Backup live data using PowerShell, DiskShadow, and RoboCopy

Robocopy is my go-to tool for quick file-level backups. Unfortunately it doesn't deal well with locked files (live databases, pst files, etc.). In those instances I deploy another great tool - DiskShadow that allows to tap into functionality of Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). 

This is the way it works:

  • diskshadow creates a shadow copy of a volume and then mounts it as a normal physical drive.
  • robocopy then does its job by copying data from that mounted virtual drive without having to worry about locked files.
  • Once copying is done dishshadow deletes the shadow copy and dismounts the drive.
  • PoweShell sends notification and logs to your email.

Let's start:

  • We'll need to create 4 files:
    • diskshadow_backup.conf - Main diskshadow backup file.
    • diskshadow_delete_x.conf - Used only to delete abandoned X: drive.
    • robocopy_backup.cmd - robocopy backup script.
    • run_backup.ps1 - PowerShell script to combine everything and then send logs via email. Executed manually or via scheduled task.

Incorrect time on a Domain Controller running inside Hyper-V VM

Computer clocks withing whole domain run 5-6 minutes behind. Normally, authoritative time source for the whole domain is a Domain Controller (DC) that holds PDC Emulator FSMO role in the forest root domain. You can find which DC holds this role by running: netdom /query fsmo. Fixing time issues on this machine normally fixes it for the rest of the domain.

The DC in question was configured to receive time from an Internet NTP time source. However, running w32tm /query /source was returning: VM IC Time Synchronization Provider. This means the DC was receiving time from its Hyper-V Host instead of NTP Internet Time source. To resolve this, I went to Hyper-V VM Settings > Integration Services and disabled Time Synchronisation

Symantec DLO - can't add storage location - specified path is invalid

Issue

Cannot create a new Storage Location in Symantec Backup Exec Desktop and Laptop Option. When trying to add an existing local or remote folder following error is displayed:

Warning htlps://www.veritas.com/support/en_US.html
The specified palh is invalid.
Unable lo create the directory 'D:\Backups\DLO' on computer '<Server-Name>'. Please check the path does not reside on a read-only device such as a CD-ROM drive and that the DLO database service logon account has sufficient permissions to create the directory. You can change the logon account via the Services control panel. Service returned error code 0xb03b018.

.NET Framework 3.5 Feature Installation Fails - Source Files Could Not Be Found

Issue

Installing .NET Framework 3.5 Feature (via Roles and Features Wizard) on Windows Server 2012 fails with error:

Installation of one or more roles, role services, or features failed.
The source files could not be found. Try installing the roles, role services, or features again in a new Add Roles and Features Wizard session, and on the Confirmation page of the wizard, click "Specify an alternate source path" to specify a valid location of the source files that are required for the installation. The location must be accessible by the computer account of the destination server.

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