Exchange Server Backup, Restore, and Disaster Recovery

A few years ago several colleagues and I decided to write an Exchange Server 2016 book, but scheduling and bandwidth issues caused us to delay it until Exchange Server 2019. However, we soon realized we were simply too busy to commit the amount of time needed to properly see the book to its completion. As a result, I was left with a few chapters destined to die a slow death in a folder on my desktop. As an alternative to that grim scenario, I’ve decided to publish them on my personal website (with zero warranty or proper editing). As the topic relates to Exchange Server troubleshooting, I thought I would cross-post it here.

Also, if you enjoy the topic on Exchange Backup, Restore, & DR, checkout the Exchange Server Troubleshooting Companion now available for free on TechNet

Windows Backup Error 2155348010 – The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error

Technically a Windows Backup/External USB Drive issue but it came about when trying to perform an Exchange backup.


Smaller customer running Exchange 2010 on a new deployment. They’d been having trouble setting up their backup and as a result had 30GB of transaction logs and were running low on space. Customer was trying to use a Western Digital USB 2TB HD as the backup destination. Backups would take forever on “Running Consistency Check for Application Exchange” and would ultimately fail with the following error message within Windows Server Backup:

“One of the backup files could not be created. Detailed Error: The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error”

Event Viewer would also give:

Source: Microsoft-Windows-Backup
failed with following error code ‘2155348010’ (One of the backup files could not be created.). Please rerun backup once issue is resolved.


Ran vssadmin list writers and also enabled expert level logging (Set-EventLogLevel “MSExchangeIS\9002 System\Exchange Writer” -Level Expert) but the writers all showed a state of Stable.

The backup was hanging at “Running Consistency Check for Application Exchange…” because of all the transaction logs. Dismounted database, removed logs, checkpoint file, and re-mounted. The backup would now just take much less time to fail with the same error 😦

Found the following articles that seemed to address this issue:

The issue was being caused by the fact that Windows Server Backup does not support drives with large sector size (4096 bytes) unless they support 512 byte emulation.

Information about Microsoft Support policy for large-sector drives in Windows

Drive type Support/functionality
4K native (4K logical sector size): Most of the drives larger than 2 terabytes and with a USB connection are this kind of drive. Currently not supported on any released operating system version. Contact your drive manufacturer for support.

The fix was ultimately supplied from the blog post in the second link. We downloaded and used the WD Quick Formatter Tool ( on the USB drive to format it with the non-XP compatible setting. Hopefully other manufacturers have similar tools or properly support 512 byte emulation.

Afterwards the Windows Backup completed successfully and the Exchange logs were being properly truncated.