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Backup to 3TB External USB drives

Created: 06 Jun 2011 • Updated: 09 Jun 2011 | 9 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.


We currently use Windows Server Backup (WSB) on Server 2008 to run our backups but are starting to find it's limitations.  I'm now starting to look at replacements and am interested in the Symantec System Recovery (SSR) Product.

I have a few questions that I hope someone can help with.

  • Can SSR backup to external USB 3 drives larger than 2TB?
  • Can you have more than one backup schedule?
  • Can I specify the exact backup media that I want a schedule to use?

Many thanks,


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Markus Koestler's picture

A look into the User's guide may answer your questions:

*** Please mark thread as solved if you consider this to have answered your question(s) ***

DanMc-2011's picture

Not looking good so far, no USB 3.0 support:

Trying to find a HCL for USB drives to see if you back up to 3TB disks.

Thanks Markus I've had a look through the user guide ;)

Chris Riley's picture

FYI: There is no such thing as a HCL for SSR/BESR.

I don't see any reason why you cannot use a 3TB disk though.

I'm trying to get more info on the issue with USB 3.0. Will post back here when I receive some feedback on this for you.

DanMc-2011's picture

Hi Chris,

Windows Backup Server was unable to write to USB disks larger than 2TB because of the increased sector size used on these disks (4096K).  So although Windows Server it self could see the disk the backup software would not write to it.

Thanks for respoding and wait for your response.  Ideally we want to use 3TB USB 3.0 disks.



Chris Riley's picture


Can you please confirm the exact make/model of the USB drives that you want to use as your backup destination?

Chris Riley's picture


I've had it confirmed that SSR does support backing up to USB 3.0 disks but only for hot backups (when the OS is running). If you re-read that TechNote, you can see it states we don't support them when backups/restores are done via the SRD:

Symantec System Recovery (SSR) 2011 does not support USB 3.0 devices, either as Backup Destinations or as media for the Symantec Recovery Disk (SRD).

The title of the TechNote is however misleading (I'm going to change it).

As per my earlier comment, please confirm the make/model of the USB drive you want to use - the sector size you mention is potentially a different issue.

DanMc-2011's picture

Thanks for clearing that up.  The disks we bought before to use with Windows Server Backup were Western Digital - My Book Essential 3TB External USB 3.0.  I think I will download a trial and see how I get on.  Thanks for your help

sfuller 2's picture

We've been doing hot backup on USB 3.0 for quite some time--it's about a 4X speed gain on servers 17G /minute to 75/85G/minutes.  An SRD restore at this point would always be USB 2.0 anyway.  

Chris Riley's picture

Some more info from Microsoft that may help you guys: