Backing Up Your Server

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

You can use Windows Server Backup to protect your operating system, volumes, files, and application data. Backups can be saved to single or multiple disks, DVDs, removable media, or remote shared folders. They can be scheduled to run automatically or manually.

You can create a backup using the Backup Schedule Wizard to enable backups to be run on a regular schedule or using the Backup Once Wizard to run a one-time backup. You can access both of these wizards from the Windows Server Backup Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in. You can also create regular or one-time backups using the Wbadmin command.

This section contains instructions to help you do the following:

Choosing volumes to back up

As part of creating a backup, you will need to specify the volumes that you want to include. The volumes you select will impact what you can recover.

Note

You cannot use Windows Server Backup to back up volumes that are more than 2043 GB.

You have the following options:

Volume options Recovery options

Full server (all volumes)

Back up all volumes if you want to be able to recover the full server—all the files, data, applications, and the system state. We recommend this option.

Critical volumes

Back up just critical volumes (volumes containing operating system files) if you only want to be able to recover the operating system or system state.

Noncritical volumes

Back up just individual volumes if you only want to be able to recover files, applications, or data from that volume.

Choosing a storage location

You will also need to specify a location to store the backups that you create. Depending on the type of storage you specify, you should be aware of the following issues:

Storage type Details

Shared folder

If you store your backup in a remote shared folder, your backup will be overwritten each time you create a new backup. Do not choose this option if you want to store a series of backups.

Also, if you create a backup to a shared folder that already contains a backup, if the backup process fails, you might be left without any backups. To work around this, you can create subfolders in the shared folder to store your backups.

DVD, other optical media, or removable media

If you store your backup on optical or removable media, you can only recover entire volumes, not applications or individual files. In addition, backing up to media that has less than 1 GB of free space is not supported.

Local hard disk

If you store your backup on an internal hard disk, you can:

  • Recover files, folders, applications, and volumes.

  • Perform system state and operating system recoveries if the backup used contains all the critical volumes.

However, you cannot perform an operating system recovery if the backup is on the same physical disk as one or more critical volumes. .

Also, the local disk you choose will be dedicated for storing your scheduled backups and will not be visible in Windows Explorer.

External hard disk

If you store your backup on an external hard disk, you can:

  • Recover files, folders, applications, and volumes.

  • Perform system state and operating system recoveries if the backup used contains all the critical volumes.

  • More easily move backups offsite for disaster protection.

If you store your scheduled backups on an external hard disk, the disk will be dedicated for storing your backups and will not be visible in Windows Explorer. This will enable users to move disks offsite for disaster protection and ensure backup integrity.

Important

If you are using BitLocker Drive Encryption to protect your server, if possible, make sure that the storage location you choose is also protected with BitLocker Drive Encryption. This will not happen automatically—it must be enabled explicitly. For instructions, see the Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption Step-by-Step Guide (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=93107).

Additional considerations

  • To use 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