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Backing up SYS using built-in standard backup tool and scheduler RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi all. As a new user I've just managed to get all my data migrated into WHS and now starting to tweak the bells and whistles.

    Do the more experienced users here see a potential problem down the line with this approach to backing up my install:

    1 - Goal is to backup the operating system of the SERVER so if I mess it up, I can restore it. Server has around 7TB of space, with 5TB occupied.

    2 - I've set up the standard windows "backup" (yes, ntbackup.exe) utility to back up ONLY my SYS c: drive into an external USB drive which is not part of the storage pool. I de-selected the option to backup "mounted drives" so it won't go backing up everything in my shared folders, selected only my C: drive and "system state" and used the built-in scheduler to schedule the backups incrementally, daily. The first backup just ran and took about 15 minutes to backup some 6 gigs.

    3 - The restore scenarios are three:
    A- Disk failure. Recovery steps are: Disconnect all disks, Replace system disk, reinstall OS on new system disk, Restore backup, reconnect disks, rebuild.
    B- Irrecoverable OS Failure: Disconnect disks, reinstall OS, restore backup, reconnect disks, rebuild
    C- Major software configuration problem (ie: stubborn rootkit or other): Restore backup to point in time before problem.

    Pitfalls? Ideas?

    BTW... Any better ways of doing this? I have a feeling ntbackup will silently crash when it runs out of disk space in a few months.

    Thanks in advance!
    Thursday, July 30, 2009 8:39 PM

Answers

  • With Windows Home Server, backing up your operating system is not supported, and restoring it has a fairly high probability of causing issues, either immediately or down the road. 

    Regarding your restore scenarios, the supported recovery process in all cases is to perform a server reinstallation, with all your data disks connected. Windows Home Server will, if you've had to replace the system disk due to hardware failure, rebuild the primary data partition. You will need to make sure you supply appropriate storage drivers at the hardware detection screen if you need drivers for one or more storage disks to be visible, and (if your system disk requires drivers to be seen) you'll need to supply drivers a second time on floppy, at the "Press F6" prompt just after the first reboot. You've likely already gone through the driver supply routine with your installation once...

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, July 30, 2009 9:18 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • With Windows Home Server, backing up your operating system is not supported, and restoring it has a fairly high probability of causing issues, either immediately or down the road. 

    Regarding your restore scenarios, the supported recovery process in all cases is to perform a server reinstallation, with all your data disks connected. Windows Home Server will, if you've had to replace the system disk due to hardware failure, rebuild the primary data partition. You will need to make sure you supply appropriate storage drivers at the hardware detection screen if you need drivers for one or more storage disks to be visible, and (if your system disk requires drivers to be seen) you'll need to supply drivers a second time on floppy, at the "Press F6" prompt just after the first reboot. You've likely already gone through the driver supply routine with your installation once...

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, July 30, 2009 9:18 PM
    Moderator
  • Thank you for the response. I'm getting the feelign this isn't as easy as it looks. Here's hoping for trouble-free operation.

    Now that you mentioned, I actually had to create a custom install DVD using nlite to put the drivers into it - for some reason my floppy drive doesn't work and there isn't one miles around. This was a ridiculously weak point of the install - the graphical interface saw the disks and even took in the drivers from a USB key, but then the text-mode installer that came after fell flat on its face.

    Cheers!
    Thursday, July 30, 2009 10:19 PM