Recently I got an opportunity to configure a windows 2012 R2 server backup on an external NAS, We were trying to set up the backup on a Buffalo NAS and also tried WD Cloud EX4 NAS. In both the case we ran into different error, this article suggest how we worked around the error to get the backup going for the server.

We were trying to store the backup on a network location on both the NAS and we ran into following errors in both the cases

WD Cloud EX4 NAS: The backup process started but then immediately failed with the error “Incorrect Function” and “There was a failure in preparing the backups image of one of the volume”. I checked the WD forums for solution but found that a lot of people are facing same error with no solution. Refer to error screenshot below

VSS copy error with WD Mycloud NAS

VSS copy error with WD Mycloud NAS

WD Cloud EX4- Incorrect Function

WD Cloud EX4- Incorrect Function

The Buffalo NAS gave an error “ The Version does not support this version of the file format”   when researched we found that it’s a known issue and needed NAS to be rooted which I wasn’t willing to do to customer’s NAS. See the discussion below, in this reference

http://blogs.technet.com/b/asiasupp/archive/2010/11/03/windows-server-backup-failed-with-error-quot-the-version-does-not-support-this-version-of-the-file-format-quot.aspx

http://forums.buffalotech.com/index.php?topic=10737.0

Buffalo NAS-does not support the file format2

Buffalo NAS-does not support the file format2

Anyways, now that we know that both the NAS have their own issue we decide to set up the backups using a different approach. We decided to use a ISCSI LUN to store the backups. Fortunately our WD NAS had the option to create a LUN. If you have any other NAS, you need to find out how to create a LUN on it.

Refer to following screenshot where we accessed the Admin URL of the WD Cloud EX4 NAS  and created a LUN

Creating LUN with WD Cloud EX4

Creating LUN with WD Cloud EX4

Now we go back to our server and start the iSCSI initiator to connect this LUN as a hard drive on our server

search and start the iSCSI initiator on your server, iSCSI initiator is part of windows server since Windows Server 2008, on windows 2003 it needed to be downloaded and installed

Search and Lauch ISCSI intiator from Start Menu

Search and Lauch ISCSI intiator from Start Menu

 

Specify the IP of your NAS under the target IP and click quick connect, you should be able to see the name of the LUN’s available on your NAS, connect the one which you need.

PS: Depending on the NAS you are using and also security settings on the LUN, you may have to use the other tabs in following windows to get your LUN connected

Specify the IP of your NAS and click refresh, it should list all the LUNs available on it

Specify the IP of your NAS and click refresh, it should list all the LUNs available on it

Now once your LUN is connected, you need to open the Disk Management snap-in on the windows server (Diskmgmt.msc), to format the disk and assign it a drive letter.

PS: Windows server backup can also use this LUN without being initiated as a Drive in windows but that way you would not be able to see the content of the disk.

Formatting the Attached LUN as NTFS and adding to computer as a back up drive

Formatting the Attached LUN as NTFS and adding to computer as a back up drive

 

Now once your Drive is created, its time to get started with setting up the backup.  We wanted to do backups on a specific schedule. Though its possible to configure backup from Windows Backup console and you can setup a schedule as well but the control isn’t too well.  So we decided to do the backups using schedule tasks, so that we can clearly define the schedule for the backups.

The first thing we wanted to finalise was what all we need to backup and the WBadmin command line for windows backup is quite elobrate and extensive to set windows server backups, It clearly helps you define what to include in backup and the location where the backup is to be saved.

wbadmin enable backup [-addtarget:] [-removetarget:] [-schedule:] [-include: [-nonRecurseInclude:] [-exclude:] [-nonRecurseExclude:] [-allCritical] [-systemState] [-vssFull | -vssCopy] [-user:] [-password:] [-quiet]

We wanted to take a backup of following items on the server and wanted it to be target to our LUN, the M:\ which we created

1) Bare Metal Backup

2) C: , E:

3) System state

So we used the following command to set our backup

WBADMIN START BACKUP -backupTarget:M: -allCritical -systemstate -include:E: -quiet

The -allcritical switch took care of the BareMetal and C:\ backup and we just included SystemState and E:\

Also to create a schedule task for the same task we used the following command

SCHTASKS /Create /SC Monthly /MO FIRST /D FRI /TN Week1FullBackup /RL HIGHEST /ST 22:00  /TR “WBADMIN START BACKUP -backupTarget:M: -allCritical -systemstate -include:E: -quiet”

See the windows backup Schedule Task created under schedule tasks

See the windows backup Schedule Task created under schedule tasks

This article explains a simple approach towards setting up a windows server backup, if you need any further help or want to report another issue you need help with, feel free to start a new thread in our forum

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An automobile enthusiast at heart and computer geek by profession, started my Career with MS in 2005.Left Jobs and started Pledge Technologies (the parent company to Grishbi) back in 2009.We have been providing IT consulting to various Small and Medium businesses across US and UK since then.Our company specialises in Microsoft Server technologies like AD, Exchange, the rest and with numerous Office 365 migrations under our belt, we quite an expert with that too. Whatever we learn in our day to day life, we share it back on Grishbi as a Thank for all the love and support our customers have given us.
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