Enhanced Windows Server 2008 Backup Utility

Windows Server 2008  backup utility is completely different from the backup program included with Windows Server 2003. Unlike previous versions, the new utility is designed primarily to back up entire volumes to an external hard disk drive or to an UNC path. The backup utility also uses a different format for its backup files; it uses the Microsoft Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) format, which makes the files accessible to Hyper-V, Virtual PC, and the Complete PC backup utility. Windows Server 2008 backup utility allows you to backup entire drive or selected files or folder. You can perform complete backup or incremental backup. In addition to individual file and folder selection, the backup utility also enables you to create exclusions. An exclusion is a filter that prevents a job from backing up specified files or file types in the selected targets. There are three types of backup destination available in windows backup utility. these are dedicated hard disk drive, volume and UNC path.

System State and Bare Metal Backup

The System State includes the Windows Registry, the Active Directory database if the computer is a domain controller and a number of files that are locked open by the operating system. New windows backup utility enables you to individually select the System State element and a Bare Metal Recovery element. When you select bare metal backup, it will backup system partition and system state also. It will backup in .vhd format. 

To recover an entire computer, you connect your external hard drive containing the backup to the new computer and boot from the Windows Server 2008 R2 installation disk. Select Repair Your Computer in the Windows Setup Wizard>System Recovery Options>Restore Your Computer Using A System Image that you created earlier. Alternatively, you can import that .vhd file into Hyper-v if you desire to decommission physical machine.

Hyper-v Host Backup

To use Windows Server Backup to protect an entire Hyper-V server and its VMs, you must register the VSS Writer with the backup software by creating the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WindowsServerBackup\
Application Support\{66841CD4-6DED-4F4B-8F17-FD23F8DDC3DE}

Right click>Create String value.




Application Identifier



With this registry settings, it will backup everything other then virtual network, physical storage attach to VM, iSCSI storage when initiator running inside VM.

How to Screenshots:


To schedule a backup, open Windows Server Backup>click on backup schedule>follow the screen as shown below.

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Here, you can specify destination of backup. I am showing UNC path and disk drive.

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Provide domain credential for the safety of backed up data.


You can setup backup performance before taking a backup or scheduling a backup task.


To create backup once, click on backup once and follow the screenshots.

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Here, you can choose Full (bare metal, disk drive) or custom (files or folders) backup. bare metal will create a .vhd file for Hyper-v.

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About Raihan Al-Beruni

My Name is Raihan Al-Beruni. I am working as an Infrastructure Architect in Data Center Technologies in Perth, Western Australia. I have been working on Microsoft technologies for more than 15 years. Other than Microsoft technologies I also work on Citrix validated solution and VMware data center virtualization technologies. I have a Masters degree in E-Commerce. I am certified in Microsoft, VMware, ITIL and EMC. My core focus is on cloud technologies. In my blog I share my knowledge and experience to enrich information technology community as a whole. I hope my contribution through this blog will help someone who wants more information on data center technologies.
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