Windows Server 2008 Backup to 3TB Western Digital USB Drives fail

Larger drives can cause Windows Server 2008/Vista/Windows 7 backups to fail because of the 4k Logical Sector Sizes found on certain drives such as the WD 3TB drives.

Here is an overview of the error when trying to use Windows Backup either via the GUI or through scripting backup jobs via wbadmin(which is what I was setting these drives up to do): Western Digital URL: “Error: 0x8078002A occurs when backing up to a 2.5 or 3.0 TB drive in Windows 7 Backup and Restore”

You might also see this when trying to execute the job through wbadmin.exe which can be a little less than helpful:

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C:\Windows\system32>wbadmin start backup -backupTarget:Z: -include:G: -quiet
wbadmin 1.0 – Backup command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2004 Microsoft Corp.

Retrieving volume information…

This would backup volume DATA3(G:) to Z:.

Backup to Z: is starting.

Creating the shadow copy of volumes requested for backup.
Creating the shadow copy of volumes requested for backup.
Creating the shadow copy of volumes requested for backup.
Creating the shadow copy of volumes requested for backup.
Running backup of volume DATA3(G:), copied (0%).

Backup stopped before completing.

Summary of backup:
——————
Backup stopped before completing.
One of the backup files could not be created.

C:\Windows\system32>
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You can see if your drive is causing this problem by running this command:

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C:\Windows\system32>fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo Z:
NTFS Volume Serial Number : 0xee04cb9204cb5be9
Version : 3.1
Number Sectors : 0x000000002ba9f2ff
Total Clusters : 0x000000002ba9f2ff
Free Clusters : 0x0000000011a8a705
Total Reserved : 0x0000000000000000
Bytes Per Sector : 4096 <---------- This is where it will say 512 instead of 4096 after we format it Bytes Per Cluster : 4096 Bytes Per FileRecord Segment : 4096 Clusters Per FileRecord Segment : 1 Mft Valid Data Length : 0x000000003b080000 Mft Start Lcn : 0x00000000000c0000 Mft2 Start Lcn : 0x0000000015d4f97f Mft Zone Start : 0x0000000014f6ca80 Mft Zone End : 0x0000000014f792a0 RM Identifier: 0BD081C7-0A5F-11E1-A8DE-782BCB29E7A3
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To fix this so Windows Backup can use these types of drives, you can download the Western Digital Quick Format utility from this page: http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3868/session/L2F2LzEvc25vLzEvdGltZS8xMzIxMjU4MDg2L3NpZC81NERxZDRKaw%3D%3D —– or you can use this direct download link.

Run the WD Quick Format utility and format the drive using the “Factory Default” or “Universal” option, not the Windows XP Compatible option. After that is complete, it will rename the drive to the next letter in line and then you can rename it under Computer Management to get it to the drive letter that you want. Verify that the settings for the drives have changed:

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C:\Windows\system32>fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo Y:
NTFS Volume Serial Number : 0x2494409b944070fa
Version : 3.1
Number Sectors : 0x000000015d4b97de
Total Clusters : 0x000000002ba972fb
Free Clusters : 0x000000001be09c36
Total Reserved : 0x0000000000000000
Bytes Per Sector : 512 <------------ These settings are what you're looking for Bytes Per Cluster : 4096 Bytes Per FileRecord Segment : 1024 Clusters Per FileRecord Segment : 0 Mft Valid Data Length : 0x0000000000010000 Mft Start Lcn : 0x00000000000c0000 Mft2 Start Lcn : 0x0000000015d4b97d Mft Zone Start : 0x00000000000c0000 Mft Zone End : 0x00000000000cc820 RM Identifier: 0BD0818E-0A5F-11E1-A8DE-782BCB29E7A3

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After this if you are still having issues, it’s probably not because of this.

About Jeremiah

Windows operating system advocate in Houston, TX.
This entry was posted in Backup and Recovery, Microsoft, Uncategorized, Windows Server and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Windows Server 2008 Backup to 3TB Western Digital USB Drives fail

  1. Idrees says:

    YES!!! its working now!!
    Thanks a lot!!

  2. Tim says:

    This is great… thank you. I have been looking for two days for a solution for my new 4TB drives and windows server 2008 R2 backups.

  3. Bill Curtis says:

    Worked perfectly. The link for the Western Digital formatting software still worked. Backup running as I type this. Thanks for the article.

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