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Metalogix Essentials for Office 365 2.4 - Performance Optimization Guide

Frequently Asked Questions and Scenarios

Here is a collection of questions and scenarios that users have sent us.

Q:  Windows Task Scheduler showed a status of “Running” and then quickly changed back to “Ready”.  Is my backup done and if not, how can I tell if the backup is still running?

A:  The task in Windows Task Scheduler is designed to run for just a few seconds as what is actually happening is that it is only starting the operation (which takes just a few seconds).  Once the operation has started then the task has been completed, but that does not mean the backup is complete or that it stopped.

Scheduled or scripted operations are designed to run in the background, so there are no UI or visual indicators as to its progress.  If you would prefer UI based updates, then you can run the backups manually using the Backup “Update” option.

To determine if a scheduled backup is still running, look in the following places:

Windows Task Manager – If you open Windows Task Manager and see one or MetaVis.exe processes running, then it is still in progress.

Check your email – If you configured the Send Notification option, then you will receive an email when the operation is complete.

Check your backup storage location – If new files or directories are being created, then the backup is still running.

Check the Essential’s log – Essential’s logs for scheduled tasks are stored in the below default location.  If you navigate there and see that the log is increasing in size or has been modified recently, then the operation is still in progress.

Q:  My backup has been running for a long time, how much longer will it take?

A:  This is a difficult question to answer because there are many variables involved with a backup operation and Office 365.  A couple of points to be conscious of are that the more content (SharePoint sites, OneDrive for Business users and Office 365 Mailboxes) that is included the longer the operation will take to process.  We are basically downloading a large amount of content from Office 365 through your network connection and then writing this data to a disk, this can be a somewhat time consuming operation.  You also have to consider the options that were configured (All OneDrive sites, all versions, include permissions) that can add to the total time as well as the very real possibility of throttling.  If you have not already, we would encourage you to review our Essentials for Office 365 Performance Optimization Guide for tips to maximize performance.

Q:  Why is my scheduled task failing to start?

A:  Your scheduled task may not start because you did not save Windows credentials with the task or maybe because you did save Windows credentials with the task.  I know this sounds confusing but there have been situations where some computer require the credentials to run while others require that they don’t have them to run.  So if your task is failing to start, try adding or removing credentials which can be done in Windows Task Scheduler by editing the ‘General’ Properties of the task and changing the run using this user account value or enabling/disabling the Do not store password option.

While you are editing the task, you may also want to enable the “Run with highest privileges” option as well.  This has proven to help in some environments as well.

Q:  I created a scheduled task but it did not appear in Windows Task Scheduler, why?

A:  The most likely cause is because when you created the scheduled task in Essentials for Office 365, you chose the option to store a Windows username and password in the task and the username or password you entered was either incorrect or not yours.  If it was incorrect, it will not appear and if it was not you, then you may not have the appropriate permissions to view it.  Either case, this task will not run and should be recreated either by not storing the credentials or using an appropriate Windows user account when prompted.

Q:  My backup completed, but there is content missing.  Where is it?

A:  The first place to look is the Essential’s log file.  You can access the log files through the software by going to the Backup tab and clicking the Logs button in the ribbon.  From the log viewer dialog, click History and then locate and double click this particular backup operation.  Scroll through or select Failed from the dropdown to locate any potential failures that may have occurred.

Failures may be related to network connectivity, running out of system resources (memory), throttling or a host of other issues.  If the errors are infrequent, you may consider waiting for the next scheduled backup (full or differential) to run or if they are severe, you may wish to manually run another update at this time.

Q:  Windows Task Scheduler indicates that the task completed, however I do not see anything being backed up.  What happened?

A:  If the task successfully starts, however the backup itself does not then the most common cause is an authentication issue and the first place to check is Office 365.  The task stores both a username and password, so if you recently changed your password or if it has expired, then you will need to update it appropriately in the task.

You can also check to make sure the task is configured to run as the user who activated the Essential’s software.  Since the license activation is associated to a specific user, if the task tries to run as someone else then it will fail to execute immediately.

Same goes for the storage location.  If you are storing in the cloud and the storage credentials change then the task will need to be updated.  If you are storing locally, perhaps to a network location, and your Windows credentials or permissions are changed, then the software can access the backup storage location and will therefore fail to run.

If you are unsure, be sure to check the Essential’s log files located in Backup > Logs > History or directly from the computer at C:\Users\[userProfile]\Metavis\.metadata\cmdLog.

Q:  In the Backup Navigator, there appears to be missing snapshots.  What should I do now?

A:  A missing backup or snapshot in your project can be an indication that the task did not execute at all.  First you will want to check the task in Windows Task Scheduler to confirm that it was indeed scheduled for this day and time.  While in Task Scheduler, select the task and click on the History tab and check the entries for any specific error message.  While this message can sometimes be difficult to understand, they will at least let you know if it attempted to run at that scheduled time.  If the task is configured to run only when the user is logged on, do you recall if it was logged off at the scheduled start time?

If nothing conclusive yet, you can check the Essential’s log files located in your user workspace which by default is C:\Users\[UserName]\Metavis\.metadata\cmdLog.  In this directory, look for the log file that corresponds to the scheduled start time of your task.  The file name will be in the format

TaskName.YYYYMMDDHHMMSS.xml.  If the file is not there, then the operation most likely never started.  

For this situation, select this task from within Windows Task Scheduler, right click and choose Run.


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