Your basic ITPro blog... What's going on at work, what I'm interested in.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Backup-To-Disk Problems with BackupExec 12.5 to a Virtual Disk on a MD3000i

…A long title for a weeks-long problem!

Well, it has been a long time since I have updated this blog. But, that doesn’t mean nothing has been going on! :-)

For the past couple of weeks, I have been troubleshooting a problem with my backups. I use BackupExec, so that shouldn’t really surprise anyone! But, in this case, the problem (as best as I can tell) turned out to lie elsewhere.

Here’s the skinny…

I do all of my backups to tape, except for my Exchange backups. They go to disk. I have a 3TB disk on my MD3000i that I use for this. That way, I can make the most efficient use of BackupExec’s GRT technology. It was working fine for a while until (as is often the case in Windows environments) it just stopped working.

My backup-to-disk jobs started failing with the error code: E00084AF

Symantec’s KB had a number of articles that spoke to the issue, but nothing seemed to work. I spent about a week on my own trying to solve the problem, running updates, tweaking the registry, deleting/recreating jobs… Nothing worked, so it was then time to call Symantec Tech Support.

Now, like most people, I DO NOT like calling tech support, especially for large companies. This has nothing to do with my ego and everything to do with the fact that, in most cases, the first-level support is likely a guy just like me… someone who kinda-knows the product, is sitting in front of a computer either reading from a ‘tech-support script’ or just searching their own KB as you describe your problem to them. I know they are trying to be helpful, but you end up spending most of your time re-hashing everything you have already tried! </rant>

I will say this, however… the Symantec guys were willing to ‘spend the time’ with me on this. I never felt rushed by them or brushed aside. I appreciated that.

Anyway, none of this troubleshooting helped and we all went into the weekend scratching our heads, wondering what we were going to try/look at next. Then, over the weekend, I had an idea…

As a Windows guy I have learned that, sometimes, you just need to start over. For example, if a distribution list in Outlook isn't working right, you may have to just delete it and re-create it (or add then remove someone). I have come across similar situations many, many times... Situations where 'touching' an object somehow resets things and gets it working again. Sometimes it's just a matter of changing a setting, saving, and then changing the setting back.

This is essentially what I did with my virtual disk on my MD3000i. I went into the management console of my MD3000i and changed the 'ownership/preferred path' of the virtual disk from one controller module to the other. Then, after a server reboot I ran a test job and it worked. The backups have been running fine ever since.

I have no idea what initiated this issue, or where it originated. That is the most frustrating part. I am just glad that things are working again!

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