Backup Exec Best Practices when using external Hard Drives for Backup-to-Disk (B2D) or Disk Storage Device connected by USB, eSATA, Firewire, etc..
Attempting to use different physical devices for the same Backup-to-Disk folder in Backup Exec will lead to a wide variety of issues with the application and Backup-to-Disk media.
- Backup Exec does not support swapping different hard drives in an attempt to use different physical devices for the same Backup-to-Disk folder in Backup Exec.
- If the drives are not configured in a supported method, issues with Catalog or Restore jobs, and overwrite / reclaim of previous backup data may occur.
- For 2010 R2 and R3, the drives also should be inventoried after each change for Backup Exec to be aware of the contents of the drive. In some cases, a service restart may be required. backup Exec 2012 should not require either an inventory or a service restart.
- Each drive must present a unique volume GUID identifier to the operating system (see notes below on how to check and modify the GUID)
- Prior to Backup Exec 2010 R2, the ability to maintain B2D devices on USB disks when they were disconnected and reconnected was not officially supported.
Configuration Example 2010 R3:
Drive 2 - BEWS target = Backup-to-Disk Folder 2 - Path = F:\B2D2\
Drive 3 - BEWS target = Backup-to-Disk Folder 3 - Path = F:\B2D3\
Configuration Example 2012 and above:
Drive 2 - BEWS target = Backup-to-Disk Folder 2 - Path = F:\
Drive 3 - BEWS target = Backup-to-Disk Folder 3 - Path = F\
Post configuration notes:
- To help automate this process, create a device pool containing all the Backup-to-Disk drives, and target the backup jobs to the device pool rather than any specific device.
- Drives should be safely removed from the system before the drive is unpluged from the system.
- The drives also must be inventoried after each change for Backup Exec to be aware of the contents of the drive. In some cases, a service restart may be required.
- It is very important to note the settings located in Tools, Options, Media Management. If None is selected, this will negate the media set settings and the Overwrite Protection Period will be ignored. Choose Full or Partial to avoid this.
Changing the volume GUID for a drive:
Recently Symantec have seen an increase in the number of disks provided by hardware vendors which do not have unique volume GUIDs, in Backup Exec 2010 R2 and R3 this will cause identification issues which will affect the rotation strategy, Backup Exec 2012 will not allow you to create a new Disk Storage Device on any drive that uses a GUID that within Backup Exec already has a Disk Storage device configured.
Thanks to Symantec Connect forum members "IT downunder" and "pkh" for providing the basis for the following steps on how to check and change the volume GUID:
- Attach the first disk to the media server and run DISKPART (in a command prompt)
- Within DISKPART enter SELECT DISK #, where # is the disk number in the system (use Disk Management to find disk number).
- If using Windows 2008 or later, within DISKPART enter UNIQUEID DISK, if using Windows 2003 enter DETAIL DISK
This will provide details of the Disk ID e.g. "e9eb3aa5"
- Now attach the second (or third, etc) drive and do the same, find the Disk ID, if there is a conflict issue then the new drive will have the same Disk ID as the first drive.
- If a conflict is found and the Media Server operating system is Windows 2008 or later, each disk can be manually given a unique Disk ID using the DISKPART utility to overwrite the existing ID with a new ID, (suggestion is to change 1 digit for each new disk, taking care to use hex characters). The DISKPART command is UNIQUEID DISK ID=nnnnnnnn, where the nnnnnnnn is the new, unique ID choosen. Note: Windows 2003 DISKPART did not provide a way to change the Disk ID, if you experience issues relating to this on Windows 2003 then 3rd party or hardware vendor utilities may be needed.
- On any disk where the Disk ID is changed, delete all the Backup Exec folders from that disk (/BEControl and /BEdata), disconnect the USB drive and reconnect it, then configure new disk storage (or a new B2D) on the drive.
The user has to replace the external disk Daily or Weekly which is the Backup-to-disk location