PerlStalker’s SysAdmin Notes

Notes from the life of a systems administrator

System Center Data Protection Manager 2012 R2 Always Crashing

DPM is great for backing up Microsoft stuff but I ran into something really, really odd. In short, the msdpm kept crashing. I took a while but I was eventually able to track down which object was causing the crash by trying each failed sync one at a time. (DPM troubleshooting step 1.) For the record, it was the system protection for a Windows Server 2012 R2 server but I’m not convinced that that matters. On the plus side, the eventlog on the DPM server was nearly useless.

Log Name:      Application
Source:        MSDPM
Date:          6/1/2016 2:55:45 PM
Event ID:      999
Task Category: None
Level:         Error
Keywords:      Classic
User:          N/A
Computer:      srvdpm2.ad.adams.edu
Description:
The description for Event ID 999 from source MSDPM cannot be found. Either the component that raises this event is not installed on your local computer or the installation is corrupted. You can install or repair the component on the local computer.

If the event originated on another computer, the display information had to be saved with the event.

The following information was included with the event: 

An unexpected error caused a failure for process 'msdpm'.  Restart the DPM process 'msdpm'.

Problem Details:
<FatalServiceError><__System><ID>19</ID><Seq>6871</Seq><TimeCreated>6/1/2016 8:55:45 PM</TimeCreated><Source>DpmThreadPool.cs</Source><Line>163</Line><HasError>True</HasError></__System><ExceptionType>FormatException</ExceptionType><ExceptionMessage>Input string was not in a correct format.</ExceptionMessage><ExceptionDetails>System.FormatException: Input string was not in a correct format.
   at System.Text.StringBuilder.AppendFormat(IFormatProvider provider, String format, Object[] args)
   at System.String.Format(IFormatProvider provider, String format, Object[] args)
   at Microsoft.Internal.EnterpriseStorage.Dls.Trace.TraceProvider.Trace(TraceFlag flag, String fileName, Int32 fileLine, Guid* taskId, Boolean taskIdSpecified, String formatString, Object[] args)
   at Microsoft.Internal.EnterpriseStorage.Dls.WriterHelper.SystemStateWriterHelper.RenameBMRReplicaFolderIfNeeded(String roFileSpec)
   at Microsoft.Internal.EnterpriseStorage.Dls.WriterHelper.SystemStateWriterHelper.ValidateROListOnPreBackupSuccess(Message msg, RADataSourceStatusType raDatasourceStatus, Guid volumeBitmapId, List`1&amp; missingVolumesList, ReplicaDataset&amp; lastFullReplicaDataset, ROListType&amp; roList)
   at Microsoft.Internal.EnterpriseStorage.Dls.Prm.ReplicaPreBackupBlock.ValidateROList(Message msg, RADataSourceStatusType raDatasourceStatus, Guid datasetId)
   at Microsoft.Internal.EnterpriseStorage.Dls.Prm.ReplicaPreBackupBlock.RAPreBackupSuccess(Message msg)
   at Microsoft.Internal.EnterpriseStorage.Dls.TaskExecutor.Fsm.Engine.ChangeState(Message msg)
   at Microsoft.Internal.EnterpriseStorage.Dls.TaskExecutor.TaskInstance.Process(Object dummy)
   at Microsoft.Internal.EnterpriseStorage.Dls.TaskExecutor.FsmThreadFunction.Function(Object taskThreadContextObj)
   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.RunInternal(ExecutionContext executionContext, ContextCallback callback, Object state, Boolean preserveSyncCtx)
   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(ExecutionContext executionContext, ContextCallback callback, Object state, Boolean preserveSyncCtx)
   at System.Threading.QueueUserWorkItemCallback.System.Threading.IThreadPoolWorkItem.ExecuteWorkItem()
   at System.Threading.ThreadPoolWorkQueue.Dispatch()</ExceptionDetails></FatalServiceError>


the message resource is present but the message is not found in the string/message table

Event Xml:
<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
  <System>
    <Provider Name="MSDPM" />
    <EventID Qualifiers="0">999</EventID>
    <Level>2</Level>
    <Task>0</Task>
    <Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2016-06-01T20:55:45.000000000Z" />
    <EventRecordID>44561</EventRecordID>
    <Channel>Application</Channel>
    <Computer>srvdpm2.ad.adams.edu</Computer>
    <Security />
  </System>
  <EventData>
    <Data>An unexpected error caused a failure for process 'msdpm'.  Restart the DPM process 'msdpm'.

Problem Details:
&lt;FatalServiceError&gt;&lt;__System&gt;&lt;ID&gt;19&lt;/ID&gt;&lt;Seq&gt;6871&lt;/Seq&gt;&lt;TimeCreated&gt;6/1/2016 8:55:45 PM&lt;/TimeCreated&gt;&lt;Source&gt;DpmThreadPool.cs&lt;/Source&gt;&lt;Line&gt;163&lt;/Line&gt;&lt;HasError&gt;True&lt;/HasError&gt;&lt;/__System&gt;&lt;ExceptionType&gt;FormatException&lt;/ExceptionType&gt;&lt;ExceptionMessage&gt;Input string was not in a correct format.&lt;/ExceptionMessage&gt;&lt;ExceptionDetails&gt;System.FormatException: Input string was not in a correct format.
   at System.Text.StringBuilder.AppendFormat(IFormatProvider provider, String format, Object[] args)
   at System.String.Format(IFormatProvider provider, String format, Object[] args)
   at Microsoft.Internal.EnterpriseStorage.Dls.Trace.TraceProvider.Trace(TraceFlag flag, String fileName, Int32 fileLine, Guid* taskId, Boolean taskIdSpecified, String formatString, Object[] args)
   at Microsoft.Internal.EnterpriseStorage.Dls.WriterHelper.SystemStateWriterHelper.RenameBMRReplicaFolderIfNeeded(String roFileSpec)
   at Microsoft.Internal.EnterpriseStorage.Dls.WriterHelper.SystemStateWriterHelper.ValidateROListOnPreBackupSuccess(Message msg, RADataSourceStatusType raDatasourceStatus, Guid volumeBitmapId, List`1&amp;amp; missingVolumesList, ReplicaDataset&amp;amp; lastFullReplicaDataset, ROListType&amp;amp; roList)
   at Microsoft.Internal.EnterpriseStorage.Dls.Prm.ReplicaPreBackupBlock.ValidateROList(Message msg, RADataSourceStatusType raDatasourceStatus, Guid datasetId)
   at Microsoft.Internal.EnterpriseStorage.Dls.Prm.ReplicaPreBackupBlock.RAPreBackupSuccess(Message msg)
   at Microsoft.Internal.EnterpriseStorage.Dls.TaskExecutor.Fsm.Engine.ChangeState(Message msg)
   at Microsoft.Internal.EnterpriseStorage.Dls.TaskExecutor.TaskInstance.Process(Object dummy)
   at Microsoft.Internal.EnterpriseStorage.Dls.TaskExecutor.FsmThreadFunction.Function(Object taskThreadContextObj)
   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.RunInternal(ExecutionContext executionContext, ContextCallback callback, Object state, Boolean preserveSyncCtx)
   at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(ExecutionContext executionContext, ContextCallback callback, Object state, Boolean preserveSyncCtx)
   at System.Threading.QueueUserWorkItemCallback.System.Threading.IThreadPoolWorkItem.ExecuteWorkItem()
   at System.Threading.ThreadPoolWorkQueue.Dispatch()&lt;/ExceptionDetails&gt;&lt;/FatalServiceError&gt;
</Data>
  </EventData>
</Event>

As you can see, it’s super helpful. And by super helpful, I mean totally unhelpful. So, it’s DPM troubleshooting step number 2, remove and re-add the system protection to the protection group. Unfortunately, that didn’t help.

There’s another log entry about two entries up from the one I posted that tried to be helpful.

Log Name:      Application
Source:        Windows Error Reporting
Date:          6/1/2016 2:55:48 PM
Event ID:      1001
Task Category: None
Level:         Information
Keywords:      Classic
User:          N/A
Computer:      srvdpm2.ad.adams.edu
Description:
Fault bucket , type 0
Event Name: DPMException
Response: Not available
Cab Id: 0

Problem signature:
P1: msdpm
P2: 4.2.1205.0
P3: msdpm.exe
P4: 4.2.1205.0
P5: System.FormatException
P6: System.Text.StringBuilder.AppendFormat
P7: 9F6A23D0
P8: 
P9: 
P10: 

Attached files:
C:\Windows\Temp\tmp541A.xml
C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012 R2\DPM\DPM\Temp\MSDPMCurr.errlog.2016-06-01_20-55-45.Crash

These files may be available here:


Analysis symbol: 
Rechecking for solution: 0
Report Id: 36bbe16a-283b-11e6-80c9-2c600c6007a0
Report Status: 262144
Hashed bucket: 
Event Xml:
<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
  <System>
    <Provider Name="Windows Error Reporting" />
    <EventID Qualifiers="0">1001</EventID>
    <Level>4</Level>
    <Task>0</Task>
    <Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2016-06-01T20:55:48.000000000Z" />
    <EventRecordID>44563</EventRecordID>
    <Channel>Application</Channel>
    <Computer>srvdpm2.ad.adams.edu</Computer>
    <Security />
  </System>
  <EventData>
    <Data>
    </Data>
    <Data>0</Data>
    <Data>DPMException</Data>
    <Data>Not available</Data>
    <Data>0</Data>
    <Data>msdpm</Data>
    <Data>4.2.1205.0</Data>
    <Data>msdpm.exe</Data>
    <Data>4.2.1205.0</Data>
    <Data>System.FormatException</Data>
    <Data>System.Text.StringBuilder.AppendFormat</Data>
    <Data>9F6A23D0</Data>
    <Data>
    </Data>
    <Data>
    </Data>
    <Data>
    </Data>
    <Data>
C:\Windows\Temp\tmp541A.xml
C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012 R2\DPM\DPM\Temp\MSDPMCurr.errlog.2016-06-01_20-55-45.Crash</Data>
    <Data>
    </Data>
    <Data>
    </Data>
    <Data>0</Data>
    <Data>36bbe16a-283b-11e6-80c9-2c600c6007a0</Data>
    <Data>262144</Data>
    <Data>
    </Data>
  </EventData>
</Event>

The important bit there is the .Crash file. Well, sort of. I jumped to the end of the file as I would normally do with a log file and I saw this.

180C    280C    06/01   20:55:45.690    09  everettexception.cpp(761)       8AE83798-7A85-466A-80CA-22CA66582965    CRITICAL    Exception Message = Input string was not in a correct format. of type System.FormatException, process will terminate after generating dump

That’s what’s killing the service but it’s not super helpful. I spent a couple of hours running that down but it was a false trail. The real culprit was this message that was up a ways in the log.

180C    280C    06/01   20:54:55.393    09  AppAssert.cs(130)       8AE83798-7A85-466A-80CA-22CA66582965    WARNING value of non-nullable parameter @RecoverableObjectMachineName is null

That’s interesting. Even more interesting is the fact that Google gave me zero results when I searched for “value of non-nullable parameter @RecoverableObjectMachineName is null”. Now I’m getting somewhere … or not.

Actually, that provided a bit of a hint. For some reason, the machine name is not being set on the object. As you may be able to tell, DPM kinda expects the machine name to be set.

The solution was DPM troubleshooting step number 3, remove all of the protected items and reinstall the agent. I may or may not have sacrificed a rubber chicken at this point.

I added the system protection items back into DPM and waited. Actually, as it was the end of the day, I went home and played Star Wars Battlefront. When I came back in the morning everything was still up and running. No crashes and a successful backup. I call that a win!

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