Fixed – “The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect" when you add a hard drive to Windows 2008 R2 backup

Apparently, according to Microsoft KB Article 2009365 this issue occurs when a previously hard drive (or the only previously defined) hard drive has been removed from the server and a new drive is being attached. This is typically the case when setting up a new server and preconfiguring the backups to go to the second identical usb drive. Most people are just going to unplug the drive leaving the old power supply and usb cable attached to the server and power and plug in the new drive and then attempt to add it to the backup schedule. At this point the backup program will give the error “The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect” as the old drive is no longer attached. Microsoft have a couple of solutions, including adding the first drive back to the server, or removing the first drive. Neither of which are very helpful if you are just swapping the external drive itself. The final solution is to add the drives from an elevated command line using the following.

  1. Run the following command from an elevated command prompt to determine the Disk Identifier of the new disk:
    wbadmin get disks
  2. Based on the output, locate the disk that will be added to the scheduled backup. Make a note of the Disk Identifier. The output will resemble the following:
    Disk name: xxxxxxxxxxx
    Disk number: x
    Disk identifier: {xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx}
    Total space: xxx.xx GB
    Used space : xxx.xx GB
  3. Run the following command to add the new disk to the Scheduled backup. Use the Disk Identifier from the previous step as the "AddTarget" parameter.
    WBADMIN ENABLE BACKUP -addtarget:{xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx}
  4. When you receive the following prompt, type Y for Yes.

"Do you want to enable scheduled backups with the above settings?"

5. You may be prompted to format the drive if it was previously used in another server or for another purpose.

The screenshot below shows the addition of a USB drive to my virtualised SBS server.


Geocities recovered at

I’ve talked before about geocities closing down but now most of the geocities content (about 2million accounts) has been backed up and restored at The making of webpage makes interesting reading – the guy doing the mirror obviously has some serious network bandwidth and hard disk space available (although the latter is cheap nowadays!).

My old website is there at Hollywood/1880

Thanks to jmattheij for doing all the hard work.

“Attempt to Lock Slot Failed” with Backupexec

I had a weird error on a rev drive backup which wouldn’t let me do anything to the rev drive – I was unable to backup, catalog or do anything else useful with the drive. I was getting the error message “An error occured while processing a B2D command. Change: MoveMedium() Attempt to Lock Slot Failed (Path to file.lck); Error=112

If you enter “Attempt to Lock Slot Failed” you get no results back from Google or Veritas (thats not suprising on the latter) – the only thing similar states that the disk is full. In my case explorer shows 2.8mb free and it is set to overwrite in Backupexec anyway.

I’m not sure what I did to get it working in the end but the following 3 things seemed to do the trick when done at the same time.
1. Remove the drive and put it back in again.
2. Dragged the oldest file to the scratch media (this seems to solve a lot of BE problems)
3. Kicked off a backup job to restore a small file.

Hope this helps someone else.

ntbackup recovery

nucleus data recovery’s Kernel for BKF looks like a good way of recovering from a backup image that is unreadable with ntbackup. Fortunately I’ve not had to do this yet….
However I have had to use PC Inspector’s File Recovery for digital camera cards and the other day I recommended it to a user whose disk full of ghost images were coming back as unreadable – until this utility was used. Well worth downloading if you have not used it already.

Back at last!

We’re back! My site was closed sometime last week as the server it was hosted on was having resource issues. I was offered a move to a new server and unfortunately the flat web pages got moved across but the sql database backend didn’t. It’s now been fixed and we’re live again. Expect a couple of posts from me as I catch up on my blogging from the past couple of days.
Now I’m off to ensure I have a REALLY good sql backup of my data – for some reason my control panel backup didn’t include a valid copy of my mysql databases.

Data recovery

Kristen had an upsetting moment when she plugged in the XD card from the camera and saw the following
It looked like all the photos that she had taken today were corrupt and unreadable (and translated into chinese!). Fortunately I remembered reading about PC Inspector File recovery which I had tried out but not in a real life scenario. One download later and a search of the hard drive returned lots of image files stored on the disk (as expected). Recovering them was just a matter of selecting whereabouts I wanted to put the files (on a different disk). There were two options available. The first was using FAT1 and the second was to use FAT2. When I used FAT1 most of the files came back ok, but there were several files that came back slightly corrupted – this one is one of the worst
Spliced House.
Some of the other photos have been uploaded to my Birdtable zoto gallery as Kristen took some excellent pictures of the birds on the birdtable today.

Automated WordPress backup

Lifehut has a good post on how to enable the automatic backup of WordPress to an email system such as google. Worked great although I couldn’t use the form of [email protected] as the mail server that wordpress runs on does not allow + in the email address as strictly speaking its not rfc compliant. Yahoo groups also has this problem in that you can sign up for a mailing list with a + in the address but not use that address in their web interface.

ntbackup selections changed

One of our servers suddenly stopped doing its backup properly. When I watch the (scheduled) backup routine running the selection that it backs up is not the selection that is listed in the .bks file. I’m not sure what it *is* backing up as the (full) log file doesn’t tell me the details and the gui interface is not available for me to poke around on when the job is scheduled. Turns out that the @ in front of the backup selection (as per Microsoft’s XP backup article) did the trick. Why I should need one in Windows2000, when it’s not documented anywhere else that I can see, I don’t know. I’m just glad the backups are all working again in time for the Christmas break. Our mail server was also refusing to backup, but this was because there was more data on the disk than would fit on the tape drives. Swine consultants keep backing up their hard disks using ghost or even just an xcopy onto the server and taking it over the tape drive capacity.
No flames telling me to use BackupExec or any other third party software please, unless you are going to give me a cheque to buy the third party software at the same time.