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Sata drives in USB dock BE2012 - whats the best method to setup?

Created: 10 Apr 2012 | 12 comments


We have a set of hard drives which we rotate for our backups. Currently they are setup as disk based storage, and the backup runs fine for one time. One the nect rotation of that disk (say the following monday) the job queues and you cant backup to the drive again. Unless you format it and remove it from the disk pool. When you re-add it back in the backup works ok again - until the next time.

What is the best method for configuring sata\usb docked based backup devices? I try to use the "Tape Storage" but it doesnt find the drive and I cant set it up as "Disk cartridge" as thats greyed out?

Any advice is appreciated - thanks!

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Colin Weaver's picture

I believe that in 2012 SATA drives show up as local storage (even if in a USB carrier) meaning they are not eligible for the Removable Setting. However if the USB carrier remains connected but the SATA drive is ejected then I don't think we get the correct media insert notification and we may also not be able to identify that one SATA disk is different from the other (when used in the same USB enclosure)

Both of the above condititions can cause problems

At very least we need an Ideas request to go in that asks for an enhancement to support such devices and the enhancement would have to specify the exact makes and models of hardware experiencing issues.

Other option is a formal support case for us to fully investigate the issue and get a formal response form our engineering teams abouth that type of hardware.

shabbaranks's picture

They are currently configured as disk storage - as the criteria set "storage on a volume, a hot-swppable device...." fits the criteria.

Also one thing thats confusing, the pencil with the cross on it I thought showed the backup contained legacy backups. I have formatted the drive, removed it from BE and then re-added it - how can it contain legacy backups? Unless I then need to rename the device with a different name so its not mistaken?

Backup_Exec's picture

Hi there about the pencil image with red cross only would be shown for the folder which are legacy you are right which means with this version of 2012, you can have one folder on one drive, for example if you have multiple b2d folder on same drive in previous version ,then in this version 1 folder will be were you can read or write to it but other folder would be legacy meaning you only read from them for doing restore cannot be used for backup
Also if you have formated the drive and deleted the folder from 2012 but still showing then, it might be something stuck in database as it stills shows that image so if it is the case may be contact support to review it further



Don't forget to give a "Thumbs Up" or Mark as "Solution" if someones advice has helped you.

Colin Weaver's picture

If the SATA disk cartridges don't have a unique ID - because they are carrier based and work differently from a USB disk device then it is likely that it is creating multiple b2d devices (one on each SATA platter) and then because BE thinks every platter is the same disk (due to no unique ID) it will then mark some of the b2d folders as read only.

As such gut feeling is that BE 2012 has not been designed to work with the type of device you are using now if this is an accidental oversight then it is a defect, it could however be a design descision - either way a support case is likely to be needed to sort it out.

IT downunder's picture


Thanks for raising a support case for this SATA USB issue, we have the same problem.

Is there an update on this issue?

Regards, Edwin

IT downunder's picture


After my question above I started fiddling around and found the following solution / work-around.

All our external USB SATA backup drives are recognized as normal Disk storage and I managed to add most of these to Backup Exec 2012 and put them in a Device Pool. Some disks from the same manufacturer batch were recognized as the same disk in BE Storage (e.g. disk 10 and 11 both showed up as disk 10) and I was not able to add a new disk device.

Then I thought what does maybe distinguise one disk from the other, the Disk Signature ID in sector 0. This is where Mark Russinovich, our SysInternals guru came to the rescue, because I found this article:


  1. Attach first disk to your server and use DISKPART to find the signature
    SELECT DISK #, where # is the disk number in you system (use Disk Management to find disk number).
    This will give you a 4 byte disk ID e.g. "e9eb3aa5"
  2. Now attach the second (or third, etc) and do the same, find the UNIQUE ID, which will show as the same ID as the first. With the same DISKPART tool you can overwrite the ID with a new ID, try incrementing the number with 1 (that is what I did) for each new disk.
    Use the command in DISKPART: UNIQUEID DISK ID=e9eb3aa6, where the ID is the id you choose, this is just an example (see also the article above).
  3. After the ID is changed, I deleted all BE folders from that disk (/BEControl and /BEdata), disconnect the USB drive and reconnected it.
  4. This time BE Storage does not find the disk in the list and you can Add a new disk.

Hope this helps you.

Regards, Edwin

CraigV's picture

...looks good enough to put into a Blog Edwin:

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

Colin Weaver's picture

Hi guys we need more detail for this sort of issue which is why we keep asking you to log formal support cases for it.

At very leasts we need.

Make and Model of eSATA Chassis

Make and Model of SATA Interface Adaptor

Make and Model(s) of disk cartridges in use

Details of whether all the disk cartridges are affected the same way

Details of whether or not the disk cartridges have been used by other servers/applications first.

Whether the disks show up as "Hard Disk Drives" or "Devices with Removable Storage" in Windows Explorer/My Computer

Details of whether or not the disk cartridges have the same Unique Disk ID (as discussed above) - including whether or not the disk ID is all 0s or a more random hex based identifier

Whether or not the media server has been built from an image used for multiple servers in the environment

IT downunder's picture

Hi Colin,

Thanks for your reply.

I will indeed create a formal support case for this issue, since our work-around is not a workable solution. We have been running with this work-around for 2 month and there are all kinds of complications, basically when BE detects the external HDs as fixed disks the backup sets are not managed as we are used to and the disks are marked as read-only after a while.

We just had our weekend full backup failed completely because it failed to re-use outdated backup sets on the disk.

Thanks, Edwin

pkh's picture

Can you confirm which kind of storage is created on your SATA disks?  Disk Storage or Disk Cartridge Device?  I believe it is the former.  Disk Storage is managed by DLM which is different from Disk Cartridge Device which is managed by the traditional media sets.