External Backup Drives Compatibility List

External Backup Drives Compatibility List

Windows Small Business Server 2003, 2008, 2011 - External Backup Drives Compatibility List

Which external drives have you had work when you've used them for backing up SBS 2003, SBS 2008, and SBS 2011, and which have failed you?

After responding to a thread in the Small Business Server Forum regarding failing USB backup drives, figured we would all benefit from this list. Please add your successes and failures.

External Hard Drives Rating Table for SBS
Manufacturer
Model(s)
Part Number(s)
SBS2003
SBS2008
SBS2011
WS2012 
acomdata 750GB  w/ production date of 11/2008 PQHD750USE-72  OK ?   
Buffalo Drivestation 3Tb USB 2.0 HD-LB3.OTU2-UK        
Buffalo
MiniStation 1TB
HD-PCT1TU3/BW-EU
?
?
OK (USB 2.0)  
Dell RD1000 (USB Model)   OK OK   
 Fantom Drives  GreenDrive 1TB  GD1000EU ? Failed
Freecom
Toughdrive Pro
?
?
OK
 
HP SimpleSave 1, 1.5, 2TB   ?
OK
 OK  
Hitachi Touro Desk Hard Drive (USB2.0), 2TB 0S03292 ?
OK
 OK  
Hitachi Touro Desk Hard Drive (USB3.0), 2TB 0S03398 ?
Failed
 Failed  
Iomega 
eGo Portable HardDrive 1TB USB 3.0 35245   ?  Failed (USB 2.0)
? (USB 3.0)
 

Iomega

Ego drives


?

Failed

Failed

 

Iomega

Portable Blackbelt drives


?

Failed

Failed

 
Iomega
Prestige™ Desktop Hard Drive 1TB
35180
?
?
Failed
(USB 2.0)
 
Iomega
Prestige Portable Hard Drive - 1.5 TB 35213   ? ?
 Failed  
LaCie
P'9230 USB 2.0/3.0 Porsche Design - 2 TB

302002EK OK
Ok
OK (USB 3.0) after formatting drive as 512 bytes/sector  
Samsung


?
?
?
 
Samsung
G3 Station 1.5TB
?
Intermittent detection. Also, drive not very durable. USB port worn out and drive dead after 18 months. Not recommended.
?
 
Seagate
Backup Plus 3TB
STCA3000101 

?
Failed Failed  
Seagate

FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable 1.5TB
STAA1500100 

?
Failed ?

 
Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Pro 750GB  9ZR8A2-500 ?
 ? OK USB 2.0   
Seagate
FreeAgent GoFlex Pro Ultra-Portable

?
?
?
 

Seagate

FreeAgent GoFlex Desk 2TB

9ZQAN1-570


?

? USB 2.0
OK USB 3.0

OK USB 2.0
OK USB 3.0

 
Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk 3TB   ?
 Failed Failed
 

Seagate

Freeagent Go



OK

OK

 

Seagate

Freeagent Desk


OK

OK

OK

 
Seagate Freeagent Pro     OK    
Seagate FreeAgent XTreme 1.5TB ST315005FPD2E3-RK   ? OK (USB 2.0)   
Seagate
Expansion External 2TB

?
?
OK USB 2.0
OK USB 3.0
 
Seagate Expansion External 3TB  STAY3000102 Fail Fail USB 2.0
Fail USB 3.0
 
Seagate
Expansion Portable

?
?
?
 

Thermaltake

BlacX Drive Caddy (USB Connection Only) 

 


?

OK

OK

 

Thermaltake 

BlacX Drive Caddy (USB/eSata Connections)

 


?

intermittant connection with eSata

OK
(USB 2.0)

 

Thermaltake

BlacX SG Drive Caddy (USB 2.0 and 3.0)


OK
(USB 2.0)

?

OK USB 2.0
OK USB 3.0

 
 Toshiba Canvio Basics 1.5TB (2.5") HDTB115XK3BA ? ? ? Failed

Toshiba

StorE

PX1710E-1HJ0

?

OK

OK

 
 Transcend  StoreJet 500GB mobile (2.5")    ? OK USB 2.0
OK USB 3.0
OK USB 3.0   
Verbatim Store N Go    OK OK
OK USB 2.0
OK USB 3.0

 
Western Digital
NESN Drives

?
Failed
Failed
 
Western Digital
Passport (non-NESN) ?
?
?
OK
OK
 
Western Digital
Passport 1TB
WDBACX0010BRD
 
 
Failed
 
 Western Digital
Elements Desktop 2TB External Black USB 2.0
WDBAAU0020HBK 
?
OK
OK
 
 Western Digital
 Elements Desktop 2.5TB Ext black
and Elements 3.0TB ext black
WDBAAU0030HBK
WDBAAU0025HBK 
Backup OK
Restore FAILED 
Backup OK
Restore Fails 
 
Western Digital My Book Essential 2TB WDBACW0020HBK-NESN  ? ? ?  
Western Digital
My Book 1140 (USB 3)
WDBACW0030HBK-NESN   ? ?
Failed. Also not compatible with Hyper-V
 

To return to the SBS backup information,click here.

Note that Microsoft recommend drives are reformatted as NTFS before being used with Windows Server Backup (WSB). Large drives (eg 3TB+) should be reformatted with 512 bytes per cluster as large drives tend to be factory formatted with 4096 bytes per cluster which can cause problems with WSB.
 
Thank you to Merv Porter, SBS-MVP, for writing up the following workaround for USB backup drives that fail to wake from sleep! - Steve

Workaround for External USB Backup Drive not waking from sleep

SBS 2008 administrators may notice that certain makes/models of external USB drives may go to sleep during periods of inactivity resulting in failed backups.  One workaround for this utilizes Microsoft’s Devcon utility with scheduled tasks to first remove the USB device and then to rescan the USB bus.  Unfortunately, the original 32-bit version of Devcon does not function properly on a Windows 2008 system.  However, the Windows Driver Kit (Version 7.1.0) contains a Windows 2008 compatible version.

On a workstation…

Download Windows Driver Kit (Version 7.1.0) iso to a folder on the hard drive

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=36a2630f-5d56-43b5-b996-7633f2ec14ff&displaylang=en

Download Universal Extractor

http://legroom.net/software/uniextract

  1. Install Universal Extractor (which will create an entry in the Windows Explorer Context Menu)
  2. Navigate to the WDK iso
  3. Right click on the iso and select “UniExtract to Subdir” (this will create a subfolder called ‘GRMWDK_EN_7600_1’)
  4. Now navigate to the  \GRMWDK_EN_7600_1\WDK  folder
  5. Scroll down and right. click on ‘setuptools_x64fre.msi’  (the extension may be hidden)
  6. Select “UniExtract to Subdir”and click OK on the MSI Installer Extraction warning to select the MSI Administrative Installer method. (this will create a subfolder called ‘setuptools_x64fre’)
  7. Open the ‘setuptools_x64fre’ subfolder and navigate to:

                   \WinDDK\7600.16385.win7_wdk.100208-1538\tools\devcon\amd64

  1. Copy the Devcon.exe utility to a flash drive

Back at the SBS 2008 server, log on as a domain administrator and copy the Devcon utility to a convenient place (like the root of the C: drive) and then create two Scheduled Basic Tasks…

Name:  Devcon Remove USB before backup

   Program:  devcon.exe

   Schedule:  (10 minutes before backup)

   Arguments:  remove usbstor*

   Start in:   c:\

Name:  Devcon Rescan USB Bus before backup

   Program:  devcon.exe

   Schedule:  (5 minutes before backup)

   Arguments:  rescan

   Start in:   c:\

   Other parameters to include in each scheduled task…

   Run with highest privileges

   Wake computer if necessary (Note:  not sure if this one is actually necessary)

   Run even if user is not logged on

 

Note:  You may see the following critical errors in the event log after implementing the Devcon tasks.  (It is believed that these can be ignored):

Event ID 16:  The shadow copies of volume \\?...340-11df-a3e5-001b217ab973} were aborted because volume \\?...340-11df-a3e5-001b217ab973}, which contains shadow copy storage for this shadow copy, was force dismounted.

Event ID 137:  The default transaction resource manager on volume \\?\Volume{921672f3-f340-11df-a3e5-001b217ab973} encountered a non-retryable error and could not start.  The data contains the error code.

You may also see Event ID 51 and Event ID 57 warnings. 

 


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Wiki - Revision Comment List(Revision Comment)
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Comments
  • Darren Woodford edited Revision 31. Comment: sorted by manufactuter and did some other tidying up - still needs padding sorting on table cells

  • Darren Woodford edited Revision 30. Comment: Split success/fails into 3 columns for SBS2003/2008/2011

  • Susan Bradley edited Revision 21. Comment: Added Verbatim Store N Go

  • Ed Price - MSFT edited Revision 19. Comment: White space

  • Andy Kinnard edited Revision 17. Comment: Note BlackBelt FAIL on SBS 2011

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Comments
  • HP Simplesaves have WD drives in them, so unsure which will are guaranteed to work. Model numbers are important in this table.

    WD WDBACX0010BRD 1TB fail intermitently. Can confirm Iomega Ego / Blackbelts do not work.

    I like the fact MS do nothing and we all rely on us good samaritans to pull together and pickup MS pieces. Nothing changes I suppose.

  • *Sorry thats all on SBS2011

  • Sash0128, can you resolve this by reformatting the drive with 512 bytes per cluster?

    Rob, thanks for sharing your experience and updating the table.

  • Rob Williams [MVP] edited Revision 41. Comment: Added Transcend USB 3.0 OK with SBS 2011

  • As I understand it, the new backup in SBS2008 and SBS2011 will not and cannot use a drive larger than 2TB due to the technology being used to maintain the backup replica drive. As the table is structured, the size of the drive is only occasionally mentioned -- there seems to be more interest in USB 2 vs 3 interfaces.  I can confirm that a 3TB Seagate drive is completely unusable for SBS2011 backup regardless of how it is formatted or partitioned. The 2TB hard disk/VHS size appears to be a real hard limit and should be better documented.

  • We have forever used Vantec Nexstar enclosures with WD drives inside and have never had any incompatibilies with SBS backing up.  I really dislike prebuilt enclosures as they seem to always go bad.  It is a very rare occasion to have an Nexstar enclosure or WD drive go bad.  No fans in the enclosure and the solid aluminium case keeps the drive cool.  Best ROI for a backup drive. this setup basically gives us a 3 - 5 year lifecycle with that drive depending on the drive inserted.

  • If anyone is looking for 3TB, here is one that works right out of the box(s). This is running on SBS 2011. Hitachi Deskstar 3TB (SKU # 0S03086) and a Themaltake BlacX Caddy (P/N # ST005U) using the usb 2.0 cable. Hope someone looking to buy some new hardware finds this useful.

  • Please expand with a little more detail on the following statement - for instance can this be done in Windows Disk Managment or does it require a third party application ...perhaps from the drive manufacturer:

    "Large drives (eg 3TB+) should be reformatted with 512 bytes per cluster as large drives tend to be factory formatted with 4096 bytes per cluster which can cause problems with WSB"

  • @ Dale DU-IT re "Please expand with a little more detail on the following statement - for instance can this be done in Windows Disk Managment or does it require a third party application <snip> 'Large drives (eg 3TB+) should be reformatted with 512 bytes per cluster...'"

    I'm afraid that is all the information I have really as this was just mentioned to me in passing by the MS support person but I just posted it here for the benefit of others. From memory I set the drive I was using (Verbatim Store N Go 2TB) to 512 bytes per cluster when I formatted it in Disk Management / My Computer. She also said you should format the backup drive as NTFS as most drives come formatted as FAT or something else but they recommend NTFS for WSB backup target drives.

    Out of interest I have still got intermittent failures but they seem related to Microsoft Exchange Writer timeouts rather than the external drive in use.

  • I'm using Windows Home Server 2011 and did a successful backup & restore with a 1.5TB Western Digital FreeAgent GoFlex external, portable, USB 3.0 drive. I'd enter that information in the chart if I could figure out how to edit the Wiki.

  • Anybody tried Hitachi?