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Ensure data is available for Remote Storage Services

Remote Storage Services will move files automatically as you've instructed it to, but you need to make sure the data is available. This tip explains how.

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Remote Storage Services (RSS), the hierarchical storage management system built into Windows servers, automatically moves files to tape or other lower-priority storage according to policies you set.

RSS depends on the integrity and availability of the data moved to remote storage. Microsoft recommends taking the following steps to ensure the data is available:

  • Back up local volumes. RSS uses junction points at the files' original locations in the local volumes that are still on the server to locate the files on the tape or other remote storage device. If those junction points are corrupted or lost, the files are unrecoverable. The local volumes need to be backed up regularly, especially the database in the %System Root%\System32\RemoteStorage folder.

  • Validate the local volumes. Regularly validate the local volumes to make sure they point to the correct tapes and files.

  • Keep multiple copies of the remote storage tapes or other media. To make sure the files are available when you need them, keep at least two copies of the storage media containing the RSS files.

  • Store copies off site. RSS remote files are typically used for archival storage. Like all archival media, copies of the RSS media must be kept off site to prevent their destruction in the event of a site-wide disaster.

To help manage RSS, Microsoft provides a pair of remote services tools: the Remote Storage Diagnostic Tool (Rsdiag.exe) and the File Information Tool (Rsdir.exe). You can use these tools to check the integrity of the RSS system.

Microsoft provides a number of technical notes and articles on RSS in the Knowledgebase at, including information on installing RSS.

Fast Guide: Remote Storage Service

  Remote Storage Services troubleshooting tips
  Reconfiguring Remote Storage Services for new media types
  Ensure data is available for Remote Storage Services
  Make the most of Remote Storage Service in Windows 2003
  Restore Remote Storage Service database in WinServer 2003
  Restoring the Remote Storage Service database

Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80 KB floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last twenty years, Cook has been a freelance writer specializing in storage and other computer issues.

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