Back Up to a Remote Shared Folder

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

Before you attempt to back up to a remote shared folder, ensure that you meet the following requirements:

  • Install Windows Server Backup. For instructions, see Installing Windows Server Backup Tools.

  • Make sure you have access to an account that is a member of the Administrators or Backup Operators group for the computer that you are using to perform the backup and that you have write access for the computer that is hosting the remote shared folder.

  • Decide whether to back up the full server or only certain volumes.

  • If you have enabled IPsec in your domain and you want to use a remote shared folder to save your backup, you should save the backup to a shared folder on an IPsec boundary computer. Otherwise, you will not be able to access the shared folder when using a Windows Setup disc to access the Windows Recovery Environment.

After the backup runs, monitor the status using the Messages and Status sections of the snap-in start page.


If you save a backup to a remote shared folder, that backup will be overwritten if you use the same folder to back up the same computer again. In addition, if the backup operation fails, you may end up with no backup because the older backup will be overwritten, but the newer backup will not be usable. You can avoid this by creating subfolders in the remote shared folder to organize your backups. If you do this, the subfolders will need twice the space as the parent folder.

To create a manual backup and save it to a remote shared folder

  1. Click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Windows Server Backup.

  2. From the Actions pane of the snap-in default page, under Windows Server Backup, click Backup Once. This opens the Backup Once Wizard.

  3. On the Backup options page, do one of the following, and then click Next:

    • Click The same options that you used in the Backup Schedule Wizard for scheduled backups.


If you choose this option, you will not be able to save your backup to a remote shared folder because scheduled backups are saved to a hard disk only.

  - Click **Different options**.
  1. On the Select backup configuration page, do one of the following, and then click Next:

    • Click Full server to back up all volumes on the server.

    • Click Custom to back up just certain volumes, and then click Next. Then, on the Select backup items page, select the check boxes for the volumes that you want to back up.


Volumes that contain operating system components or applications are included in the backup by default. To exclude them, clear the Enable system recovery check box.
You cannot use Windows Server Backup to back up volumes that are more than 2043 GB.

  1. On the Specify destination type page, click Remote shared folder, and then click Next.

  2. On the Specify remote folder page, type the path to the folder. In this folder, a folder named WindowsImageBackup will be created. The backup that you create will be saved at: \\<RemoteServer>\<SharedFolderPath>\WindowsImageBackup\<ComputerBackedUp>.

  3. Also on the Specify remote folder page, do one of the following:

    • Click Do not inherit if you want the backup to be accessible only for the user credentials used to create the backup, and then click Next. Type a user name and password for a user account that has write permissions on the computer that is hosting the remote folder, and then click OK.

    • Click Inherit if you want the backup to be accessible to everyone who has access to the remote shared folder, and then click Next.


If you already have a backup stored at this location, you will receive a warning that the backup will be overwritten. If you do not want this to happen, click Cancel and then provide a different shared folder.

  1. On the Specify advanced option page, indicate whether you want to create a copy or full Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) backup. You should click VSS full backup if you are sure you are not using another product to create backups. Otherwise, you should click VSS copy backup. Click Next.


If you choose VSS full backup, the application log files may be overwritten or truncated.

  1. On the Confirmation page, review the details, and then click Backup. The wizard prepares the backup set and creates the backup.

  2. On the Backup progress page, you can view the status of the backup.

Additional considerations

  • To create a single backup using Windows Server Backup, you must be a member of the Backup Operators or Administrators group, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. As a security best practice, consider using Run as to perform this procedure.

Additional references