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WHS 2011 - Corrupt Client Backup Data


tkolarik
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About 6 months ago I started seeing corrupted client backups with my WHS 2011 and my 5 clients. When running "Repair Now" off the Tools tab of the "additional client computer backup tasks" selection in the Dashboard, multiple files across my client backups were deleted. I deleted the backups and restarted backing up, later the same thing happened again. I was considering upgrading to an unused but newer motherboad in my "collection" so this was a good time to do that also thinking that the old system board might have been defective. After reinstall...same thing! I was given a free code for Windows Server 2012 so I installed Server 2012 Essentials evaluation copy just to test...again I get corrupt files. Well, now I am back to WHS 2011.

 

I ran chkdsk on all my drives and even replaced one with the manufacturer. I downloaded the manufacturers, Seagate and Western Digital, software to evaluate the drives. All drives, server and clients check out OK.

 

The other day with my fresh install of WHS 2011, I backed up one computer with a relatively fresh install of the OS. Then the second client backed up sucessfully. However, the next day the notification alerted me to corrupt client backups. When the "Repair Now" utility ran found only corrupt files on the 2nd client backed up. So I deleted all its backups and ran cleanup to remove them from the server. Then I decided to backup the 2nd client again by sequentially adding files and run the ConsistancyChecker after each run. After running a minimal backup of the 2nd client and then 8 more backups adding additional folders and each time and finally running the ConsistancyChecker, the entire client backed up without corruption.

 

Now I have no concept how this can happen! I'm getting to the point where I believe there is actually no "real" corruption. WHS 2011 and Server 2012 Essentials can check for corrupt data but can't tell you what files are bad or where they were located. Unless I am missing something.

 

Now I am to the point where I have no problems with my clients and with the Microsoft software deleting portions of backups it "thinks" are bad, that I am looking to disable the corruption checking ConsistancyChecker. Are there any related utility programs like "Cleanup" need to be halted too?

 

Thanks,

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I believe you are missing something. I've never seen the utility indicate corrupted backup files when they weren't. Now, it's possible that the only thing corrupted is an index file or something like that. In any case, I do not believe that disabling the Consistency Checker is the answer.

 

Have you checked/tested the SATA cables?

 

What about the network card in the server?

 

Finally, despite your checks of the drives, this is the most common reason for corrupt files on a drive. BTW, you haven't said how the drives are connected to the system, or how many there.

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And checking the SMART data on the drives may give indication if the drives are going bad also. The manu-tools don't always check that.

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The answer would have been for Microsoft to have the ConsistancyChecker to echo the file name that was found to be corrupt! I wonder why that wasn't done??? Other than that there is no real way to find out what is wrong. Maybe the server defrag utility corrupted the file, I don't know. but it is better for me, and probably anyone else to have backups even if they include a corrupt file than not to have backups at all.

 

As far as the SATA cable, I looked at them when I rebuilt the server and wire-tied all the dangling cables together. The network card is a Netgear GA311 with 7.0 drivers.

 

When I ran the utilities for Seagate and Western Digital drives, they both had SMART checking and found all items WNL.

 

As far as drives, my boot is a WesternDigital 500GB SATAII, I have another WD 500GB SATAII drive for misc files, my client backups are on a 1.5TB WD Seagate SATAII drive and the server backup is a 1.5TB WD SATAII drive.

 

But basically, other than the drives this is a completely different machine than I originally had when the problem first appeared, different mainboard, memory, power supply, case, CPU.

 

But let me ask you guys a simple question, how can it backup a client once and find corrupt files then back it up a a few days later and not find corrupt files? Several people have posted things like ConsistencyChecker running daily finds no corruption but does when it runs weekly? Another states that his files only turned up corrupt after the server ran defrag? I'm not saying that the server software if defective, but it is supposed to be a backup solution, however it doesn't have the proper utilities to be truly effective. The solution to corrupt files is run the Repair Utility, when it completes and deletes parts of the backup then you delete the entire backup database and start again. Hardly a solution!

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I'm going to recommend you NOT have the SATA cables tied together. Putting them in very close proximity to each other, especially if they run parallel for any length, could lead to cross-talk between them. Try separating the SATA cables from each other as much as you can and see how it goes.

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I was having these exact same symptoms for a long time. I was also having intermittent blue screens on the server. Ran memtest86 but it never found a problem until, the blue screens got worse and it finally found the bad memory stick when I ran memtest86. This really sounds like a ram problem on the server. If you are having corrupted backups you now have no backups. If you try to restore one of your backups most likely it will fail. That is what happened to me when I tried to restore a backup after corruption was found and WHS said it was repaired.

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I'm going to recommend you NOT have the SATA cables tied together. Putting them in very close proximity to each other, especially if they run parallel for any length, could lead to cross-talk between them. Try separating the SATA cables from each other as much as you can and see how it goes.

 

I'll do that with the cables.

 

Also, I will run memtest86 and see what happens.

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