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Barracuda MSP Knowledge Base

System State Troubleshooting

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Commonly, there are a few reasons System State backups will fail. This article will give an overview of the System State backup process and explain the common points of failure.


The general process flow of a system state is as follows:

  1. The Backup Agent signals Windows Server Backup to create a system state backup on the scratch drive specified in the backup set.
  2. When (1) is finished, the Backup Agent zips and encrypts the system state backup in its temporary folder.
  3. The packaged system state backup is uploaded and/or sent to the Local Vault.

Often, the backup may fail on step (1) or (2). If the backup fails on step (1), this is usually due to an issue with the scratch drive used. If the scratch drive does not meet the criteria for being eligible then backups will fail. Make sure the scratch drive is a non-critical drive and meets Microsoft's requirements for storing a backup made with Windows Server Backup. Those requirements are summarized below:

  • The location must be NTFS-formatted.
  • USB pen drives or flash drives are not supported
  • Tape drives cannot be used.
  • There must be enough space on the location to accommodate the backup.

Assuming there are no issues with the scratch drive, backups which fail during step (2) usually do so because there is not enough free space at the temporary location. You will need at least as much free space as the size of the system state backup produced by Windows Server Backup.


Windows Server Backup Troubleshooting

To test if Windows Server Backup can create the system state on the scratch drive you are using for the backup set, run the system state backup outside of the Intronis software. Do this using the following command:

wbadmin start systemstatebackup -backupTarget:x: -quiet

...where x: is the scratch drive you use for the System State backup. If this operation completes successfully, you can rule out this step as fault point. To see the status of the operation use:

wbadmin get status

If the Windows Server Backup fails, look in the Event Viewer or Windows Server Backup logs to find the reason for it. Whatever error or message for the failure you find there should give you enough information to continue troubleshooting.

Temporary Folder Troubleshooting

If you are able to create a system state backup using Windows Server Backup but unable to complete a system state backup, the next thing to check would be the temporary folder.

  1. First, edit the System State backup set and go to the "Settings" page to see what folder the backup set is using for temporary space.
  2. In order to figure out how much space you need, run the command above to create the Windows Server Backup system state. The size of the files produced will be the minimum amount of temporary space needed.
  3. If your temporary folder is on a different drive than the scratch drive, check to see there is free space equal to or greater than the amount determined in step (2).
  4. If your temporary folder is on the scratch drive, you will need free space on the scratch drive equal to or greater than twice the size determined in step (2). This is because the system state files will exist in duplicate during the backup job.

If you are able to create a Windows Server Backup system state and have verified your temporary location has enough free space but the backups still fail, you may need to contact Intronis Support to see that problem resolved.