Tutorial: Return Azure Data Box and verify data upload to Azure

Return Data Box and verify data upload to Azure

This tutorial describes how to return Azure Data Box and verify the data uploaded to Azure.

In this tutorial, you will learn about topics such as:

  • Prerequisites
  • Prepare to ship
  • Ship Data Box to Microsoft
  • Verify data upload to Azure
  • Erasure of data from Data Box


Before you begin, make sure:

  • You've have completed the Tutorial: Copy data to Azure Data Box and verify.
  • Copy jobs are complete and there are no errors on the Connect and copy page. Prepare to ship can't run if copy jobs are in progress or there are errors in the Connect and copy page.

Prepare to ship

Final step is to prepare the device to ship. In this step, all the device shares are taken offline. The shares cannot be accessed once you start this process.


Prepare to ship is required as it flags data that does not conform to Azure naming conventions. This step prevents potential data upload failures due to non-conforming data.

  1. Go to Prepare to ship and click Start preparation. By default, checksums are computed while data is being copied. Prepare to ship completes the checksum computation and creates the list of files ( -BOM files). The checksum computation can take hours to days depending upon the size of your data.

    Prepare to ship 1

    If for any reason you want to stop the device preparation, click Stop preparation. You can resume the prepare to ship later.

    Prepare to ship 2

  2. The prepare to ship starts and the device shares go offline. The device status updates to Ready to ship and the device is locked once the device preparation is complete.

    Prepare to ship 3

    If you want to copy more data to the device, you can unlock the device, copy more data, and run prepare to ship again.

    If there are errors in this step, the status updates to Scan completed with errors. Unlock the device and go to Connect and copy page, download the issues list, and resolve the errors.

    Prepare to ship 4

    If you have enabled the copy to archive option and you have not copied data into the Block Blob (Archive) shares, make sure to do so to prevent the following error:

    Screenshot of no data archive error.

    After the errors are resolved, run Prepare to ship.

  3. After the prepare to ship is successfully complete (with no errors), follow these steps:

    1. Make a note of the completion reference number. Depending on the country in which you are, this number may be required for different operations.

    2. Download the list of files (also known as the manifest) copied in this process. You can later use this list to verify the files uploaded to Azure. For more information, see Inspect BOM files during Prepare to ship.

      Prepare to ship 5

    3. Select and download the shipping instructions for the device. The shipping instructions are different depending on the country in which you are located.

    4. If the E-ink is not displaying the shipping label, you can download the reverse shipment label here.

  4. Shut down the device. Go to Shut down or restart page and click Shut down. When prompted for confirmation, click OK to continue.

  5. Remove the cables. The next step is to ship the device to Microsoft.

After the data copy is complete, you prepare and ship the device. When the device reaches Azure datacenter, data is automatically uploaded to Azure.

Prepare to ship

Before you prepare to ship, make sure that copy jobs are complete.

  1. Go to Prepare to ship page in the local web UI and start the ship preparation.
  2. Turn off the device from the local web UI. Remove the cables from the device.

The next steps are determined by where you're returning the device.

Ship Data Box back

Make sure the data copy to the device completed and the Prepare to ship run was successful.

Based on the region where you're shipping the device, the procedure is different. In many countries/regions, you can use Microsoft managed shipping or self-managed shipping.

Microsoft managed shipping

Follow the guidelines for the region you're shipping from if you're using Microsoft managed shipping.

Take the following steps if returning the device in US or Canada.

  1. Make sure that the device is powered off and cables are removed.

  2. Spool and securely place the power cord that was provided with device in the back of the device.

  3. Ensure that the shipping label is displayed on the E-ink display and schedule a pickup with your carrier. If the label is damaged or lost or not displayed on the E-ink display, contact Microsoft Support. If the Support suggests, then you can go to Overview > Download shipping label in the Azure portal. Download the shipping label and affix on the device.

  4. Schedule a pickup with UPS if returning the device. To schedule a pickup:

    • Call the local UPS (country/region-specific toll free number).
    • In your call, quote the reverse shipment tracking number as shown in the E-ink display or your printed label. If you don't quote the tracking number, UPS will require an additional charge during pickup.
    • If any issues come up while you're scheduling a pickup, or you're asked to pay additional fees, contact Azure Data Box Operations. Send email to adbops@microsoft.com.

    Instead of scheduling the pickup, you can also drop off the Data Box at the nearest drop-off location.

  5. Once the Data Box is picked up and scanned by your carrier, the order status in the portal updates to Picked up. A tracking ID is also displayed.

Self-managed shipping

Self-managed shipping is only available in the following regions:

Region Region Region Region Region
US Government United Kingdom Western Europe Japan Singapore
South Korea India South Africa Australia Brazil

Self-managed shipping is available as an option when you Order Azure Data Box.

If you selected self-managed shipping when you created your order, follow these instructions. For detailed steps, see Use self-managed shipping.

  1. Write down the Authorization code that's shown on the Prepare to Ship page of the local web UI for the Data Box after the step completes successfully.

  2. Power off the device and remove the cables. Spool and securely place the power cord that was provided with the device at the back of the device.

  3. When you're ready to return the device, send an email to the Azure Data Box Operations team using the template below.

    To: adbops@microsoft.com
    Subject: Request for Azure Data Box drop-off for order: 'orderName'
        1. Order name  
        2. Authorization code available after Prepare to Ship has completed [Yes/No]  
        3. Contact name of the person dropping off. You will need to display a government-approved ID during the drop off.


Verify data upload to Azure

  1. When the Data Box device is connected to the Azure datacenter network, the data upload to Azure starts automatically.

  2. Azure Data Box service notifies you that the data copy is complete via the Azure portal.

    1. Check error logs for any failures and take appropriate actions.
    2. Verify that your data is in the storage account(s) before you delete it from the source.

Erasure of data from Data Box

Once the upload to Azure is complete, the Data Box erases the data on its disks as per the NIST SP 800-88 Revision 1 guidelines.

Verify data upload to Azure

When Microsoft receives and scans the device, order status is updated to Received. The device then undergoes physical verification for damage or signs of tampering.

After the verification is complete, the Data Box is connected to the network in the Azure datacenter. The data copy starts automatically. Depending upon the data size, the copy operation may take a few hours to days to complete. You can monitor the copy job progress in the portal.

Review copy errors from upload

When files fail to upload because of an non-retryable error, you're notified to review the errors before proceeding. The errors are listed in the data copy log.

You can't fix these errors. The upload has completed with errors. The notification lets you know about any configuration issues you need to fix before you try another upload via network transfer or a new import order. For guidance, see Review copy errors in uploads from Azure Data Box and Azure Data Box Heavy devices.

When you confirm that you've reviewed the errors and are ready to proceed, the data will be secure erased from the device. The order is completed automatically after 14 days. By acting on the notification, you can move things along more quickly.

To review non-retryable errors and proceed with your order, do the following:

  1. Open your order in the Azure portal.

    If any non-retryable errors prevented files from uploading, you'll see the following notification. The current order status will be Data copy completed with errors. Device pending data erasure.

    Notification for copy errors during an upload in the Azure portal

    Make a note of the COPY LOG PATH in DATA COPY DETAILS. You'll review the errors in the data copy log.


    If firewall rules are set on the storage account for your Data Box, you might not be able to access copy logs from the Azure portal by using COPY LOG PATH on the Overview pane. To access the logs, either modify the storage firewall settings to allow the current system, or use a system which is in the firewall network.

  2. Select Confirm device erasure to open a review panel.

    Review and proceed panel for upload errors in the Azure portal

  3. Review the errors in the data copy log using the copy log path that you made a note of earlier. If you need to, you can select Close to display the path again.

    You'll need to fix any configuration issues before you try another upload via a network transfer or a new import order.

  4. After you review the errors, select the check box to acknowledge that you're ready to proceed with data erasure. Then select Proceed.

    Confirm that you are ready to proceed with data erasure

    After the data is secure erased from the device, the order status is updated to Copy completed with errors.

    Status display for a Data Box import order that completed with errors

    If you don't take any action, the order completes automatically after 14 days.

Verify data in completed upload

Once the data upload is complete, order status updates to Completed.

Verify that your data is uploaded to Azure before you delete it from the source. Your data can be in:

  • Your Azure Storage account(s). When you copy the data to Data Box, the data is uploaded to one of the following paths in your Azure Storage account:

    • For block blobs and page blobs: https://<storage_account_name>.blob.core.windows.net/<containername>/files/a.txt

    • For Azure Files: https://<storage_account_name>.file.core.windows.net/<sharename>/files/a.txt

      Alternatively, you could go to your Azure storage account in Azure portal and navigate from there.

  • Your managed disk resource group(s). When creating managed disks, the VHDs are uploaded as page blobs and then converted to managed disks. The managed disks are attached to the resource groups specified at the time of order creation.

    • If your copy to managed disks in Azure was successful, you can go to the Order details in the Azure portal and make a note of the resource groups specified for managed disks.

      Identify managed disk resource groups

      Go to the noted resource group and locate your managed disks.

      Managed disk attached to resource groups

    • If you copied a VHDX or a dynamic or differencing VHD, the VHDX or VHD is uploaded to the staging storage account as a page blob, but the conversion of the VHD to a managed disk will fail. Go to your staging Storage account > Blobs, and select the appropriate container - Standard SSD, Standard HDD, or Premium SSD. The VHDs are uploaded as page blobs in your staging storage account and accrue charges.

Erasure of data from Data Box

Once the upload to Azure is complete, the Data Box erases the data on its disks as per the NIST SP 800-88 Revision 1 guidelines.

Next steps

In this tutorial, you learned about Azure Data Box topics such as:

  • Prerequisites
  • Prepare to ship
  • Ship Data Box to Microsoft
  • Verify data upload to Azure
  • Erasure of data from Data Box

Advance to the following article to learn how to manage Data Box via the local web UI.