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system protection backup - cannot choose destination folder?

Posted: Tue May 12, 2015 6:21 pm
by Statick
I'm running a full system protection backup. We've been using the data container destination because this allows us to a) restrict the overall size of the backup and b) locate it where we want to.

Choosing a local hard drive as the destination but not enabling data container means that I can do neither - I can choose a destination drive only, and the backups go right into the root of it. This isn't good enough!

I don't want to use the data container format anymore as in the last 3 weeks I've twice had to delete and recreate the VHD file because of problems, therefore losing all backups. Most recently we had a full system crash during the backup process resulting in a corrupted VHD file. A couple of weeks ago it just decided to no longer be able to mount the VHD. It's too prone to failure having all the backups in a single file like that. But without the data container the only destination I can choose is D:, E:, F: etc? And for size I can only choose to "use all available space" or "manually manage size" (which sounds like it will just use all available space)?

Our backup needs to go to a local folder so it can then be archived off to tape as well, and I don't want it to use all available space of our 9TB production storage, which is where it needs to go. I can stick a quota on a folder, but I can't even make it save the backup to that folder, and even if I could I don't then know if it will be aware of the quota or will just presume there is free space until it fills it and crashes with an error (I suspect the latter).

The only way I can get the backup into a folder is with a data container, which has broken twice in the last 3 weeks. Or I can just send it to the root of a drive. Neither option is good enough on a piece of software which has cost us £500 for the licenses we need - any other software, even free backup software, lets me choose a destination for the backup!

Re: system protection backup - cannot choose destination fol

Posted: Wed May 13, 2015 5:21 pm
by Stuart
Hi there Statick,

It's Stuart here from the BackupAssist team, thanks for posting on our forum.

The reason why you have to write the backup to the root of the folder is that Windows Backup requires this for restoration/bare metal recovery purposes.
Without following this, it basically makes your backups useless for what they're required - being able to restore/recover your data.
This is a limitation which is imposed by Microsoft and our solution for this is as you say, use a data container.

What exactly is your backup location? Is it a mapped network drive?
If you are running to a mapped network drive, then run the backup using a Network Location or if compatible with iSCSI then configure an iSCSI target as the destination.
All this is outlined in our documentation which can be viewed at ... paper.html. The specific section is called'Backup Considerations'.

Hopefully this addresses why you're seeing such behavior in the software and the reasoning why it is that way.

Re: system protection backup - cannot choose destination fol

Posted: Sat May 16, 2015 11:05 pm
by Statick
Okay that makes sense. Currently I've got the backup going over a network share to a folder on the local system (it seemed to be the only way to direct it that way).
So if the backup lives in a folder then it's useless?


The VHD system has failed us twice in a month - it's simply too unreliable. And this is on a brand new build/install server (2 months old) which is otherwise performing extremely well (and which has several other VHDs being used for virtual servers which have been bulletproof thus far). I don't really consider this to be an option if it's going to keep breaking. But dumping the backups loose into the root of a 9TB storage array is also not really an option!

Suggestions at this point would be welcome.

Re: system protection backup - cannot choose destination fol

Posted: Mon May 18, 2015 9:24 am
by Stuart
Hi again Statick,

Like I mentioned, I'd take a look at iSCSI as a destination.

This gives you the ability to create the size of the iSCSI target which will give the ability to limit the size of the backup destination.
I'm not sure what you're using for your network storage, however if you're using a NAS then most of them are pretty easy to configure through the firmware (pretty much point and click).

If you need help configuring the iSCSI target then there is a lot of material online which will be able to help with a Google search. Once that's done, BackupAssist will be able to easily plug into this and use it as the destination.