USB Disk as Veeam Repository in a private Environment

  • 22 February 2022
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I had some – in review stupid – error with an backup of a single private computer with the free version of the Veeam Agent for Windows.

I had told the owner of this machine to use the Veeam Agent for backup, because it is free and reliable. That I am using the products of this company professionally and didn’t have much problems with them and that they are very easy to use.

So this poor little owner downloaded the agent, installed it and configured a backup job according to the procedure and recommendations I have given to him.

The he tried to run the backup and after a short time – BANG Error.

He called me and told me that there is a problem. I asked him to send the error message to me and I will have a look at it.

19.02.2022 14:29:59 :: Error: Shared memory connection was closed. Failed to upload disk. Agent failed to process method {DataTransfer.SyncDisk}. Exception from server: There is not enough storage space available on the data medium. Failed to write data to the file [S:\VeeamBackup\Backup PRIVATEMACHINE\Backup PRIVATEMACHINE2022-02-19T142723.vbk]. Failed to download disk. 

Mhh, interesting, we had checked together the amount of data on the machine and that the space on the USB disk is sufficient for some backup versions….

I asked him to send the disk properties output of the USB disk.

In review you can see the problem on this picture right away… But I was blind 😊

I connected to the machine and tried myself, same error. Monitored disk space of all disks and RAM, all had lot of free space, but same error.

Deleted the backup job and re-created it from scratch, same error.

Finally – after some time … “Oh my god, how long ago did you format this USB disk????” The machine owner answered “I don’t know. I think several years ago…. Why????”

OK, now the problem was solved, and the solution was clear. The USB disk was formatted with FAT32. This ancient filesystem has a restriction of maximum file size of 4 GB. Veeam writes of course files that are much bigger.

So, I reformatted the disk with a modern filesystem and tried the backup once again.

Now all is working fine. The backup files are written without problem and there is more than enough disk space to put several more restore points on this disk.

So, there were two lessons learned with this issue:

  1. Check everything – and really everything – which could be related to a backup, especially in a private environment.
  2. Forget your experience with professional environments when you work with a private environment. There are sources of error you would never think of…

I hope this little write-up will help someone to save some time when helping a friend to back up their data…

And shame on me for not thinking about how old a  filesystem of a USB disk can be 😊


7 comments

Userlevel 7
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Interesting point of view @JMeixner.

So many times, we just look/think on the bigger mistakes, but sometimes the problem is just silly mistake. 

Thanks for share!

Userlevel 7
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Excellent catch! The customer didn’t format this because by default it works 🙂 A little explanation about FAt32 below.

  • FAT32 or File Allocation Table 32 is the file system that typically comes preinstalled on a USB drive. It was the Windows standard before NTFS. FAT32 is slower than NTFS, less secure, and has a 4GB limit per file, but it is widely recognised by all major operating systems. If you will be using the USB drive in a highly heterogeneous environment, and portability is your main concern, FAT32 is your option.

This was the obvious reason he never thought about formatting with a modern (newer) file system.

  • Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us. 
Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Interesting point of view @JMeixner.

So many times, we just look/think on the bigger mistakes, but sometimes the problem is just silly mistake. 

Thanks for share!

Excellent catch! The customer didn’t format this because by default it works 🙂 A little explanation about FAt32 below.

...

This was the obvious reason he never thought about formatting with a modern (newer) file system.

  • Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us. 

Yes, obviously, Mateus and Christian. We work with IT products every day, I think our equipment never is such a long time untouched. :sunglasses:

He did some simple copy of all his files before. For this the FAT32 worked without problems. At least he did some kind of backup… :grin:

 

Userlevel 7
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Great write up there @JMeixner, you actually made my face go 😧 when I saw the FAT32. These things are always easy to see in hindsight of course!

Userlevel 7
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The FAT32 jumped out at me right off the bat. Still surprised that is used considering how far we have come unless using older tech. Great catch and fix. 👍

Userlevel 7
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Great write up there @JMeixner, you actually made my face go 😧 when I saw the FAT32. These things are always easy to see in hindsight of course!

The FAT32 jumped out at me right off the bat. Still surprised that is used considering how far we have come unless using older tech. Great catch and fix. 👍

Yes, I was surprised, too. And it surely sharpened my awareness for this in future :sunglasses:

Userlevel 7
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I have written a guide on File system in the past. For some of us that use macOS, Linux and Windows at the same time for various reasons such as blogging etc, there is a need to format our USB drives with the right file system in order to use them across the various platforms. Kindly refer to this guide on “how to decide on the right File System to use for your USB”: https://techdirectarchive.com/2019/04/15/deciding-on-the-right-filesystem-for-your-usb/ 

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