Installing Windows Server Backup

Despite the Windows Server Backup being listed in Administrative Tools, the Windows Server Backup feature will still need to be installed. The easiest way to install Windows Backup tools is by using Add Features in the Server Manager. For Windows Server Core installations, installing with PowerShell is the preferred method.

Installing Windows Server Backup with Server Manager

On every edition of Windows Server 2008 R2, except for Server Core installations, the Windows Server Backup feature can be installed using Server Manager. To install the Windows Server Backup feature, perform the following steps:

  1. Log on to  Windows Server 2008 using an account with admin privileges.
  2. Hit Start, click All Programs, then click Administrative Tools, and select the Server Manager.
  3. On the tree panel, select the node named Features.
  4. Select  Add Features link in the tasks panel.
  5. After the Add Features Wizard has opened,  select the plus sign beside Windows Server Backup Features. Check both boxes to make sure that the commandline tools are also installed. Click Next to continue.
  6. Review the summary on the Confirm Installation Selections page and then click Install.
  7. The installation has now been performed, on the Installation Results page review the installation results, and then click Close.

Installing Windows Server Backup with Windows PowerShell Server Manager

Often, admins may elect to use  PowerShell  to manage a server and for installing roles, role services, or other features. When a feature or role is installed using PowerShell ServerManager module, all features, role services, and role dependencies are added as well. To install Windows Server Backup features, including  Windows Server Backup PowerShell cmdlets with  PowerShell, follow the below steps:

  1. Log on to  Windows Server 2008 using an account with admin privileges.
  2. Hit Start, click All Programs, then click Accessories, and click the PowerShell folder to display the application shortcuts.
  3. Right-click PowerShell and then select Run As Administrator, if the User Account Control window opens, just click Continue to open PowerShell.
  4. Type cd \ and hit Enter.
  5. Type in Import-Module ServerManager and hit Enter.
  6. Type in Add-WindowsFeature Backup-Tools and hit Enter. Once the installation has complete, the results will shown  in the window.
  7. Type in Get-WindowsFeature |More and hit Enter to generate a listing of the installed roles, role services, as well as features. Review the list to make sure that both the Windows Server Backup and Windows Server Backup command-line tools have been installed.
  8. Type in  exit in the PowerShell window and hit Enter.

Installing Windows Server Backup on Server Core Installations

On a Windows  Server Core installation, if the Windows Server Backup feature isn’t already installed, it may be installed by following the below steps:

  1. Log on to  Windows Server Core using an account with admin privileges.
  2. In Command Prompt  type in cd \ and hit Enter.
  3. Type Start /w ocsetup.exe WindowsServerBackup and hit Enter.
  4. Log on to a different Windows Server Enterprise Edition system with an admin account on the local system as well as on the Windows Server Core system (assuming  both systems are part of the same domain and also that the Windows  Server Core system is able to access other resources on the network from the Windows Server Core system).
  5. Select Start > All Programs > Administrative Tools > Windows Server Backup.
  6. In the Actions panel, select Connect to Another Computer and the Computer Chooser window will open.
  7. Select  Another Computer, type the name of the Windows Server Core system, and hit OK.
  8. If you are able to connect to the Windows Server Core system, the installation will have been successful. If the connection should fail, either the Windows Server Core firewall is blocking  the connection or Windows Server Backup has not been successfully installed.

Hyper-V Server Backup

Hyper-V complicates the backup process on a Windows Server 2008 R2 server. The major issue is whether to backup the host server which runs Hyper-V or backup the VMs (virtual machines) individually. Both options have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Hyper-V Host Server Backup

If you elect to backup the Hyper-V host server, it is normally possible  to include the VMs in the backups, which therefore protects the entire system with a single process. The Hyper-V VSS  (Volume Shadow Copy Service) Writer  makes it possible to backup VMs from the host system. If you wish to use Windows Server Backup for an entire Hyper-V server and its VMs, you will need to register the Hyper-V VSS Writer with the backup software by adding the below registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WindowsServerBackup\Application Support\{66841CD4-6DED-4F4B-8F17-FD23F8DDC3DE}

Subsequently, in the registry key, you need to  create a String Value with the below settings:

  • Name: Application Identifier
  • Type: REG_SZ
  • Value: Hyper-V


Windows Server 2008 R2 Backup and Restore

Every admin should make backups. That’s just a fact. But what backup software should we use? Many administrators look for a third-party backup solution, however Windows Server ships with a solid and built-in solution – Windows Server Backup (the entirely new face of NTBackup).

To install backup functionality in Windows Server 2008 R2, go to Server Manager – Features, and select Windows Server Backup Features with additional components – Windows Server Backup (core files for backup functionality) and Command-Line tools (for Powershell support scripts).

Select features screen – select all the Windows Server Backup features available.

Screen indicating successfull installation

After the installation of Backup features we can access them through the Start , in Administrative Tools under “Windows Server Backup”.

Inside the Windows Server Backup Management console, we can create a backup schedule, perform one-time backup, recover data that was previously configured for a backup, or configure performance settings.

Windows Server Backup Console

In this walk-through we will create a scheduled job for backing up an entire operating system (including the registry), so we’ll go ahead and click on Backup Schedule option.

Note If you only wish to backup SQL Server please take a look at the SQL Server Backup Script

During the backup schedule plan creation, we can select what to backup (single files from our server, system state, folders, volumes or the entire server), as well as when and how often backups should occur, and finally where to store the backups. Before Windows Server 2008 R2, we could only keep our backups on a dedicated volume, which was a serious maintenance cost for system administrators who had become accustomed to the NTBackup tool from Windows Server 2003, which allowed backups to any storage (including local folders).

During the setup of a Backup Schedule job, we will have to decide what to backup. We can obviously select individual volumes, folders or files, but since Windows Server 2008 R2 we also have additional backup options: