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: