Fix Windows Backup Error: 0x8078002A on 2.5TB and 3TB WD Drives

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

Hard DriveLook familiar? Have a Western Digital hard drive that you are trying to back up to?

I would like to quickly mention a solution that I found for larger (2.5TB or more) Western Digital hard drives that use “advanced format” 4KB physical sector sizes. Many users complain about an issue with Windows 7 Backup and Windows Server backup which spits out the useless Error 0x8078002A.

This worked for my 3TB WD Elements drive. Out of the box this drive did not work with Windows backup at all. WD support actually came through for me on this issue and pointed me to the following solution:

http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/6618/session/L3RpbWUvMTMxMzUzNzc5My9zaWQvT1hrMSpJQms%3D

Basically it consists of formatting the drive with their external drive formatting utility in “Factory Default” mode rather than XP-Compatible mode which (ironically) is how the drive ships. After performing the format, the drive works fine with Windows backup in both Windows 7 and Windows Server, but is incompatible with Windows XP. In my case, this is an acceptable compromise.

This is how the drive appeared out of the box:

C:Windowssystem32>fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo H:
Bytes Per Sector  :               4096
Bytes Per Physical Sector :       <Not Supported>
Bytes Per Cluster :               4096
Bytes Per FileRecord Segment    : 4096

This is how the drive appeared after the “Factory Default” format:

C:Windowssystem32>fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo H:
Bytes Per Sector  :               512
Bytes Per Physical Sector :       <Not Supported>
Bytes Per Cluster :               4096
Bytes Per FileRecord Segment    : 1024

Finally, I should point out that this utility will probably not work for drives from manufacturers other than Western Digital as it scans for WD drives specifically on launch and is likely working directly with their drive’s firmware. That said, I do believe this should cover all WD drives 2.5TB and larger to correct this issue.

Writing Regular Expressions for .htaccess and IIS 7 URL Rewrites

Regular ExpressionsWhen I was in the throws of transferring this site from Joomla to WordPress, one issue that I had to contend with was the URL changes. The solution is the 301 redirect. That flows link juice from the old URL to the new one and if possible to implement is far more useful for users.

This would be a huge pain to implement manually for every URL and thus had to be systematic. The easiest way to accomplish this is through the use of regular expressions in what is known as a .htaccess file on Linux/Apache or Microsoft’s IIS 7 equivalent functionality known as the URL Rewrite module.

To use this guide, you’ll need to know the basics of setting up rewrite rules. Turns out that the regex not that hard though. In fact, a simple chart can describe all the behaviors that regular expressions follow.

Values:

All the values you will find in this section will be matching against a single character.

. Period matches any single character including numbers, letters and symbols.
ex.:
A, a, 1, %, etc.

[ ] Square brackets will match against a range of characters.
ex.:
[a-z] matches all lowercase letters
[0-9] matches all numbers
[abC] matches a, b or C
[a-f0-3z] matches a to f, 0 to 3 and z

[^] Matches against anything not in brackets. Basically a negation.
ex.: [^a-c0] matches any character that is not a to c or 0.

Anchors

All the values you will find in this section will be matching against a single character.

^ Means the string must start here
ex.:
cats will match “I like cats”
^cats will not match “I like cats”
^cats will match “cats like me”

$ Means the string must end here.
ex.:
cats$ will match “I like cats”
cats$ will not match “cats like me”
^cats$ will match only “cats”

Quantifiers

All the values you will find in this section will be matching against a many characters. You should always use the most specific one possible to reduce overhead and false positives.

* matches zero or more of the previous character.
ex.: lo*l will match “ll” “lol” “lool” “loool” and so on.

+ matches one or more of the previous expression
ex.: lo+l will match “lol” “lool” loool” and so on.

? matches zero or one of the previous character
ex.: pi?e will match “pine” and “pie”

Others

| means OR.
ex.: “gray|grey” will match “gray or “grey”

() will group an expression together and allow it to be reused later (more on this later)
ex.:
The example above could be simplified to “gr(e|a)y”.

Escape Character

Since regex use special characters as defined above, we need a way to tell the computer to read the character literally. This is done with a backslash .
ex.: “.htm” must be escaped as “.htm” to treat the period literally.

Example in Practice

So lets put all this together and put it to good use. We’ll use the case of this site as an example. The first thing to do is observe the structure of what you have and see which strings can be easily grouped together in addition to which parts of the URL you want to keep and which you don’t. Take this for instance:

Old URL
www.cmoullas.net/reviews/34-mobile/46-latitudereview

New URL
www.cmoullas.net/latitudereview

We can see a few things here. First, the end of the URL will be staying the same “latitudereview”. That means we want to isolate the end of the URL. We also want to be as specific as possible to avoid false positives and avoid overhead. Finally, we know that we only need to match after the first slash and don’t need to worry about the www.cmoullas.net/. So consider the following solution:

[a-z]+/ matches “reviews/”
[0-9]+- matches “34-”
[a-z]+/ matches “mobile/”
[0-9]+- matches “46-”
(.+) matches “latitudereview” and saves it for later referencing

Putting that all together:

[a-z]+/[0-9]+-[a-z]+/[0-9]+-(.+)

This will great, but we can still improve on it. How you might ask? Well remember in this case our only goal is to get at the string “latitudereview”. As a result, we actually only need to match “/34-mobile/46-latitudereview” as that will be sufficiently unique to not create any false positives. Thus we can get away with just:

[0-9]+-[a-z]+/[0-9]+-(.+)

A couple more notes on this and you can call yourself an expert! Notice the specificity here. We matched as follows:

Any numbers and a dash
Any letters and a forward slash
Any numbers and a dash
Any string and saved it

We can do this because we know that the URL will always follow that pattern. At the end, we had to match any string because the title could be far more complex with any letters, numbers or even symbols, such as latitude-review-2, for example. The rest will always follow the same specific pattern.

And that’s it! If you followed all this, you’ll be following all the best practice rules with regex and will be rewriting like an expert! Look forward to another article in the new future explaining how to use back-references in both mod_rewrite .htaccess files as well as in IIS!

cmoullas.net is Back and Better Than Ever!

Back to the FutureWell, this many not be a surprised to anybody who used to follow my blog regularly, but for the most part, this site has been quite dead for nearly a year now. Some wondered why the regular stream of posts stopped, myself included. The only reason I can propose is that I got so busy with working on web design projects that I became largely uninterested in playing around with my own web presence.

My main goal in starting cmoullas.net back in 2009 was to learn much more about web design. I remember the painful experience of messing with CSS styles and the awe that I had when consulting people that could write even just basic PHP code. A the time I could hardly ever read it. In that sense, cmoullas.net has been a huge success: I now work in a field where I work on SEO regularly and design sites on a daily basis. I pushed though and learned everything I needed to know to get into a field that I love.

Other aspects were not quite as successful, however. I also wanted to be able to share all the knowledge I accumulated about technology on a daily basis to be archived somewhere for everyone to be able to reference, myself included. I can easily say that I’m learning new things every single day but that never got reflected here for which I am sorry.

What prompted this re-launch was a couple of things. On one hand, I lost a fair amount of data including family pictures from when I was a kid, among other things. What became very apparent at the time is how fallible memory can be and the importance of writing things down. I intend on this being the place for that.

Secondly, I did feel that from a technological standpoint, not only had the site fallen well behind the times in just 2 and a half very shot years, but I was also losing touch with the latest and greatest web design technologies. Despite working on websites on a daily basis, there is always tremendous pressure to squeeze a project into far too little time. Not only does that mean that testing gets cut (for instance, cross-browser compatibility), but also that implementing the latest and greatest that HTML5 and CSS3 has to offer gets put on the backburner. It’s certainly fastest to stick to what you already know!

I’ve really enjoyed being able to do with web design what originally attracted me to it, which is to be creative and innovative in my own right. I might not be doing something that’s never been done before, but I’m doing things that I’ve never done before. And that’s exciting.

In the past 2 or 3 years, I’ve also launched myself into the world of motorsport and cars which have both become a great hobby of mine. I find it unfortunate that I haven’t been throwing down everything I learn about cars on a daily basis and helping others out with the knowledge I’ve acquired often the hard way. I’m going to do my best to backtrack on as much as I can and piece together as many cool things that I’ve come across in the time I’ve been gone.

So enough of the past, now to the brand spanking new cmoullas.net! I’ve learned a lot just in putting this page together and there will be some great web design articles forthcoming. The SEO (search-engine optimization) on this page is by far the best I’ve ever done on any site in the past, and the most recent standards are employed. I’m really motivated to furiously throw out content and so I strongly believe that this site will grow along with me. I whole-heartedly welcome everybody to come along for the ride and hope you enjoy it as much as I do!