What Is Backup?

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

What Is Backup?

The Backup utility in the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 operating systems helps you protect your data if your hard disk fails or files are accidentally erased due to hardware or storage media failure. By using Backup, you can create a duplicate copy of the data on your hard disk and then archive it on another storage device, such as a hard disk or a tape.

If the original data on your hard disk is accidentally erased or overwritten, or becomes inaccessible because of a hard-disk malfunction, you can easily restore it from the disk or archived copy.

Backup uses the Volume Shadow Copy service to create an accurate copy of the contents of your hard drive, including any open files or files that are being used by the system. Users can continue to access the system while Backup is running, without risking loss of data. For more information about the Volume Shadow Copy service, see “Volume Shadow Copy Service Technical Reference.”

Using Backup, you can:

  • Archive selected files and folders on your hard disk.

  • Restore the archived files and folders to your hard disk or any other disk you can access.

  • Make a copy of your computer’s System State data.

  • Use Automated System Recovery (ASR) to create a backup set that contains the System State data, system services, and all disks associated with the operating system components. ASR also creates a floppy boot disk that contains information about the backup, the disk configurations (including basic and dynamic volumes), and how to restore your system.

  • Make a copy of any Remote Storage data and any data stored in mounted drives.

  • Create a log of what files were backed up and when the backup was performed.

  • Make a copy of your computer’s system partition, boot partition, and the files needed to start up your system in case of a computer or network failure.

  • Schedule regular backups to keep your archived data up-to-date.

Backup also performs simple media management functions such as formatting. You can perform more advanced management tasks such as mounting and dismounting a tape or disk by using Removable Storage, which is a feature in Windows Server 2003.

The following resources contain additional information that is relevant to this section.