Backup Glitch In Windows Server 2003

Glitch prevents backup sets from being read in older versions of the operating system.

A change in Windows Server 2003s version of the built-in Ntbackup.exe utility prevents backup sets from being read in older versions of the operating system, officials said Friday.

A media representative of the Redmond, Wash., software giant stopped short of calling the problem a bug but said a patch should be ready in a matter of weeks.

The Windows Server 2003 utility, intended for consumer and small business use, writes data in 64KB sizes. Prior versions used 32KB sizes.

"Block sizes are basically used in how data is written to tape and identified by the operating system. There are some performance benefits" of moving to the larger size, and some operating systems even use 128KB sizes, said John Bullitt, senior consultant at Cambridge Computer Services Inc., in Waltham, Mass. "I dont know how they go about patching it," he said.

The utility itself was originally built by Scotts Valley, Calif.-based Seagate Technologies LLC and licensed to Microsoft as a stripped-down version. The technology later became part of the popular Backup Exec software from Veritas Software Corp.

However, none of the current software from Veritas, or from others such as Computer Associates International Inc., IBMs Tivoli group, or Legato Systems Inc., is affected by the current problem, experts said. Whether the snapshot features of Windows Server 2003 are affected is unclear.

A search for Ntbackup.exe at Microsofts public Knowledge Base site reported 25 prior issues.

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