Experience with the Seagate disk drive fiasco

As most of you know, last week there were widespread reports of Seagate Barracuda SATA 7200.11 drives failing. Initially only the 1TB disk drives were thought to be the issie. But later it was determined that the problem also existed in some of their other 7200.11 drives.

I know, as I got hit with an SBS 2008 server that had four 750GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 drives!

Seagate has since come out with a free firmware upgrade and utility. The download is in an ISO format as you must create a bootable CD to run it. However, please note that this firmware utility will not run on systems utilizing SATA Raid controllers. Instead you will need to remove the drives from your server and connect them one at a time to a desktop station that is running a standard SATA drive controller.

To determine if your drive is amongst those with the bad firmware, and download the appropriate firmware, click here.

Good luck!

Backup fails after bare-metal restore (SBS 2008)

I had a situation today where I had to reformat & reconfigure the raid drives for an SBS 2008 server. That part went fine, and doing a bare-metal restore of the server from the scheduled SBS 2008 daily USB backup went flawlessly. After we brought the server back online, I attempted to do a new full backup, but the backup failed with the following error: Creation of the shared protection point timed out. Unknown error (0x81000101)

A quick Internet search found KB 956136 (“If calls to VSS management interface API’s are made…”). Now, the title of this KB article may not sound like it is applicable to any problems with performing a backup. But the details of the article includes this statement:

For example, assume that you perform a Bare Metal Restore (BMR) for a Windows Small Business Server (Windows SBS) 2008-based system. Then, you use Windows Server Backup (WSB) to perform a backup operation after the BMR operation. In this situation, the first attempt fails and generates the following error message: Creation of the shared protection point timed out. Unknown error (0x81000101)

Sounds like my situation! And sure enough, running the backup later in the day worked perfectly. Hope this helps someone!

Vista Sidebar survey

Just a quick survey directed to those folks running Windows Vista: Do you enable and use a sidebar? If so, do you use the Vista sidebar? Or do you use one from another vendor (Google, Yahoo, etc.)? What sidebar apps/gadgets do you find most useful or helpful?

Here are some early responses from some of my SBS friends:

“Using Vista Sidebar with Google tool add-in … mostly so that the format of the Applicaiton is forced back to a usable 3:4 ratio”

“Vista. I use a full month calendar, and the weather gadget. Starting a week or two before traveling, I add another weather gadget or my destination. This will be much more useful in Windows 7 with “aero peek:. It’s annoying that the Vista “show desktop” hides the sidebar as well as the app windows, but I usually just hit win+spacebar to bring the sidebar to the top”

“Vista sidebar, plus a couple of RSS gadgets and the weather gadget are floating about the desktops. XM gadget too.”

“I use clock when travelling. I configure it for the time zone of my destination. I was using something called Magic Folder. Loved it but they ran into some bugs and pulled it.[:(] “

“Vista sidebar. Local timezone clock, CPU meter, weather, Office tips & tricks. Additional clocks for GMT, India and Sydney are at 60% opacity, and at the bottom of the sidebar.”