Vembu StoreGrid

Frequently Asked Questions

StoreGrid reports an error "Unable to list the Exchange mailbox users. Make sure sufficient permissions are available for the user account under which StoreGrid service is running. Exchange Mail Level Backup requires the user account to have 'Full Control' access to the Exchange Server to list the mailbox users." while trying to configure mailbox level backup.

If you encounter an error while accessing "Add Exchange Mailbox Backup" page in the StoreGrid webconsole, then follow the steps given below to resolve the issue:

  1. Create a new user with sufficient rights through Active Directory Users and Computers.

  2. Assign "Full Mailbox Access" permission to that new user.

  3. Add that new user in the 'PluginConfiguration.conf' file located in "<SG_Home>/plugins" folder.

  4. Add the 'MSPST MS' service by modifying the MAPISVC.INF file.
    (NOTE: above 3 steps should resolve the issue in listing the Mailbox users in the "Add Exchange Mailbox Backup" page. However 'MSPST MS' service should be added in the MAPISVC.INF file to successfully backup the Exchange users mailbox).

Please refer Granting Mailbox Rights document on creating a new user and granting the sufficient rights to access the mailboxes.

StoreGrid reports an error "Unable to list the Exchange mailbox users..." when trying to configure mailbox level backup in 2007 Exchange server (64 bit) machines.

StoreGrid uses Microsoft's MAPI client component installed in the Exchange Server to backup the Exchange Mailboxes. For 64-bit environment the MAPI client component is yet to be released by Microsoft. Currently, StoreGrid uses its 32-bit exe to list, backup and restore the Exchange Mailboxes in 64-bit machines. To accomplish this, StoreGrid 32-bit exe requires Microsoft's 32-bit MAPI client component.

Please refer Granting Mailbox Rights document to get more details.

How is StoreGrid different from other desktop backup and laptop backup products?

StoreGrid is a flexible backup solution that works with your existing hardware. This flexibility allows it to be deployed in multiple modes - Service Provider Hosted Online Backup, Trusted Peer To Peer Backup and Typical Client-Server deployments.

Service Provider Hosted Online Backup - Online Backup service providers including MSPs, VARs, SIs etc. can use this deployment to offer an online backup service to their customers.

Trusted Peer To Peer Backup - StoreGrid provides an easy and intuitive mechanism to use the free space in user desktops in a network for backup purposes. StoreGrid’s P2P deployment capability is based on the concept of trusted peers in an intranet whose desktop space can be utilized in a peer-to-peer fashion.

Typical Client-Server deployments - This is a more traditional deployment - ideal for leveraging existing backup infrastructure by allowing customers to include desktop and laptop data. All the desktops and laptops run the StoreGrid in Client mode only, and they all back up their data to a central backup storage server.

Another important feature of StoreGrid is the ease with which end users can configure backups and restore them, when required, without the help of system administrators. StoreGrid also allows centralized administration from a Web Console (Browser based), to make it easy for system administrators to manage and monitor StoreGrid deployments.

Can StoreGrid be used to backup desktops and laptops to a dedicated backup server inside the intranet?

Yes, StoreGrid can be used to backup desktops and laptops to a dedicated backup server inside the intranet. In this deployment, the dedicated backup server(s) should run StoreGrid in server mode and desktops and laptops should run StoreGrid in client mode.

Can StoreGrid be used for Remote Backups?

Yes, StoreGrid can be used to backup a computer to a Remote location provided the computer has direct connectivity to the Remote Backup server running StoreGrid. This facility is however not available in the Free Edition!

I have given a daily backup schedule to run at 5.00 PM. But at times, StoreGrid seems to be running this backup schedule at other times as well. Why?

There are two reasons why StoreGrid will run a backup schedule at a time different from the configured schedule time.

  1. When StoreGrid is shutdown and restarted, it will run all backup schedules once before scheduling them at the configured time. This is to ensure that any files created/modified when StoreGrid was shutdown are backed up as soon as possible.

  2. If you selected "Attempt to run this backup every five minutes..." in Advanced options, and a backup schedule is incomplete because of various reasons (like network connection problem etc.), StoreGrid will schedule the backup every 5 minutes to ensure the backup schedule is completed as soon as possible. In this case, only after the backup schedule is completed will StoreGrid schedule it at the configured time.

Why does my StoreGrid peer not discover other StoreGrid peers in my network automatically?

StoreGrid relies on multi-casting, UDP and TCP port scan to discover at least one StoreGrid Client/Server(peer)in the network. But if multi-casting is disabled in the network, then discovery may be delayed because UDP or TCP port scans can be time consuming. Also, StoreGrid is configured to discover StoreGrid peers only in a subnet. You can manually discover a StoreGrid peer (both within and outside the subnet) using the "Add Peer" feature from the StoreGrid Web Console.

If you are using Windows XP with Service Pack 2 installed, please click here.

How does StoreGrid do Open File Backups?

StoreGrid can comfortably backup up files that are exclusively locked up or are being used by other applications at the time of backup in Microsoft Windows OSes. StoreGrid supports Volume Shadow Service to backup the open files. If the operating system in use is supported by VSS (e.g., Windows XP and above OS versions), then simply enable the VSS option when configuring a backup schedule. And if your operating system does not support VSS (e.g., Windows 2000), then you can backup Open Files with the help of StoreGrid’s Open File Backup Plugin. This plugin is pre-configured to allow StoreGrid process to access the open files.

Can the StoreGrid Client be installed on a NAS file server to back it up to user desktop machines or other dedicated backup servers?

StoreGrid can be installed on Linux or Windows based NAS servers. It is possible to backup a NAS file server over the network to other user desktops or a dedicated backup server. If StoreGrid cannot be installed on a NAS filer, it will be possible to install StoreGrid on a PC, mount the NAS server and then back it up. In the case of NAS file servers, open file backup may not happen if a file is being continuously modified by an application. In Windows Storage Server, it is possible to use the Volume Shadow Copy feature to support Open File backups. In NAS filers where files are not modified continuously StoreGrid's open file backup should suffice.

What type of encryption does StoreGrid use to secure the data being backed up? How secure is my data?

StoreGrid uses the Blowfish encryption algorithm. You can get more information about blowfish algorithm at http://www.schneier.com/blowfish.html

Excerpts from the blowfish website:
"Blowfish was designed in 1993 by Bruce Schneier as a fast, free alternative to existing encryption algorithms. Since then it has been analyzed considerably, and it is slowly gaining acceptance as a strong encryption algorithm".
StoreGrid will support other encryption algorithms as options in the future. As such your data is very secure as blowfish based encryption has never been broken before.

What happens if I forget my backup encryption password?

Whoops! If you forget the backup encryption password, then there is no known way to decrypt your backed up data. So it is recommended that you write down the backup encryption password in a safe and secure place.

Why does StoreGrid restart automatically even after I shut it down?

During installation, StoreGrid also installs a separate application called StoreGrid Tray. This application appears as an icon in your Windows Tray. If you want to stop the StoreGrid application, you need to stop it through the menu that pops up while right clicking the StoreGrid Tray. If you stop the StoreGrid application in any other way, StoreGrid Tray will automatically restart the StoreGrid application. This feature is to ensure that StoreGrid application is always running to protect your data even if it exits unexpectedly because of any bugs or other reasons.

Does StoreGrid support backing up to peers over the internet?

StoreGrid (Professional Edition) peers can communicate with each other and backup data over the internet if there is direct connectivity between the peers. If the two peers are behind NAT, then you need to configure port forwarding in your NAT device to enable StoreGrid peers to connect to each other. If the two peers are just backing up to each other then you need to configure TCP port 32004 for port forwarding in your NAT device. Please check the "NAT/Firewall" configuration in the StoreGrid help documentation for more details.

How does StoreGrid do incremental backups?

Please click here for more details.

When I click on StoreGrid Web Console, I am redirected to a search/directory page. Why does this happen and how do I get around it?

Some toolbars and related software can take over your browser window even if you don't want them to! Uninstalling them usually solves the problem. Alternatively, you could manually type in the URL in your browser's address bar: http://machine-name:6060 where "machine-name" is the name of your machine, eg. http://joe:6060

If I shut down and restart StoreGrid after a period of time, will StoreGrid automatically detect modified files and newly created files and back them up?

It depends on the settings you've selected when creating the backup schedule. StoreGrid will automatically detect all the modified and newly created files and back them up after a restart if:

  1. You selected the continuous backup option

  2. You selected the ‘run every __ hours __minutes” option. In this case, StoreGrid will run this schedule whenever it restarts, and thereafter schedule the next backup after the period you’ve selected.

  3. You’ve selected the “Run this Backup each time StoreGrid restarts” option in Advanced Options

I need to backup a large amount of data over the internet and its taking too much time. Is there a better way?

Yes there is! Typically, your first backup takes the longest time/bandwidth. Thereafter, if you've enabled incremental backups (which you should be doing if you're backing up online), only changes in files/folders are backed up. These incremental backups consume lot less time & bandwidth! StoreGrid has a feature that allows you to take the first 'heavy' backup locally to say, a USB Disk, physically move the data to a remote server, and thereafter seamlessly continue with incremental backups directly to the remote server. Details on using this feature are covered under the section 'Seed Backup Migration' in the Help Documentation. Please refer the following URL: PageHelp/server-side-seed-backup-migration.html

I had backed up my data from my laptop to a server. But now I don't have my laptop (original machine) anymore. How do I restore my old data to my new machine?

If you want to restore your data from a new machine (new laptop), you can install StoreGrid on the new machine with the same StoreGrid ID you used before. And you will first need to restore your Client configurations from the backup server before you restore your data from them (the backup servers). You can do this from the Restore -> Disaster Recovery page in the StoreGrid client webconsole. Once your configurations are restored, you can restore your data from the Restore menu. Note that you will have to authenticate your new StoreGrid with the server before the server will allow you to connect.

My server was set up to backup data to a certain location. I now wish to change that location. How do I do this?

By default, StoreGrid server uses the installation location or Server Backup Storage Location value configured during installation as the backup location to store the client's backup data. You can change the backup location of the server from the "Server Admin->Server Management-> Server Settings" page in the backup server's StoreGrid webconsole. But if you already have clients backing up to the server, then those existing clients will not use the new backup location for further backups. The new location will only take effect for the new clients backing up to the server.

You can also change the backup storage location for individual clients. The client's backup storage location can be changed by going to ‘Server Admin -> Reseller Management -> <Reseller Name> -> <Customer Name> -> Edit Client Configuration (action for the particular client)’ page in the backup server webconsole. For more details, please refer the URL: PageHelp/client-backup-configuration.html

I'm currently using the Free Edition. I wish to move to StoreGrid Professional. How do I do this?

From StoreGrid v2.4 onwards, upgrading from Free edition to Professional edition is not directly supported. For upgrading StoreGrid free edition to professional edition, you can save the Free edition backup data and configurations to another location. Then, uninstall free edition installation and install the professional edition build afresh. After that, you can migrate free edition backup data to professional edition by using Seed Backup Migration feature.

Sometimes when I try deleting an existing backup schedule, it takes a lot of time. Why is this?
While deleting a backup, StoreGrid tries to connect to the server machine to delete the backed up data. So, please verify that the server machine is accessible from the client machine and that StoreGrid is running on the Server machine in "Server/ Server-Client" mode. The delete operation will be scheduled every 5 minutes. If a backup could not be deleted because of some reason (the backup server being down permanently, etc.) then the delete operation will be rescheduled every5 minutes. There is no way to cancel the delete operation. It will be scheduled again even when StoreGrid is stopped and restarted. Hence, ideally, StoreGrid must be running on the server machine for completing the backup delete schedule. In a 'not so ideal' situation, you could use the "Delete Backup Schedule even if the server is down" option from the "Delete Backup Data/Schedule" page. The backup configuration will be deleted from the client side in the next delete schedule, ie about 5 minutes. Please note that the backed up data in server might not be deleted by selecting this option.

I have backups scheduled in my laptop for a certain day and time. If the backup server is not powered on at the scheduled backup time, how do I ensure that StoreGrid in my laptop runs the backup as soon as the backup server comes on?

Simply ensure that the " Attempt to run this backup every 5 minutes in case of non completion because of a problem (Network error etc.) " box is ticked when you configure the backup schedule. This option is part of the 'Advanced Options' that can be configured by clicking the 'Advanced Options' button under Step 5 (Scheduling) in the 'Backup-->Add Backup Schedule' menu.

What are 'additional full backups' and why do I need them?

Typically, you would take a first full backup and incremental backups thereafter. This way, only changes in files/folders are backed up during future backups. However, in some cases, you may prefer to take a full backup every once in a while for various reasons. StoreGrid supports this as well. Once you've decided your incremental backup schedule, select the"Configure additional full backups" option and configure your full backups as required. This option is a part of the 'Advanced Options' that can be configured by clicking the 'Advanced Options' button under Step 5 (Scheduling) in the 'Backup-->Add Backup Schedule' menu.

How do I delete files & folders that I've backed up but no longer need. I've deleted them on my machine - but they're still taking up space on my StoreGrid server?

StoreGrid does not delete backed up files automatically when they are deleted in the client machine. Instead StoreGrid will backup the fact that the files are deleted and the backup server will tag the files with that information. But StoreGrid WebConsole UI provides a way to delete files permanently from the server. Please check the "Backup->Permanently Delete Files From Server" section in the StoreGrid help documentation to learn more about how to delete backed up files permanently from the server. Future releases of StoreGrid will have a feature to automatically delete files permanently from the server after a configurable time period.

I tried the Internet Explorer Settings preconfigured backup. While I expected it to just backup my bookmarks, it seems to be backing up a whole lot more?

The IE Settings backup is configured to backup all related to IE - history, temp files, security settings, etc - so if you need to restore, you get your IE exactly as it was earlier. If you wish to only backup the bookmarks file, you simply need to configure this as any other file backup after manually selecting the file.

Can StoreGrid work in any Linux distribution?

StoreGrid is well tested on Redhat 8.0, Redhat 9.0, Fedora Core 3, Fedora Core 4, Mandrake 10.x, SuSE 9.x, Debian 4.x, Ubuntu 7.x. We expect StoreGrid to work in most flavors of Linux if the installation of StoreGrid goes through fine. During installation StoreGrid compiles its own bundled Apache and PHP. So StoreGrid installation will require the following packages to be installed in the Linux system: make, gcc, g++, libc6-dev, libxml2, libxml2-dev and libstdc++5, bison, flex. If you want to try a linux distribution, we suggest that you try the StoreGrid build (Redhat, Debain etc.) which is closer to your target system. If your installation is not successful, please contact us at storegrid-support@vembu.com for help.

I know StoreGrid works across Windows, Linux, Mac, FreeBSD operating Systems. Does that mean the backups and restore can also be done across different operating systems?

Yes, StoreGrid not only works across different operating systems, it is also interoperable across the supported operating systems. That is, you can backup your Mac OS X to a Windows or Linux OR backup your Windows to a Linux or Mac OS X and so on. The only limitation is that when you restore your data to any client machine (other than the originator machine), the new client machine has to support the same matching endian byte order. For example, a Mac OS X can backup to a Windows. But the backed up data has to be restored by only another Mac OS X system. This is because the blowfish encryption algorithm StoreGrid uses is based on the endianess of the machine. If all the different machines are based on Intel processor, then there should not be any problems with the restore across operating systems.

I see that StoreGrid uses the MySQL database. Can I replace the MySQL database in my backup server with PostgreSQL or MS-SQL Server etc?

Technically it is possible to replace the MySQL database with any other SQL-92 compliant database. We are currently working on supporting other databases (such as, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server) for StoreGrid internal databases and will be available in future versions of StoreGrid.

When I try to login to the StoreGrid Web Console, I receive the following error message "The requested address is not valid in its context"?

Usually the error "The requested address ..." occurs when the StoreGrid webconsole fails to communicate the StoreGrid application.

  1. If your system is configured with any firewall settings, please add the following to your firewall exception list.
    1. <StoreGrid_Home>\apache\Apache.exe
    2. <StoreGrid_Home>\bin\SGTray.exe
    3. <StoreGrid_Home>\bin\StoreGrid.exe
    4. TCP Port 32005
  2. If the previous step did not help, disable your firewall and try logging in to StoreGrid webconsole.
  3. Also try logging in to StoreGrid webconsole with some other browsers.
  4. In IE browser this error also occurs due to the following reasons.
    1. When "Include all local(intranet) sites not listed in other zones" option in "Tools -> Internet Options -> Security -> Local intranet -> Sites" is disabled.
    2. And if the privacy settings is set to "High" in "Tools -> Internet Options -> Privacy" tab.
The menu bar is missing from the StoreGrid Web Console?

This problem comes when javascript is disabled in the browser. To solve this enable javascript in your browser and try using the StoreGrid webconsole.

I am getting "Unable to send backup details to server . An operation was attempted on something that is not a socket." error when running large number of files/Exchange Server/MS SQL Server/other plugin backup jobs. What to do now?

This problem occurs when the socket connection to the backup server from the client is disconnected for reason. When the connection between the client and the backup server is lost, the StoreGrid client will automatically try to reestablish the connection and proceed with the backup from where it left off. However, if the client is not able to reestablish the connection after several attempts, then this error message is thrown In such a scenario, check the elements (NAT/firewall/Router) in the network and see if they are closing the connection for some reason.

StoreGrid doesn't seem to run properly after upgrading Windows to Vista.

If StoreGrid was installed in an older version of Windows and then if the OS was upgraded to Vista, StoreGrid may fail to run. If this is the case, then install the same version of StoreGrid again on top of the existing installation.

Another reason for this could be that if StoreGrid is installed under C:/Program Files in Vista, then make sure you run StoreGrid with the option "Run as Administrator". The reason been, Vista allows an application to access the 'Program Files' folder only when run as an administrator user. You can enable the 'Run as Administrator' option for the <StoreGrid Home>\bin\StoreGrid.exe application through it's file properties dialog through 'Compatibility' tab -> 'Privelege Level' -> 'Run this application as administrator' option. If you don't have administrator access or if you don't want to run StoreGrid under the administrator account, make sure you install StoreGrid under your user account folder or other than the 'Program Files' folder.

Error while dumping the Exchange Mail Boxes. Unable to create the PST file [or] "No new/modified files for backup"

This error might show up when 'MSPST MS' service is not configured in the Exchange Server.

Add the 'MSPST MS' service by modifying the MAPISVC.INF file.

The MAPISVC.INF file should have the information of the Microsoft Personal Folder store service. If this file does not have this information, then the Exchange Mailbox dump will fail with an error indicating that it was "Unable to create the PST file" [or] "No new/modified files for backup".

The MAPISVC.INF file is usually located in the Windows system directory (e.g.C:\Winnt\System32\ or C:\Windows\System32\).

Verify the file has an entry for the Microsoft Personal Folder store service. You can determine this by looking for the following information. If this information is not in the file then you need to add it in the proper sections:


[Services]
MSPST MS=Personal Folders File (.pst)

[MSPST MS]
Providers=MSPST MSP
PR_SERVICE_DLL_NAME=mspst.dll
PR_SERVICE_INSTALL_ID={6485D262-C2AC-11D1-AD3E-10A0C911C9C0}
PR_SERVICE_SUPPORT_FILES=mspst.dll
PR_SERVICE_ENTRY_NAME=PSTServiceEntry
PR_RESOURCE_FLAGS=SERVICE_NO_PRIMARY_IDENTITY

[MSPST MSP]
34140102=4e495441f9bfb80100aa0037d96e0000
PR_PROVIDER_DLL_NAME=mspst.dll
PR_SERVICE_INSTALL_ID={6485D262-C2AC-11D1-AD3E-10A0C911C9C0}
PR_RESOURCE_TYPE=MAPI_STORE_PROVIDER
PR_RESOURCE_FLAGS=STATUS_DEFAULT_STORE
PR_DISPLAY_NAME=Personal Folders
PR_PROVIDER_DISPLAY=Personal Folders File (.pst)


For more information about the format of the MAPISVC.INF file see the following Microsoft article:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/294470

Dump location does not have enough space to export the PST file

This error will occur when the dump location configured for this backup schedule doesn't have enough free space to store the *.PST files. To resolve this, increase the free space or cleanup the used space for the drive which is configured as dump location for this backup schedule. Location configured for dump process can be viewed from 'view backup configuration' of that backup schedule in the Backup->List Backup Schedule page in the client web console.

Error while creating the dump location

When the configured dump location for that particular backup schedule is not accessible or StoreGrid does not have enough permission to access the directory, then this error might occur. Make sure that the dump location drive exist in your StoreGrid client. If that drive exist, provide enough permissions to the user under which StoreGrid is installed to be able to write to the location.

Users Mailbox/folder are not listed in the "Add Exchange Mailbox Backup" page.

StoreGrid would fail to list the Exchange Users Mailbox folders for the following reasons.

  1. Mailbox which was accessed does not exist in the Exchange Server or invalid logon information being used to list the users Mailbox.

  2. Insufficient rights on the Exchange user mailbox.

Exchange Mail Level Backup requires "Full Control" access on the Exchange Server for the user account under which StoreGrid service is running. Please refer Granting Mailbox Rights document on creating a new user and granting the sufficient rights to access the mailboxes.

I get the error "Windows Server Backup is not installed in your System. Please install and try again." When trying to backup system state in Windows 2008.

StoreGrid uses Windows server backup utility to backup the system state in Windows 2008. If this utility is not installed then you will get this error. Please refer the System State backup trouble shooting page to get more details.