Automatic F&F backup of BitLocker encryped USB drive


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OffShore
OffShore
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When trying to create an automatic F&F backup of my BitLocker encryped USB drive I get a failure that the drive letter is not available. The computer is automatically booted at a certain point in time then backup is scheduled/triggered 10 min. later.

Once logged in and manually triggered the backup recipe everything works fine.

I seems that the automatic BitLocker unlocking mechanism is not triggered in the automatic setup.

How can I establish an automatic F&F backup of my BitLocker encryped USB drive?
Beardy
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First thing I'd do is change the user the task runs as to my own account, that will probably cure it.
jphughan
jphughan
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Sounds like the BitLocker volume isn't unlocked at the time the scheduled backup runs, but becomes unlocked after you log in.  How are you unlocking your BitLocker volume?  Do you have auto-unlock enabled for it on this specific Windows system?  Or are you manually unlocking it when you log in?  If the latter, then you can't run backups before you've logged in to unlock the volume.  Enabling auto-unlock should resolve this by allowing Windows itself to unlock the volume even before anybody as logged in, which will in turn allow Reflect to back it up.

Edited 13 April 2021 1:03 PM by jphughan
jphughan
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Beardy - 13 April 2021 10:06 AM
First thing I'd do is change the user the task runs as to my own account, that will probably cure it.

BitLocker unlocks are system-wide, not per-user.
OffShore
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Task is scheduled with User Account "SYSTEM" in the "Scheduled Backups" view within Macrium. I have not found an option to change the User.

The Drive is protected with an "External Key" with "Automatic unlock enabled".

The Backup task starts in a row with 3 other tasks before. Those tasks are performed sucessfully. However those tasks are partition images of BitLocker Volumes.

The Files&Folder Backup fails with Drive F:\ not available which basically is the mount point of the encrypted drive. It seems that the mount point is the issue when not logged in in my user context.
jphughan
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You can change the user under Edit Defaults > Schedule.  That will update the user for all existing scheduled tasks, not just future tasks.

I'm not sure what's going on in your case, since I have a client with a server that almost never has anybody logged in, and I perform scheduled F&F backups of a BitLockered volume, using the SYSTEM account, and it works fine.  Out of curiosity, what happens if restart, log on, then log off?  Do scheduled backups run while you're logged off so long as you've logged in at least once since the system was restarted?  Or do they always fail when there's no active user session?  And make sure you restart rather than shutting down, since Windows by default since Win8 has "Fast Startup" enabled, in which case a shutdown hibernates the kernel, so ironically a restart is a more complete "recycling" of the system than a full shutdown.

Edited 13 April 2021 3:59 PM by jphughan
OffShore
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jphughan - 13 April 2021 3:57 PM
You can change the user under Edit Defaults > Schedule.  That will update the user for all existing scheduled tasks, not just future tasks.

I'm not sure what's going on in your case, since I have a client with a server that almost never has anybody logged in, and I perform scheduled F&F backups of a BitLockered volume, using the SYSTEM account, and it works fine.  Out of curiosity, what happens if restart, log on, then log off?  Do scheduled backups run while you're logged off so long as you've logged in at least once since the system was restarted?  Or do they always fail when there's no active user session?  And make sure you restart rather than shutting down, since Windows by default since Win8 has "Fast Startup" enabled, in which case a shutdown hibernates the kernel, so ironically a restart is a more complete "recycling" of the system than a full shutdown.

As written before, the 3 Volume Backups ( C: D: E: ) work fine. Only the Files and Folder Backup from the encrypted USB thumb drive fails with Drive not available.

Fast Startup, hibernation, etc. turned off. I also disabled S0 sleep state (switched back to S3) since it does not work at all (all scheduled backup fail because the system is not woken up).

Edited 13 April 2021 4:08 PM by OffShore
jphughan
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OffShore - 13 April 2021 4:08 PM

As written before, the 3 Volume Backups ( C: D: E: ) work fine. Only the Files and Folder Backup from the encrypted USB thumb drive fails with Drive not available.

Fast Startup, hibernation, etc. turned off. I also disabled S0 sleep state (switched back to S3) since it does not work at all (all scheduled backup fail because the system is not woken up).

Yes, I saw what you wrote before.  I was asking you to run that test to check whether your currently problematic F&F backup succeeded if you restarted, logged on, and then logged off again before the backup started, to try to distinguish between that condition and a condition where there hadn't been any user logon at all since the kernel restarted.  I didn't see an "as written before" post addressing that specific condition.

But as it happens, I have a USB external hard drive that has BitLocker and auto-unlock enabled.  I created an F&F job to back up a folder located on that drive onto a partition of my internal drive, which also happens to have BitLocker and auto-unlock enabled.  I set up a schedule using the SYSTEM account, configuring it to run a few minutes later.  Then I restarted my PC and did not log back onto Windows until several minutes AFTER the job should have completed -- at which point I checked Reflect and found that the job had run successfully at the scheduled time while nobody was logged in.

GO

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