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How to avoid "Alert: Media Error. The disk is offline." message when disconnecting a USB drive

Created: 16 Oct 2012 | 7 comments


I would like to find a way to avoid the Backup Exec alert "Media Information: Alert: Media Error. The disk is offline." that occurs when using Windows Explorer to safely stop a USB drive. This is with Backup Exec 2012 SP1.

I have tried the following approaches to tell Backup Exec that the drive is going to go offline, with the hope it will not then raise an alert.

try 1: pause all disk storage devices with a name matching the specified search string
powershell.exe -command "&{Import-Module bemcli; Get-BEDiskStorageDevice | Where-Object {$_.Name -like 'Backup Drive*'} | Set-BEDiskStorageDevice -Paused $true}"

try 2:

powershell.exe -command "&{Import-Module bemcli; Get-BEDiskStorageDevice | Where-Object {$_.Name -like 'Backup Drive*'} | Set-BEDiskStorageDevice -Disabled $true}"

Both commands act as expected in terms of pausing or disabling USB disk storage devices. However, the alert still gets raised when the drive is later stopped.

If anyone has found a way to eject a USB drive without getting a Backup Exec alert raised, sharing that would be appreciated.


Tim Miller Dyck

Ontario, Canada

Comments 7 CommentsJump to latest comment

pkh's picture

There is no way to avoid this alert.  This alert is necessary because there might be users who accidentally disconnect their drives and who need this alert to let them know that their drive is offline.

Tim Miller Dyck's picture

Thanks for the reply, pkh.

I was hoping there was a way to use BackupExec PowerShell objects to mark the drive offline ahead of time (before the actual eject) to avoid the error, but this does not seem to be set-able through bemcli.

Shawn Lemay's picture

Symantec changed the behavior of ext. swappable media in this new build. I'm asking for them to change it back, or at least put some sort of conditionals into it.

I believe Symantec should change it. We should be able to tag USB Ext Drives as swappable media for rotation, thus NOT producing that error. It should be allowed both ways - not just the one way. OR - at the very least - there should be a way to disable that error in the logs when you know it won't be a true conditional.

Colin Weaver's picture

Just to clarify we didn't change it as such we just enforced how you should have been doing it in the first place - i.e. USB disks are not cartridge based media (like RDX) so they should never have been using the removable b2d settings which was intended for devices where the chassis remains connected and a cartridge is removed and not for devices where the whole unit is removed. When Removable b2d was first introduced in the Backup Exec 9.x timeframe, USB disk devices were not mainstream (and may not even have been properly on the market) but cartridge based devices, attached using IDE, ATAPI, SCSI or possibly even parallel port were available and widely used.

Just to outline another difference an RDX eject is similar to a SCSI device eject and is a function of the device itself, a USB safely detach is more of a function of the operating system and cannot therefore be handled as an eject.

As an aside we did not really support detaching USB disks until BE 2010 R2 was released and at that time customers should have been using Standard B2D on USB disks, which is what we then enforced in 2012. There were numerous workarounds that various customers had implemented to allow USB disks to be detached and re-attached when using versions of BE prior to 2010 R2.

BTW I don't disagree about the query for handling the media alert and would suggest that a new Idea is submitted instead of a standard forum post as Ideas are ways for customers to post and vote on enhancement requests.

Financial Todd's picture

I agree, I would love to see the Media Alert setting enabled.  Or a sub option to select the Disk Offline alert specifically.  We use a swapable rotation of external drives for offsite backups, and daily responding OK to this alert is getting old fast.

Is there a better solution for using external drives for offsite backups?  I wouldn't think that Symantec would consider this daily procedure as "acceptable" behavior.  Too messy.

What do you say Semantec?  Are we doing something wrong or did you actually intend for the software to behave this way?

Calis's picture

I'm getting annoyed with the same Media Offline alert. Mostly for regional backup operators who get sent the alert everyday when drives are rotated. Its not a fix by any means but I had to turn off media alert notifications for those users to stop freaking them out.