DPM 2012

I’ve recently been testing our disaster recovery abilities particularly in restoring servers from the bare metal recovery feature of System Centre Data Protection Manager 2012.

When restoring one of our servers (that is a virtual machine) I was getting the error message below just before the drive data starts to copy over.

The system image restore failed.

Error details: Element not found. (0x80070490)

As it turns out this error message relates to the restore program not detecting the required number of hard drives attached to the VM that I am restoring the data to.

The fix is simple – assign the extra drives required. The slide show below goes into this in a little more detail.

On further thought I remembered that this particular VM was originally on a physical machine – hence the extra drive came from the tiny partition (usually 100-500MB depending on OS) that Windows creates when doing a first time install that’s used for bitlocker/bootloader stuff. Either way your server won’t work without it and neither will the restore.

For a long time we’ve been using the built in features of Windows Server to allow users to recover their own work through the ‘Previous Versions’ tab in Windows Explorer (which works on the Volume Snapshot service) however the long term plan has been to get our DPM 2012 server to do the heavy lifting instead.

When trying to extend the AD schema (as per this Technet Article) we were coming across this error message

Active Directory could not be configured because the Active Directory domain could not be found. Make sure that the domain name is properly constructed. The following example shows a properly constructed domain name: city.corp.company.com

The best fix I have found is to manually extend the schema by copying the EXE that DPM uses to extend the schema right onto your domain controller that runs the Schema Master role and running it there.

In my case that file can be found here C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012\DPM\DPM\End User Recovery

The screenshots below show how to do this in a little more detail

NB about DFS shares: If you intend on using end user recovery against shares that are using DFS you will need Hotfix KB2466048. Why this is a hotfix and not included with Windows 7 SP1 I do not know – I just hope it comes along in SP2.

On occasion it maybe necessary to forcefully remove a server from the DPM management console. Maybe you have taken the server out of use without first uninstalling the DPM client through the console or have some kind of weird issue with the server you are protecting.

Regardless if you want to force remove a server from the DPM management console it has to be done through good old PowerShell (there is no way in the UI to do this).

The instructions you need to do this are in the screenshot series below

If you are running System Centre Data Protection Manager (2010/2012) on Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 you may or may not know that when you are running a Bare Metal/System State Backup you are actually using the built in Windows Server Backup feature to keep your data safe.

One thing that baffled me is why on some servers the backups are so large right until I figured out it was backing up drives other than the C (Operating System) drive. As it turns out when you perform a bare metal backup Windows looks at not only the OS drive but any other drives that might be relevant in a disaster recovery scenario.

So how do we find out which drives are included in the backup? Simple method is to go to the command line and enter this command-

wbadmin.exe start backup -allcritical -backuptarget:C:\test

Don’t worry it won’t accualy perform the backup but it will give you a little list of which drives are included as you can see below.

While setting up our new backup server (System Centre Data Protection Manager 2012) one of the issues we came across was with it failing the data synchronizations with a error message like this one-

Type:     Synchronization
Status:  Failed
Description:        Changes for Volume C:\ on <servername><domainname> cannot be applied to \\?\Volume{4fac41a1-0f58-11dc-8993-806d6172696f}\ProgramData\Sophos\AutoUpdate\Cache\savxp\. (ID 112 Details: Cannot create a file when that file already exists (0x800700B7))
More information

End time:             11/06/2012 14:29:16
Start time:           11/06/2012 14:28:14
Time elapsed:    00:01:01
Data transferred:             0 MB
Cluster node      –
Source details:  C:\
Protection group:            <servername>

The simple solution here is to exclude the Sophos AutoUpdate folder from the DPM backup, its quite a pain if you have to do it for a whole lot of servers but not much else that can be done!

The screenshots below go into a little more detail

For the past few months we’ve had a donated storage server sitting in our storage room, with 8x1TB HDDs it was the perfect chance for us to supplement our daily tape backups with the speed of hard drives and move tape to monthly.

The only issue was that the server came with a rather pants Intel Core2Duo processor that didn’t even support 64bit! As such we couldn’t load our OS and Backup Software of choice (Server 2008 R2 and System Centre DPM 2012).

After a few months of waiting for budgets now we have been able to spend the £280 that it took to get some proper components into this server and the photos of it are below, full spec list is on the next page.

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