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Sunday, 11 July 2010

Acronis - Failed to read sector 63 of hard disk

I have used the Acronis True Image and Backup & Recovery applications to backup customers servers to USB disk, this makes for a quick, cheap and effective backup for the smaller SMB Servers we have.

On occasion we would try to run a disk backup and hit the error "failed to read sector 63 of hard disk xx" where xx is one of the hard disks in the computer.

Now if you Google this error you will find a lot of issues with this error related to Acronis True Image and that in Backup & Recovery this has been fixed in build #11639. Well I have this fault today and I am running build #11639 so I don't think this stands true yet.

I found that when I tried to backup my server with disks C: and D: to USB disk on disk F: this error would be displayed. The event log would show an event ID 1 with the details

Error Code:500
Failed to read from disk
Failed to read from sector 63 of hard disk '1'

The hard disk 1 in this server was a dynamic disk, no RAID just a Ultra 320 SCSI disk. I had checked the disk and I new this was good using CHKDSK.

I looked back in the application event log and noted event ID 12289, this was with the Source VSS. This lead me to think the error may be occuring with the VSS snapshot and the event ID details confirmed this.

Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Unexpected error OpenService (shSCManager, 'VSS', SERVICE_QUERY_STATUS). hr = 0x80070005.

This error shows that an problem is occurring when Acronis tries to take the Volume Shadow Copy Service snapshot and this then leads to the sector 63 error. A further event ID 1 then displayed this information about the snapshot

Error code: 502
Operation with partition '0-0' was terminated.
Read error.

Error code: 0x70003
Tag: 0x2CBDD167CBCA9516
Failed to read the snapshot.

Error code: 0x10C45A
Tag: 0x14181C22EF45AD6E
Access is denied

If Access is Denied then this could be a permissions issue, I looked at the backup account I was using in Acronis and this was a purpose backup account that was a member of the Backup Operators Group. By default the Backup Operators Group does not have permission to the Volume Shadow Copy Service and therefore cannot read or write the shadow copies and will display the error.

So I added my backup account to the local Administrators Group, this was acceptable in this situation as I controlled the backup account and needed to get a backup completed!

I re ran the job and this time it has ran through successfully with the VSS snapshot taken as expected.

I think the conclusion is that the "sector 63" error can be caused by a multiple of things and no one solution will fit and a methodical approach to trouble shooting is the best plan of action.

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