SBS Backup Configuration Wizard does not let you select "Removable Media" as a backup target location

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[Today's tip comes to us courtesy of Peter Gallagher]

We've had a few customers that have purchased external storage devices as backup targets for their Small Business Server 2003 customers only to find that the new drive/device is not an option as a target for the Small Business Server 2003 Backup Configuration Wizard.  The SBS Backup Configuration Wizard will only expose physical drives/tape devices as valid targets for a backup, even though the external storage device has a drive letter assigned in My Computer.  Think of how Secure Digital cards (SD cards) or Compact Flash cards (CF cards) show up in Windows XP in My Computer.  Typically they show up under "Devices with Removable Storage".  You cannot select this type of media as a target for the SBS Backup Configuration Wizard.

The workaround is to run the SBS Backup Configuration Wizard and to select a physical drive as a target (the C: drive or D: drive for example, any physical disk will do).  If you select the C: drive (the system partition, where Windows is installed) make sure to click NO to "You have chosen to back up...Do you want to change the backup location?".  Once the Backup Configuration Wizard has completed, edit the following registry key: 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SmallBusinessServer\Backup\Backup Location Path


Change it from C:\Backups\Backup Files to X:\Backups\Backup Files where X: is the drive letter assigned in My Computer to the external storage device.


We have seen this issue with IOMEGA REV drives and GoVault drives.


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  • There is an easier way that works with Iomega Drives.  Create a share for the drive, map a drive letter to the share then backup to the drive letter.  No need to hack the registry.

    Allen Miller (Cincinnati)

  • I ran into this on my SBS server using an IOMEGA REV drive.  I started searching the registry on my own and found that key.  It did the trick.

  • I have been using BackupAssist with an ATAPI Rev drive on one SBS server.   The backup has been directed to a folder on the data partition and then copied to the Rev drive.  I have had repeated issues with the Rev drive disappearing, and Iomega has only suggested that I keep updating the drivers from time to time.  They also suggested that the problem has to do with CD/DVD buring software, but no such software has been installed on the server.  The typical fix has been to uninstall the Rev drive, reboot the server and check to make sure that the Rev drive has been sutomatically discovered and re-installed.  This can result in Rev drive uptimes from one day to several weeks before the problem reappears.

    The ggod folks at Cortex I.T. have provided a script that I run prior to any backup to insure that the Rev drive is detected and available but that has not resolved the issue.  Has anyone run into this problem and is there a likelihood that this registry hack could resolve the problem, given that BackupAssist merely provides an improved interface to the underlying NTBackup process?

  • Honestly, I wouldn't recommend using a REV drive for SBS backup anyway.  I have had repeated issues like Bob N. mentioned.  It's really targeted at the desktop backup market anyway.  You'd be much better off getting laptop hard drives, putting them in external USB cases and backing up to a flat file onto those drives.  We've had awesome luck with this and we hardly ever have failed backups anymore!

  • Good call, I ran into this issue last week.... Thanks!

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