Event ID 133 is logged in the Event Viewer if you use the Ntbackup.exe with a Certance Travan tape drive in Windows Server 2003:


Microsoft is researching this problem and will post more information in this article when the information becomes available.


I think the moral of this story is, if your client has a Travan drive run away from it as fast as you can and talk them into using USB external harddrives.  Since day one we have had nothing but grief from those stupid Travan drives.  During the beta in fact [and I take full responsibility for not beta bugging this properly], I had a sucky travan drive that didn’t work and I put it down to old sucky hardware and never beta bugged it.


If you can grab your client BEFORE they buy the backup device… get a USB harddrive as your backup media rather than going this route. 


Trust me, you’ll save a lot of loss of hair.


7 Responses to The moral of this story is ….use USB external harddrives instead

  1. DJ says:

    What’s your feelings on offsite backups if going away from a tape based system to an external drive system? Especially for our small business customers running sbs 2003?

  2. David Schrag says:

    It must be noted that USB hard drives are no more impervious to fire, flood, or theft than the servers they back up, and therefore cannot be relied on for data recovery in the case of a true catastrophe. They must be supplemented with some form of removable media or online backup. I have yet to find a reliable online backup service designed for servers that costs less than $1500 a year for the smallest of servers, and at that price you might not get Exchange, SharePoint, or SQL backed up. The good ones seem to be more in the neighborhood of $2500 to $8000 a year (whereas you can find a good 10 GB backup plan for solo PCs for $300 a year). Recommendations for SBS-ized online backup vendors would be most welcome.

  3. Stevereno says:

    You have multiple USB hard drives and take them off site just like tape backups.

    For the price of a big tape drive you can buy a lot of USB hard drives.

  4. David Schrag says:

    I’ve tried that with mixed results. First off, it’s a lot harder to put a USB hard drive in a pocketbook than a tape. Also when swapping hard drives there can be confusion about drive letters (if you’re just using SBS ntbackup) or backup-to-disk folders (if you’re using Backup Exec).

    When they start making 20GB or 40GB USB drives that you can fit on a keychain and cost $50 apiece, then we’ll really be in business. 8^)

  5. Jim Carlson says:

    Abandoning Travan tape drives is excellent advice!

  6. Anthony Baker says:

    We’ve been evaluating the Iomega REV Drives which are 35/90GB. They are small enough be taken off-site or stored in your pocket. They come in external or internal form factors and have excellent transfer times. For small SBS installations they are fantastic. Price is a lot cheaper when compared to DDS or DLT drives in Australia at least anyway.

  7. Paul Davis says:

    Sorry Guys, I’m confused. When I recently installed SBS2003 the backup wizard stated that removable disk drives were not supported. Did I imagine this?