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Symantec |System Recovery backup to 4K sector size USB drives

Created: 09 Apr 2013 | 9 comments
FirstonVorlon's picture

Dear friends, I've just acquired a 4TB USB 3.0 external drive for image backups of one of my servers and found out the hard way that Windows Server 2008 R2, although being able to format the drive and read/write to it, is having trouble when I try to do a VSS backup.

This drive is exclusively my backup destination, which a few articles in Symantec's Knowledgebase mention should not be a problem. They should not be the drive backed up, but they could be backed up to according to the articles.

Well, that's not happening and VSS gives me the dreaded 12293 and 8193 VSS errors while my backup does not run at all. A Backup without VSS is useless to me, so I must find a way to backup to this 4Kb sector size drive in Windows Server 2008 R2.

I already checked Microsoft compatibility update KB982018 is installed and also checked that the HGST Touro I'm using does not support changing sector sizes from 4096 back to 512 (there's no tool for that purpose in their support site).

I hope someone has found a way to make VSS run with SSR 2013 and 4K drives as backup destination only........



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Chris Riley's picture

Yes, SSR 2013 supports 4kb disks when used as a backup destination.

You keep mentioning VSS backups - are you talking about the 'Perform full VSS backup' option found in the advanced section of the backup job?

What error does SSR show when the backup fails?

FirstonVorlon's picture

Chris, you're correct, I mean the perform full vss backup option, if that option can't be used SSR won't work for me.

The two errors reported are 12293 and 8193 for application VSS (in event viewer). The backups run just fine if I remove the Touro extenal unit.


Chris Riley's picture

So are you saying that backups work fine if 'Perform full VSS Backup' is disabled?

Is SSR showing an error when backing up to this drive? I know you mention the errors in the event logs but what about SSR itself?

Dave_H's picture

If your using an Intel hard drive controller, verify your driver version is at least 9.6, anything lower will not give you full support for advanced format drives.  KB982018 is "supposed" to update the Intel driver but I have seen a system that it clearly didn't.


FirstonVorlon's picture

Well, after researching this subject over the Internet I've found out that there's simply no way the native 4Kb sector unit will work on Windows 2008 R2 (it will WITHOUT the VSS option enabled, which's a useless backup to me). I've found out that most WD units have a utility that allows the conversion to 512E, or Advanced Format, which will work fine, but my unit is a HGST (which is owned by WD but I'm not sure the Utility will work on HGST units, I will try today). If the unit can't be converted from 4K to 512E you're just as out of luck as I am..........

Chris Riley's picture

That does not make much sense to me. The perform full VSS option ONLY sends a command to truncate the Exchange logs. If you are not running Exchange, you don't need to enable it.

I don't understand why backups fail with this enabled.

This should work. Again, can you clarify the error you see in SSR?

You might need a support case so that this can be investigated further.

FirstonVorlon's picture

Chris, I will send you the error messages, but this is the behavior so you can have an idea of what's going on:

1- When trying to open the SSR 2013 interface, the program takes a VERY LONG TIME, close to 15 minutes.
2- When trying to change between pages inside the program the delay is very long, mostly when trying to verify backup destination or see the list of drives.
3- When I start a backup, progress and performance show up as if it would backup the server just fine, then after a few minutes I get a failure message from SSR (which I don't have at hand right now nor can I replicate because the affected disk is offline at my customer)
4- CHecking event viewer shows the 2 VSS errors I mentioned above.
Please note that I searched this problem over the Internet and NO backup software is working with 4K sector disks and Server 2008 R2 or older.

Please, also note that, when I unplug the affected disk, SSR 2013 works normaly; none of the problems mentioned above happen whatsoever.

Chris Riley's picture

From the information that I have been given internally, backups to 4k sector drives with SSR 2013 should work.

I would recommend that you open a support case for this issue.

FirstonVorlon's picture

Chris, I will do so, this is really making me lose my sleep. I think the software should work just fine with 4K drives as Backup Destination, but it seems Windows is the one to blame here, when it starts the VSS service to take the snapshots it loses itself on the 4K drive and the snapshots are not taken, leaving open files, databases and so forth out of the backup, in a sense, making the backup almost useless in my case.......... Regards,