Basic Troubleshooting Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM)

Basic Troubleshooting Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM)

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Introduction

Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2007 is a key member of the Microsoft System Center family of management products.  DPM is the new standard for Windows backup and recovery, delivering seamless data protection for Microsoft application and file servers by using integrated disk and tape media.  DPM performs replication, synchronization, and recovery point creation to provide reliable protection and rapid recovery of data for both system administrators and end-users.

For more information about DPM, please see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb795549.aspx

Basic Questions and Data Gathering for Troubleshooting DPM Issues

To help with troubleshooting DPM, I developed some basic questions and provided recommendations. As a DPM Administrator you would want to know all of the following:

•    What release of System Center Data Protection Manager are you running (2006 or 2007)?

•    Is this a fresh installation of DPM 2007 using the RTM bits or was this an upgrade from Beta2?

•    What is the build number?  You can click the circled "i"  next to the Management tab on the DPM Administrator to view the version.

•    Is the DPM server an x86 or x64 machine?

•    What operating system version is running on the DPM server 32bit or 64bit?

•    What operating system version is the protected machine running 32bit or 64bit?

•    Are any DPM patches installed?

•    When did the problem first start? You can select the Monitoring tab and review the Alerts/Jobs for details.

•    Has it ever worked as expected?

•    What changes were made just prior to the failures?

•    Can you reproduce the problem? Note the exact repro steps.

•    Are other protected data sources experiencing the same problem?

•    Is the error specific to one type of data source?   For example, Exchange jobs fail but SQL and SharePoint are successful.

•    What is the application version that is experiencing the problem? Example, SQL 2000 SP4, SQL 2005, Exchange 2003…etc

•    Is the protected data source running on a standalone server, domain controller or a cluster?

•    Is the system that is experiencing the problem in the same domain as the DPM server?

•    Do other protected data sources reside on the same machine? Are they also failing?

•    Does the issue impact a single data source/single protected machine or multiple data sources/multiple protected machines?

•    Are any other applications installed on the DPM server?  DPM is intended to be a dedicated server.

•    If jobs fail at a specific time, are there other scheduled services running at the same time?  We have seen virus scans or third party backups causing DPM jobs to fail.

•    Is the target machine experiencing on the same LAN as the DPM server or over a WAN? It’s always beneficial to know the location of the problem machine in relationship to the DPM server.

•    What is the error message and ID in the Details pane?  IMPORTANT, be sure to locate the first job that failed for a particular data source because it’s possible other failed jobs may be just a result of the initial failure.

If you need assistance resolving a problem with DPM, it is supported 24x7 by Microsoft Commercial Technical Support.  For information on contacting Microsoft Technical Support, please see http://support.microsoft.com/contactussupport/?ws=support.

Here's information to have handy for your Support Professional

Data Gathering

•    Get a screen shot of the error: this can be beneficial and supply a better understanding of the issue depending on the problem you’re troubleshooting. To locate a failed Job, click on the Monitoring tab, click the Jobs tab, locate and select the failed job so it’s highlighted. To get the complete error message, right-click in the Details pane and select “Copy details”. You can copy the details to a txt file or simply send you the details in an email. Additionally, you should check to verify if an Alert has been raised and view the Details for the Job.

•    Is the issue regarding Archiving/Tape? If so, request the manufacturer's name and exact model of the tape drive and library/medium changer. Verify if the tape drive and medium changer are recognized correctly in Device Manager and know the driver details for each device.

•    Check the event logs on DPM server and the target machine: Specifically around the time when the job fails. This can be especially useful in cases where an application specific failure has occurred.  In our next DPM blog, we'll provide more information about events seen in the DPM Alerts Event Viewer Log.

•    Data sources not being recognized when trying to add them to a Protection Group: Check the state of the application writer on the target/protected machine. You can run “vssadmin list writers” on the protected machine.

DPM Resources

•    TechCenter: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/dpm/default.aspx

•    System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 Product Documentation: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/dpm/bb931334.aspx

•    DPM 2007 Error Code Catalog: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb795681.aspx

•    Leverage the DPM TechCenter online resources: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb795539.aspx

Author:  Tom O’Malley
Microsoft Enterprise Support
Support Escalation Engineer

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