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Backup Exec 2010 w/USB HDDs / Insert Removable Media Alerts

Level 2

Hello, first time poster (thanks for having me)

I am pretty new to admin work with BE, we used to use 10d but someone before myself had set that up and it used different hardware.  Recently we have been trying to setup BE2010 with 5 removable USB HDDs Monday-Friday.  I've done plenty of searching and the number of posts about this topic make it obvious that it's not a very simple way to go about things.

I think I have it working, as I'm on day 3 of un-monitored 100% success backup jobs, but I do have a few questions.  I will list my configuration at the bottom of this post.  My main question is having the "Insert Removable Media" alert in between every .bkf (and I think therefore between every 4GB) normal?  I set the auto response to that alert as Yes, and the respond time to 1 minute, which is what finally got overnight backups working to 100% - but this seems to be adding about 1.5hrs to the backup time, as it looks like I have 80 alerts.  There must be a better way?  I guess I am mainly wondering if this is normal behavior is there a way to make the response time lower than 1 minute, or do i have this configured incorrectly for my hardware?  I am still pretty unclear on exactly how media sets work and are kept track of, I am just seeing 100% success with 0 alerts at the end of the jobs and figured I was off to a good start.

Some info on our system:
Windows 2003 Standard with BackupExec 2010 backing up itself, a 2k8 x64 domain controller, a 2k standalone server, and an XP workstation being treated as a server (with SQL 2005).

5 1TB USB HDDs in enclosures labeled BACKUP1 through BACKUP5 (Mon-Fri).

Total backup size ~320GB.

I kept the default options for adding devices except that I changed the low diskspace setting to 20GB (4GB file sizes).

Backup Job properties: "When this job beings" -> Overwrite media (I saw many people say Overwrite is the best option for USB HDDs)

HDD/Device properties (Devices added to the same pool):
A different letter assigned to each hard drive, I haven't had any problems with letters changing as they get swapped: BACKUP1 -> E:, BACKUP2 -> F:, ... BACKUP5 -> I: (all B2D folders aimed at the root)
Maximum size for backup-to-disk-files: 4GB
Maximum number of backup sets per backup-to-disk file: 100
Under each device is a matching folder listed (ie BACKUP2: FLDR000002)

Media Set properties:
Overwrite protection period: 1 Weeks
Append period: Infinite - Allow Append
I haven't touched Media Vault settings at all.

I have 2 scripts that stop & restart all BE services an hour before the scheduled backup time.


I welcome any and all questions, comments, suggestions, tips, anything.  I can provide screenshots if those would help too.  Just now looking at my list of alerts I am even more confused, as last night's backup was on device BACKUP2, and there are dozens of alternating alerts referencing BACKUP1 & BACKUP4 (the only other 2 devices currently added to the device pool... I was starting new the end of last week and adding the missing ones as I went...).  Now I'm wondering if the problem is having BE realize which devices are not available.  That may be a whole 'nother issue though, and I'd like to see if this post gets any replies first.

Thanks everyone.

Level 2

Well here's an update, after adding the new drive for today, "BACKUP3", the job wouldn't start and would only keep scanning BACKUP1, 2, and 4 (along with the insert media alerts).  I canceled the job and paused 1, 2, 4, restarted the job, and it's running fine with no alerts.  So I guess my question now is - is there any way to have BE automatically pause all devices it can't find with a script?  If I could do that, I think this would be working perfect... as long as my media settings are correct, which is a whole other project.

Thanks again.

Level 6

IN the properties of the backup job where you define the pre and post command ,you set the option to cancel the job if it did not excuted properly ... You can also go ahead and increase the size of the bkf file as 10 gb , so the backup exec created 1bkf file of 10gb instead of 4 gb ...This way the alert which you receive would be less than what you are getting ...
Make sure you have the following option in place
Tools-- option--Media managment --Overwrite recycleable media before overwriting the scratch media
so it overwrites the recyclable files before creating new once ...
Also check the options for the prompt here ..If you have selected the option to promt before overwriting ..
hope this helps

Level 2

RahulG, thank you for the tips.  I changed those settings so they will run on the next job.

I think I have this all figured out by researching the bemcmd command.  What I did was consolidate the scheduled cycling of BE services & also pausing the "other days' devices" into a daily batch file in task scheduler.  I'll paste an example of today's (day 4, Thursday, device "BACKUP4") below.  I have one for each day, day1.bat, day2.bat, etc. that run 15 minutes before the scheduled job.  My goal here was to get 0 insert media alerts while the job runs, while also not having to manually pause/unpause each device in the Backup Exec media server... basically as long as the correct drive is plugged in each day there should be no errors.

paste of "day4.bat":
REM ************** Starting Day 4 Backup Exec cycle.  ****
REM Pausing all other devices
"C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\bemcmd" -o60 -dBACKUP1
"C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\bemcmd" -o60 -dBACKUP2
"C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\bemcmd" -o60 -dBACKUP3
"C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\bemcmd" -o60 -dBACKUP5

REM Unpausing today's device
"C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\bemcmd" -o61 -dBACKUP4

REM Cycling all BE services
"C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\bemcmd" -o503
"C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\bemcmd" -o502
REM ************** Finishing Backup Exec cycle. ***********

note:  by just pausing/unpausing all 5 devices like I saw in a few other example batch files I was still getting the insert media alerts, it seems like keeping the other 4 devices not in use paused works best, hence the 5 separate batch files.

Again I'll take any more advice/tips/comments/etc.  Thank you again!


Level 3

I have a same setup and having problem with BE spam event log with event ID 33808:

"An error occurred while processing a B2D command.
 Changer: MoveMedium() Attempt to Lock Slot Failed (E:\VERITAS\B2D\Folder.lck).  Error=3 "

Searching around and I found this thread. Learned a lot. I would expand the idea a little and it seems to work with just one bat file run as pre-command. Assumed you follow steps in option 1 of (link does not anymore. google cached version )

DRIVE E:  =  Removable Backup-to-Disk folder Device BACKUP1
DRIVE F:  =  Removable Backup-to-Disk folder Device BACKUP2
DRIVE G:  =  Removable Backup-to-Disk folder Device BACKUP3
DRIVE H:  =  Removable Backup-to-Disk folder Device BACKUP4
DRIVE I:  =  Removable Backup-to-Disk folder Device BACKUP5


set BEMCMD=C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\bemcmd.exe
:: check if a drive exist; unpause corresponding BD device else pause it.
if exist "E:\" ("%BEMCMD%" -o61 -dBACKUP1) else ("%BEMCMD%" -o60 -dBACKUP1)
if exist "F:\" ("%BEMCMD%" -o61 -dBACKUP2) else ("%BEMCMD%" -o60 -dBACKUP2)
if exist "G:\" ("%BEMCMD%" -o61 -dBACKUP3) else ("%BEMCMD%" -o60 -dBACKUP3)
if exist "H:\" ("%BEMCMD%" -o61 -dBACKUP4) else ("%BEMCMD%" -o60 -dBACKUP4)
if exist "I:\" ("%BEMCMD%" -o61 -dBACKUP5) else ("%BEMCMD%" -o60 -dBACKUP5)
no more alerts for me.
I wonder if 2010 R2 have better removable drive support. says
Feature/Benefit: Removable Hard Drive Support/Enables use of removable disk in your backup infrastructure.
I can't find anymore info other than that.

Level 6
Upgrade to BE2010 R2, it has some nifty features for removable drives, that may help you in your particular scenario...

Mainly helping you not have to worry about B2D folders set to a particular drive path.  Plug in USB1 @ F:, and later it becomes H:  BE2010 R2 is smart enough to know it changed letters, and jobs will continue...

Level 2
@cadrus, thank you for the idea in that batch file, that'll help clean up mine a bit!

@teiva-boy, i had no idea R2 was even out, I'll have to check that out, it sounds like they are finally adding the useful support for external hdds.

i had to do a few more tweaks (I am a complete SQL rookie but I figured out how to setup transaction log maintenance which cleared up the last alerts we were getting) and everything has been running 100% success for the past week and a half, which is pretty great.