watch what happens on the screen (if anything) . I will also see if I can disable VSS and see if that gives any different results.

      Thanks again,



      Jim

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: SBS 2003 R2 - critical problem with NTBACKUP

        No probs, I didn't realise you were pulling the plug too
        Interesting you say you haven't installed the latest VSS rollup!
        Let us know how you get on, I would check back here as well just in case one of the SBS gurus are about too.
        cheers
        Andy

        Please read this before you post:


        Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: SBS 2003 R2 - critical problem with NTBACKUP

          Yes, I wasn't keen to install the VSS rollup unless I was sure it was a VSS issue. I'm never keen on fixing the window if it turns out to be a broken door

          I'll disable the scheduled backup for now and then enable it at the weekend when I can watch it run. If there's any pointers to VSS then I'll apply the latest rollup (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/940349 ?) and see what happens. None of the fixes in the rollup jump out at me, but then again Google suggests that no-one else is suffering this problem....


          Thanks again, I shall report back after the weekend once I've diagnosed further.



          Jim

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: SBS 2003 R2 - critical problem with NTBACKUP

            On your SBS go to a comand prompt and type:

            vssadmin list writers

            followed by Enter
            Check there are no error messages.
            TIA

            Steven Teiger [SBS-MVP(2003-2009)]
            http://www.wintra.co.il/
            sigpic
            Iím honoured to have been selected for the SMB 150 list for 2013. This is the third time in succession (no logo available for 2011) that I have been honoured with this award.

            We donít stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: SBS 2003 R2 - critical problem with NTBACKUP

              Originally posted by teiger View Post
              On your SBS go to a comand prompt and type:

              vssadmin list writers

              followed by Enter
              Check there are no error messages.
              Best advice yet. This is more than likely the cause of the problem and a failing writer in my experience can cause a server to blue screen and crash of which i have seen before with early releases of Exchange 2007. We fixed the problem by installing the latest VSS writers from MS.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: SBS 2003 R2 - critical problem with NTBACKUP

                Sadly no, the writers all show as valid:

                Code:
                vssadmin 1.1 - Volume Shadow Copy Service administrative command-line tool
                (C) Copyright 2001 Microsoft Corp.
                
                Writer name: 'System Writer'
                   Writer Id: {e8132975-6f93-4464-a53e-1050253ae220}
                   Writer Instance Id: {33b58cf9-4ab7-4942-aad3-0de2163997f1}
                   State: [1] Stable
                   Last error: No error
                
                Writer name: 'SqlServerWriter'
                   Writer Id: {a65faa63-5ea8-4ebc-9dbd-a0c4db26912a}
                   Writer Instance Id: {ee6afe52-f075-4408-97e8-581dac57c8ae}
                   State: [1] Stable
                   Last error: No error
                
                Writer name: 'Dhcp Jet Writer'
                   Writer Id: {be9ac81e-3619-421f-920f-4c6fea9e93ad}
                   Writer Instance Id: {62eb0170-ba9f-49cc-a6e0-07e1764690e0}
                   State: [1] Stable
                   Last error: No error
                
                Writer name: 'WMI Writer'
                   Writer Id: {a6ad56c2-b509-4e6c-bb19-49d8f43532f0}
                   Writer Instance Id: {433dd664-7882-4d20-939a-920f04d6b15a}
                   State: [1] Stable
                   Last error: No error
                
                Writer name: 'COM+ REGDB Writer'
                   Writer Id: {542da469-d3e1-473c-9f4f-7847f01fc64f}
                   Writer Instance Id: {4f490c12-ff3c-42d2-8660-271a1d00e542}
                   State: [1] Stable
                   Last error: No error
                
                Writer name: 'MSDEWriter'
                   Writer Id: {f8544ac1-0611-4fa5-b04b-f7ee00b03277}
                   Writer Instance Id: {fcacdc16-8848-457e-b603-735f51cdbbb3}
                   State: [1] Stable
                   Last error: No error
                
                Writer name: 'WINS Jet Writer'
                   Writer Id: {f08c1483-8407-4a26-8c26-6c267a629741}
                   Writer Instance Id: {f7fe7437-2638-487e-a9d3-e4099d108cc1}
                   State: [1] Stable
                   Last error: No error
                
                Writer name: 'BITS Writer'
                   Writer Id: {4969d978-be47-48b0-b100-f328f07ac1e0}
                   Writer Instance Id: {99314f65-81ff-45cd-bf2f-1325256b4622}
                   State: [1] Stable
                   Last error: No error
                
                Writer name: 'Registry Writer'
                   Writer Id: {afbab4a2-367d-4d15-a586-71dbb18f8485}
                   Writer Instance Id: {33e3a7aa-df6b-48af-bd49-2728825aa649}
                   State: [1] Stable
                   Last error: No error
                
                Writer name: 'FRS Writer'
                   Writer Id: {d76f5a28-3092-4589-ba48-2958fb88ce29}
                   Writer Instance Id: {86a38dc1-1d41-4a25-96db-95a4c516f8e7}
                   State: [1] Stable
                   Last error: No error
                
                Writer name: 'NTDS'
                   Writer Id: {b2014c9e-8711-4c5c-a5a9-3cf384484757}
                   Writer Instance Id: {40268087-0e36-4b6a-9927-c63ae259ad62}
                   State: [1] Stable
                   Last error: No error
                
                Writer name: 'Event Log Writer'
                   Writer Id: {eee8c692-67ed-4250-8d86-390603070d00}
                   Writer Instance Id: {f0dd4562-8d0a-42de-a3df-6d017fc0fc09}
                   State: [1] Stable
                   Last error: No error
                
                Writer name: 'IIS Metabase Writer'
                   Writer Id: {59b1f0cf-90ef-465f-9609-6ca8b2938366}
                   Writer Instance Id: {50a1c98c-131c-4528-bad0-5afe1902c8aa}
                   State: [1] Stable
                   Last error: No error

                I'm going to visit the site today to babysit a scheduled backup and will see what happens....



                Jim

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: SBS 2003 R2 - critical problem with NTBACKUP

                  Ok, I've been to babysit the backup today.

                  I started the backup running interactively and it seemed fine. So I then changed the schedule, logged off, and waited for it to start (based upon the time and the sudden burst of disk activity). It too seemed fine. So I went away and left it.

                  After an hour or so I was able to login via RDP and it was still fine.

                  But after 90 minutes, no response

                  I then returned to the site and found that it's a total frteeze - caps lock keys not changing keyboard LEDs etc. So I had to pull the plug.

                  The last entry in the log stated "beginning backup of System State", but this isn't always the last message.

                  It's a Dell PowerEdge 600SC. Does this sound like a hardware fault?



                  Jim

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: SBS 2003 R2 - critical problem with NTBACKUP

                    How is the tape drive connected? Are there updated drivers for the SCSI card etc maybe?
                    cheers
                    Andy

                    Please read this before you post:


                    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: SBS 2003 R2 - critical problem with NTBACKUP

                      Hi Andy,

                      We're not using tapes, we're backing up to USB2 external hard drive.

                      Although at the moment we're backing up to the local hard drive then manually copying the .bkf file to external drive, and that too is causing lockups.



                      Jim

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: SBS 2003 R2 - critical problem with NTBACKUP

                        Originally posted by jimwillsher View Post
                        Ok, I've been to babysit the backup today.

                        I started the backup running interactively and it seemed fine. So I then changed the schedule, logged off, and waited for it to start (based upon the time and the sudden burst of disk activity). It too seemed fine. So I went away and left it.

                        After an hour or so I was able to login via RDP and it was still fine.

                        But after 90 minutes, no response

                        I then returned to the site and found that it's a total frteeze - caps lock keys not changing keyboard LEDs etc. So I had to pull the plug.

                        The last entry in the log stated "beginning backup of System State", but this isn't always the last message.

                        It's a Dell PowerEdge 600SC. Does this sound like a hardware fault?



                        Jim
                        Certainly does to me. Try backing up to another location/drive or running a chkdsk /r on the USB drive to ensure the intergrity of the sectors.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: SBS 2003 R2 - critical problem with NTBACKUP

                          Hi,

                          Nope, not a power cut. We have a UPS bit there haven't been any power issues (we have a 50 ton weighbridge controlled from the PC beside the server and it would have shown an error).

                          It's a total freeze. Total lockup. No response from anything bar the power button. Windows isn't logging anything, so it looks like Windows has been caught by surprise....


                          Jim

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: SBS 2003 R2 - critical problem with NTBACKUP

                            Sorry, must have missed the USB disk bit earlier.

                            Scandisk the servers drives. Update the BIOS, raid card fw and drivers for the raid (if avail), gfx (why not) and anything else you can find.
                            What type of server is it? Is there some hw management tool available?
                            cheers
                            Andy

                            Please read this before you post:


                            Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: SBS 2003 R2 - critical problem with NTBACKUP

                              It's a Dell 600SC. All BIOS and firmware are totally up to date unfortunately.

                              I'm going to run a Dell diagnostics utility (bootable CD) and see what happens. I'll report back.


                              Jim

                              Comment

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