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How do you backup the WHS itself? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have been very impressed with WHS's ability to backup my machines.  I had to do a restore on a 2003 Server and it worked perfectly.  What does not seem to be covered here is the backup of the actual WHS itself.

     

    The reason I ask this is because I have 3 drives in my machine - 1 PATA (boot drive) and 2 SATA.  When I first installed WHS on this box, I wanted to do it using just the SATA drives.  However, I could not get the installer to recognize the SATA drives for the install and had to add them afterwards. 

     

    I suspect that if I lose my PATA boot drive, I will lose everything.  What should I do?

    Sunday, October 21, 2007 8:09 PM

All replies

  • The short answer, Stu, is that you don't, at this time. There are a couple of add-ins that people are working on to allow you to back a small amount of content up, but there's nothing to back up anything stored on the system drive. The scenario of a failed boot drive would normally just have you installing a new drive, then reinstalling WHS in "server reinstallation mode", which would preserve your files.

    If your boot drive fails and for some reason you don't want to do a server reinstallation, though, you can still get to the data on the other drives by removing them from the server and attaching them to another PC. And remember that your files are protected against the loss of any single drive as long as you have duplication turned on for all shares. So you won't lose anything in the shares no matter which drive fails.
    Sunday, October 21, 2007 8:18 PM
    Moderator
  • FairfaxStu -

     

    Just so you know, if you have at least two drives in your system AND have folder duplication turned on then your data is safe if a drive should fail as you just put in a new drive and go.  It really is that simple!

     

    Now onto your question about WHS and how to back up the SYS volume (the boot paritition).  In the "textbook example" of what you would do would be to pull out the bad SYS drive, plop another in, do a re-install and re-create your users and shares.  Your data WOULD be protected in this case (again, as long as folder duplication is turned on).  It's a little bit of work, but not too encompassing.

     

    So, in other words, in your case, if you lost your PATA drive you would put another one in and do the re-install. 

     

    There are third parties working on backup solutions for WHS to backup the SYS volume and to provide off-server backups.  The most intriguing one I've seen is JungleDisk, which will let you backup your data to Amazon's S3 servers for true off-site backups at a low cost.

     

    I hope this helped; let us know if there are any other questions.

    Sunday, October 21, 2007 8:18 PM
  • Currently you can not backup the server itself. However if you lose your boot drive you aren't sunk. All you would need to do is replace that failed drive with a new drive, boot from the installation DVD, and then you will be offered the ability to Reinstall the OS, and then WHS will rebuild the reparse points, shares, and then you will have to reinstall the connector on the clients, and re-add users, and any other customizations.

    Sunday, October 21, 2007 8:24 PM
    Moderator
  •  Tom Ziegmann wrote:

    Currently you can not backup the server itself. However if you lose your boot drive you aren't sunk. All you would need to do is replace that failed drive with a new drive, boot from the installation DVD, and then you will be offered the ability to Reinstall the OS, and then WHS will rebuild the reparse points, shares, and then you will have to reinstall the connector on the clients, and re-add users, and any other customizations.

     

    Wow!  The restoration process you detail is certainly a non-trivial exercise.  In addition, it sounds like I may lose non-duplicated folders.  Is my understanding correct?

     

    -Stu

    Sunday, October 21, 2007 9:17 PM
  • Well as long as you have more than one drive, and you have folder duplication enabled then it is actually a very trivial excerise. All you do is pop the DVD in, click a few things and thats it. You have to recreate your user accounts and re-permission your folders, but that shouldnt take very long.

     

    Now, that being said, if you only have a single drive, you cant use folder duplication and if your one and only hard drive fails you are screwed :-) Always have more than one drive!

     

    Andrew

     

    Sunday, October 21, 2007 9:24 PM
    Moderator
  •  FairfaxStu wrote:
    Wow!  The restoration process you detail is certainly a non-trivial exercise.

     

    Actually it is pretty simple.  You just install the drive and let WHS do the work.

     

     FairfaxStu wrote:
    In addition, it sounds like I may lose non-duplicated folders.  Is my understanding correct?

     

    -Stu

     

    Of course.  If you have the data stored on only one drive (meaning Folder Duplication not turned on) and that drive fails, you will lose whatever data is on that drive.  If you want to protect all of your files, you need to turn on Folder Duplication on all of your shares.

    Sunday, October 21, 2007 9:26 PM
    Moderator
  •  kariya21 wrote:

    Of course.  If you have the data stored on only one drive (meaning Folder Duplication not turned on) and that drive fails, you will lose whatever data is on that drive.  If you want to protect all of your files, you need to turn on Folder Duplication on all of your shares.

     

    That makes perfect sense.  But I am still missing something.  To get more detailed, I have 3 total drives 2-500G SATA, and 1-75G PATA, my boot drive.  If I loose the boot drive, I can just replace it and do a reinstall from the DVD.  After that all but my non-duplicated files will be available including machine settings?

     

    I am just trying to figure out a backup strategy here.

     

    -Stu

    Monday, October 22, 2007 12:20 AM
  • If there are no hickup's and you have 3 or more drives and duplication turned for all shares you will be reaonably safe for all the files you copied onto your shares. If you have only two drives you will almost certainly lose data even with duplication turned on for all shares. If the system drive fails when it's still balancing (moving non-system data off the D-drive to the other drives) you are also likely to lose data. If you fry more then one disk including system disk you will not be able to recover!!

     

    Also, reinstall is not always a trivial process as suggested above. This is only true for a virgin system. In all other cases you will have to:

     

    1. add and configure all users

    2. add client systems

    3. re-install all add-inns

    4. install any custom software you had installed, that is if you are still able to find the necessary license keys

    5. redo all other customizations you did to the system.

    6. be very patient if your WHS box contains a large amount of data, from what I've read here reinstall may even take more then one day, and all that time you will not know whether it will be OK and when it will finish.

     

    IMHO WHS should have both proper backup option and WXP like restorepoints. As long as it doesn't have these features I strongly advise you not to rely on WHS as your only backup solution

    Monday, October 22, 2007 1:01 AM
    Moderator
  • I think something like Jungle Disk (http://www.jungledisk.com) could be a neat match.

     

    Basically, Jungle Disk lets you use Amazon's S3 service as a personal storage locker -- and they're working on a version specifically for WHS, see http://www.jungledisk.com/whs.shtml

     

    -Scott

    Monday, October 22, 2007 1:17 AM
  •  brubber wrote:

    If there are no hickup's and you have 3 or more drives and duplication turned for all shares you will be reaonably safe for all the files you copied onto your shares. If you have only two drives you will almost certainly lose data even with duplication turned on for all shares.

     

    No, you won't lose any data stored on the server with Duplication turned on for all shares (providing it wasn't balancing at the time) since no matter which drive fails, all of your files will be on the other drive.  Client backups, quite possibly.  But not data.

     

     brubber wrote:
    If the system drive fails when it's still balancing (moving non-system data off the D-drive to the other drives) you are also likely to lose data. If you fry more then one disk including system disk you will not be able to recover!!

     

    Also, reinstall is not always a trivial process as suggested above. This is only true for a virgin system. In all other cases you will have to:

     

    1. add and configure all users

    2. add client systems

    3. re-install all add-inns

    4. install any custom software you had installed, that is if you are still able to find the necessary license keys

    5. redo all other customizations you did to the system.

    6. be very patient if your WHS box contains a large amount of data, from what I've read here reinstall may even take more then one day, and all that time you will not know whether it will be OK and when it will finish.

     

    IMHO WHS should have both proper backup option and WXP like restorepoints. As long as it doesn't have these features I strongly advise you not to rely on WHS as your only backup solution

    Monday, October 22, 2007 1:20 AM
    Moderator
  •  FairfaxStu wrote:
    That makes perfect sense.  But I am still missing something.  To get more detailed, I have 3 total drives 2-500G SATA, and 1-75G PATA, my boot drive.  If I loose the boot drive, I can just replace it and do a reinstall from the DVD.

     

    Correct (although you may need to provide drivers for SATA cards/hard drives during the install as well).

     

     FairfaxStu wrote:
    After that all but my non-duplicated files will be available including machine settings?

     

    All duplicated files will be available (after a potential long time rebuilding).  Also, depending on how much free space you had at the time of the failure (meaning where the actual files were stored on the server), you may get none/some/all of the non-duplicated files back as well.  As for your machine settings, no, those will be gone.

     

     FairfaxStu wrote:
    I am just trying to figure out a backup strategy here.

     

    -Stu

    Monday, October 22, 2007 1:24 AM
    Moderator
  •  kariya21 wrote:
    No, you won't lose any data stored on the server with Duplication turned on for all shares (providing it wasn't balancing at the time) since no matter which drive fails, all of your files will be on the other drive.  Client backups, quite possibly; But not data
    For me client backups are the most important data. Please don't tell users that they would not lose data on such occasions. Just tell them they are likely to lose client backup data but that they will probably not lose data on duplicated shares, provided that all data has been moved off the "landing zone".

    With exisiting data corruption issues WHS is effectively useless as a network share for storage and daily access of your files. At the moment I find it useful only to store large chunks of data that I will probably never use again and to do daily client backups (next to my normal client backups) because it's no extra work at all to do these WHS backups and because restoring complete system from WHS client backup is the BEST restore experience I ever had (and I've had a few). I really wish I had an easy and reliable way to backup the client backups!

    Monday, October 22, 2007 8:09 AM
    Moderator
  •  turnstyle wrote:

    I think something like Jungle Disk (http://www.jungledisk.com) could be a neat match.

     

    Basically, Jungle Disk lets you use Amazon's S3 service as a personal storage locker -- and they're working on a version specifically for WHS, see http://www.jungledisk.com/whs.shtml

     

    -Scott



    Yes and no.  To use an FTP service as a primary backup, as it pertains to this thread, would defeat the purpose of having WHS. Especially for what these services charge per GB.

    Now, as for a remote, "off site" or a third redundant back up of sensitive files in case of fire or theft....use something like Jungle Disk or use your existing web server host and the extra drive space for a remote backup via FTP.  Heck, even if you don't have a web site to run....at $6.00 a month and 300 gb of space....the solution I use is a great solution overall for a remote backup. Here's what I use and a How To on installation I wrote.

    As to the purpose of this thread:

    As some posters have said, there is no way to back up the OS, computer backups and account settings with some sort of Image for a restore later. It would be a sweet solution and make WHS the complete package! Hopefully MS can make it happen.

    For your Shared folders, I would advise installing two drives that total just over double what you typically store on WHS. Or more given that drives are cheap now. Then turn on duplication. Your files are mostly safe. But should your system drive fail, you will lose your WHS OS, computer backup files and WHS settings and accounts. But your shares should be in tact. Should....

    Now there is a whole bunch more stuff here. Say you have two drives and each is 100 gb. WHS puts the shares on the second drive first. If you fill up the second drive and start to overfill it the files will run over into the first HD with the OS.  Now if you turn on duplication you could run into an issue with runing out of drive space and losing some files if the first HD fails..... That's why I run more than double the drive space than I plan on using.   Ken Warren walked me through this some months ago. I was way confused...LOL.   Maybe he can link to a thread that best describes this particular issue..... and the solution.

    Good luck.
    Monday, October 22, 2007 10:47 PM
  • We've been told that a white paper on Drive Extender is in the works, so I'm not going to go into detail on how files get distributed across the drives, but briefly, there are three scenarios, two of which can protect your files. The following assumes you've turned on duplication for all shares. If you haven't, the unduplicated shares are also unprotected...
    1. Single disk WHS. No share duplication, so no file protection.
    2. Two disk WHS. Your files are protected once you turn on duplication. You're limited in the total amount of data you can store on your server by your smaller drive.
    3. Three+ disk WHS. Your files are protected once you turn on duplication. Your limits are hard to define, but generally, you can fit data up to (total size of storage pool) - (number of drives times 20 GB).
    Scenario 3. is the hardest to define and explain. I think I understand it pretty well, but always find that I would have to write that darn white paper myself to get the point across. Smile
    Tuesday, October 23, 2007 3:54 AM
    Moderator
  • Nice, Ken. I knew you'd say it better than me..  I understand it mostly, but writing it is a different story...
    Tuesday, October 23, 2007 10:29 AM
  • I have to say that am rather dismayed by this whole thread. As I see it there are 4 sets of files

     

    1. The operating system files of the WHS

    2. The shared data folders on the WHS

    3. The operating system and data files on the client PC's

    4. The backup files on the WHS

     

    I had instinctively assumed that the backup files would be backups of the other three categories, or at least categories 2 and 3. But now I learn that only the client files (category 3) are backed up.

     

    I had also imagined that the disks used for backup (category 4) could be separate from the other disks on the WHS (categories 1 and 2), and that I would make them external or removable drives that could be swapped out periodically to provide physical offsite backup.

     

    As it is, WHS alone seems to have

     

    (a) Zero protection against complete loss due to fire in my house

     

    (b) Zero protection for the system files of the WHS in case of drive failure

     

    (c) Limited protection for the shared files on the server in case of drive failure (need duplication)

     

    For me, duplication of the shared files is a waste of space if I am doing backups every day (as long as the shared files are backed up, which they seem not to be).

     

    Another issue for me is that I want my WHS server to be a CVS or Subversion server for my own source code. At least with CVS, the repository must be a local folder on the server, here probably the system drive of the WHS. This would be OK if this drive was getting backed up, but it seems not to be.

     

    I must say I find this state of affairs rather puzzling, and disappointing. Is there really no way that WHS can be configured to do what I want?

     

    If WHS does not provide a comprehensive disaster solution, I'm not sure it is for me, even though the automatic backup and simple client recovery is very attractive.

     

    David Wilkinson

    Friday, October 26, 2007 7:02 PM
  • regarding your point b) - if your system drive fails, you only need to put in the WHS DVD and choose "Server Reinstallation" to recover your WHS. You need to create your users again and re-permission any folders, but its not a difficult task.

     

    WHS, in its current form does not provide what you want, from what you have described. Thats not to say features may not be added, either in this version or in version 2, but today thats not what is there.

     

    Andrew

     

    Friday, October 26, 2007 8:14 PM
    Moderator
  • Andrew:

     

    One of the things I thought was attractive about WHS (compared to other NAS solutions) was that under the hood it is a full-fledged Windows Server 2003 that I can use in any way I choose. But if I install additional software, recovery from failure of the system drive of the WHS becomes much more than just "putting in the WHS DVD".

     

    I can't believe it would have been too hard to include the WHS in this wonderful backup/recovery scheme, and it seems this was not done in the interest of hiding from the novice user any details of the inner workings of WHS. Unfortunately, from my perspective it has made the product useless, because it is not easily included in a complete disaster recovery solution.

     

    This also, IMHO, makes the product somewhat dangerous, because it can provide a novice user with a false sense of security.

     

    David

     

     

     

    Friday, October 26, 2007 9:34 PM
  • David

     

    Its not actually a "full-fledged Windows Server 2003", its actually a cut down version of 2003, and so you cannot just use anything that worked on 2003 because some things actually break WHS.

     

    While I agree to a degree with your point about providing te novice user with a false sense of security, I personally believe that one of the major markets for WHS that MS are aiming at is the homes where there are multiple machines that currently are not being backed up, therefore they get more than they are getting now.

     

    At the end of the day, if your house burns down for example, yes, your data is gone becuase your WHS is gone, but that is not really any different than me backing up my important data to an external USB drive and putting it in a drawer in my house, either way, if my house burns, so does my data.

     

    Its a version 1 product - not everything can be there, it has had one of the shortest beta cycles I have seen for a major product.


    Would I have liked to see WHS backup and recovery included - oh yes, but its not there yet, but if enough people ask for it, and vote for it on Microsoft Connect, then who knows....


    Either way, I am sure we will see other companies releasing solutions in the near future.

     

    Andrew

     

    Friday, October 26, 2007 9:41 PM
    Moderator
  •  Andrew Edney wrote:

    At the end of the day, if your house burns down for example, yes, your data is gone becuase your WHS is gone, but that is not really any different than me backing up my important data to an external USB drive and putting it in a drawer in my house, either way, if my house burns, so does my data.

    Yes, that's why you should have off-site backups which at minimum include your data and client backups.

     Andrew Edney wrote:

    Its a version 1 product - not everything can be there, it has had one of the shortest beta cycles I have seen for a major product.

    Yes, that's why it not finished. It's not only missing features but there's also some major bugs in RTM.

     

    It's already some time after RTM, and there's still no major OEM that has actually released WHS based system. MS still doesn't have trial disk kit available, it's not (yet) available to MSDN subscribers. Tell tale signs I would say

    Saturday, October 27, 2007 2:59 AM
    Moderator
  • Quite frankly, if you don't like the product don't use it.  Seems like you just want to nit-pick it to the death.  As others had said, its v1 and I applaud them for not having "Feature Creep" or we'd be here until 2010 waiting for it to be released. 

     

    Saturday, October 27, 2007 3:18 AM
  •  Robert L. Stinnett wrote:

    Quite frankly, if you don't like the product don't use it.  Seems like you just want to nit-pick it to the death.  As others had said, its v1 and I applaud them for not having "Feature Creep" or we'd be here until 2010 waiting for it to be released.

    Sure. Actually I do like the product a lot, and I would like to see it mature asap. I'm not using it, I'm running beta and at the same time I try to help others that run into problems with their WHS.  If I didn't like I wouldn't still be running beta (RC1 for me), and actively participating in this forum. If necessary I even mess up my system to test the solutions I provide to others before posting it. (for example http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2294698&SiteID=50)

     

    I have advocated a proper backup solution a long time ago, part of one of my posts in the thread

    http://forums.microsoft.com/windowshomeserver/showpost.aspx?postid=1781301&siteid=50&sb=0&d=1&at=7&ft=11&tf=0&pageid=1 :

     brubber wrote:

    A possible scenario I envisage would be the following:

    - users installs add-in for external backup of WHS

    - user selects data to include (users, shares, WS backup data, specific folders, installed programs, ....) or all data

    - user selects target location (USB disk, some online backup solution, tape or whatever is available) and schedule

    - backups should now run automatically, user get's notification when backup complete or if there is some problem.

    DISASTER STRIKES, not necesarily a house fire, also other events such as a power surge can wreck multiple systems

    - user buys new WHS and WS hardware

    - WHS install DVD, options: fresh install, upgrade, restore from backup

    - choose restore from backup

    - system is installed, required updates are downloaded and installed

    - WHS now ask for backup location, and then allows user to select what they want to restore.

    - Join new WS

    - From restore add-in now restore specific files / folders / app data to WS.

     

    I have also worked on solution. Got it working, however I don't have time and resources to turn this into something that is useful for others. 

     

    Major issues with data corruption / corruption of client backups and a proper solution for off-site backups for a server system (even a home server) have nothing to do with "Feature Creep"

     

    I don't like it that you're getting personal and I will report your post as abusive

     

     

    Saturday, October 27, 2007 3:42 AM
    Moderator
  • Gentlemen, you both have valid points; there are data corruption issues (for a small number of users; I can't recreate the issues no matter how I try, for example, even though I have one sequence laid out for me from soup to nuts), and yes, brubber, backup of the server is a feature, and it's one that was intentionally left out of V1 because "shipping is a feature too". I refer you to this WHS blog post for more explanation. But the bickering is not very productive.

    Now, can we all try to play nicely together, please? And go back to helping people?
    Saturday, October 27, 2007 4:51 AM
    Moderator
  • Andrew:

     

    Well, you are not supposed to put your USB backup in a drawer in your house; you should put it in a drawer in somebody else's house. And you need two backups, so you can swap them out.

     

    I just do not see the ability to easily do off-site backup of the whole system as a detail to be left for future versions.

     

    If MS, or somebody else, addresses this issue then I will try it, but otherwise it is not for me.

     

    David Wilkinson

     

    Saturday, October 27, 2007 4:39 PM
  • David

     

    You are right - personally i have backups in the house for "quick" recovery and backups stored outside my home, just in case.

     

    Lets hope someone comes up with a solution soon, I for one will be happy to try it!

    Andrew

     

    Saturday, October 27, 2007 4:41 PM
    Moderator
  •  Andrew Edney wrote:

    You are right - personally i have backups in the house for "quick" recovery and backups stored outside my home, just in case.

     

    Lets hope someone comes up with a solution soon, I for one will be happy to try it!



    Is there somewhere I can read about how WHS works? Where the different kinds of files on the server are located, and what exactly is duplicated when you turn duplication on?

    David Wilkinson
    Monday, October 29, 2007 11:16 AM
  • Hi David

     

    Microsoft have promised a whitepaper on how Drive Extender works, so I would imagine that would answer a lot of your questions related to storage, but Im not sure when that will be out.

     

    Andrew

     

    Monday, October 29, 2007 11:21 AM
    Moderator
  •  Tom Ziegmann wrote:

    Currently you can not backup the server itself. However if you lose your boot drive you aren't sunk. All you would need to do is replace that failed drive with a new drive , and then WHS will rebuild the reparse points, shares, and then you will have to reinstall the connector on the clients, and re-add users, and any other customizations.

     

    Sounds simple, but unfortunately the realty is much more complex.

     

    Usually one does not only install 'pure' WHS but also a lot of other (standard) software, e.g. MS Office, File Browsers, Editors, VBA/Macro tools, eventually SQL Server (Express) because it makes no sense to use an extra additional hardware PC for a applications which also have server functionality etc (because we were waiting for WHS as it is not only a 'dumb' NAS network storage device which cannot run other applications - WHS is based on Windows Server 2003 (and Microsoft emphasizes this software basis !!) . Windows Server  2003 is - as we know - a special software which is dedicated to run SQL databases, Exchange Server, virtual drives etc etc , so - even if you would not install all of these softwares - you will use WHS for more than only simple NAS functionality (a NAS devise which already includes hardware does not cost more than the WHS software alone !!).

     

    So - installation of the SYS Drive C: with all additional applications included usually takes some hours and is a non-trivial process !!

     

    Therefore, a backup solution for the system drive is VERY URGENT NEEDED. Usually I would expect that in every case such a system recovery functionality should be part of the WHS software itself (I, for myself, if I would be a software developer, I would be afraid to distribute a file server software like WHS without an implemented system recovery functionality, both for system and data, and I do not understand why any so called '3rd party' developers should be responsible for this very important part ! ).

     

    So I hope WHS is not only a toy which has some impressive demo effects - but lacks real life requirements.

     

    (By the way: my WHS implementation already crashed 2 times (one time after an automated Windows software update, another time after I installed a WHS dedicated AntiVirus software - in beta status - which was recommeded here on the forum - Avast! -, see my other postings) - and I had to re-install the system drive again and again. Fortunately, the data on the 2nd partition was save and could be recovered).

    Monday, October 29, 2007 12:14 PM
  • If you think WHS is going to handle all that, I think you had better look at Server 2003. It, WHS, only has 20GB available on the C: drive and is NOT designed, (yet,) to be the full service server that you think it should be. The fact that it's based on 2003, has nothing to do with it, it just happened that 2003 is a well developed, reasonably secure platform onto which WHS has been built. The majority of functions that W2k3 has, have been 'hidden' from the casual user and Microsoft has said many times that the using the majority of W2k3 tools WILL break the core functions of WHS.

     

    It's easy enough to 'role your own' backup scenario, and I'm sure there will be plenty of paid-for and free Add-Ins that will supply this function for those who feel they need it. Don't forget the marketing for this, is towards the multi-computer household who have 'never' backed up a computer, never mind having an automated off-site rolling storage backup solution.

     

    Also, this is V1, I would imagine V2 will be a very different animal.

     

    Colin

    Monday, October 29, 2007 5:59 PM
  •  klaus luecke wrote:
    Sounds simple, but unfortunately the realty is much more complex.

     

    If you use it what it's designed for, no it's not.

     

     klaus luecke wrote:
    Usually one does not only install 'pure' WHS but also a lot of other (standard) software, e.g. MS Office, File Browsers, Editors, VBA/Macro tools, eventually SQL Server (Express)

     

    No, most people don't install anything else on it.  Why?  Because it's targeted to the general population (who know virtually nothing about computers and don't want to know).

     

     klaus luecke wrote:
    because it makes no sense to use an extra additional hardware PC for a applications which also have server functionality etc (because we were waiting for WHS as it is not only a 'dumb' NAS network storage device which cannot run other applications - WHS is based on Windows Server 2003 (and Microsoft emphasizes this software basis !!) . Windows Server  2003 is - as we know - a special software which is dedicated to run SQL databases, Exchange Server, virtual drives etc etc,

     

    And most people won't even have a clue as to what any of those programs are.

     

     klaus luecke wrote:
    so - even if you would not install all of these softwares - you will use WHS for more than only simple NAS functionality (a NAS devise which already includes hardware does not cost more than the WHS software alone !!).

     

    Again, most people won't use it for anything other than what it is.

     

     klaus luecke wrote:
    So - installation of the SYS Drive C: with all additional applications included usually takes some hours and is a non-trivial process !!

     

    For you, maybe.  For most people who use it the way it's intended to be used, no.

     

     klaus luecke wrote:
    Therefore, a backup solution for the system drive is VERY URGENT NEEDED. Usually I would expect that in every case such a system recovery functionality should be part of the WHS software itself

     

    It does.  It's called Server Reinstallation.

     

     klaus luecke wrote:
    (I, for myself, if I would be a software developer, I would be afraid to distribute a file server software like WHS without an implemented system recovery functionality, both for system and data, and I do not understand why any so called '3rd party' developers should be responsible for this very important part ! ).

     

    So I hope WHS is not only a toy which has some impressive demo effects - but lacks real life requirements.

     

    (By the way: my WHS implementation already crashed 2 times (one time after an automated Windows software update, another time after I installed a WHS dedicated AntiVirus software - in beta status - which was recommeded here on the forum - Avast! -, see my other postings) - and I had to re-install the system drive again and again. Fortunately, the data on the 2nd partition was save and could be recovered).

     

    You are completely missing the point of WHS.  It is not designed to be a full-fledged server (despite the fact that it was built on WS2K3).  It is designed to sit in the corner out of the way and do it's job.  The "techies" on this board want to stretch its use, and that's fine.  But most people don't know how to do that, and for the most part, won't care.

    Monday, October 29, 2007 7:12 PM
    Moderator
  •  kariya21 wrote:

    You are completely missing the point of WHS.  It is not designed to be a full-fledged server (despite the fact that it was built on WS2K3).  It is designed to sit in the corner out of the way and do it's job.  The "techies" on this board want to stretch its use, and that's fine.  But most people don't know how to do that, and for the most part, won't care.

     

    BS.  I don't think that guy is missing the point at all. 

     

    I am working on my aunt's computer and she is updating a couple of things.  She has years (I'm talking from the late 80's) of docs, pics, etc, etc on her computer.  She is retired from gov work now (she is maybe 65 or so). 

     

    Anyway, I was telling her if she purchased windows home server she could keep backups of all her data and not worry about if her computer crashed.

     

    I almost fell to the floor when she asked, "But what if the house burns down?" 

     

    She is so far from being a tech it is not funny.  She knows how to turn it on and use word.

     

    Basically, MS messed up by not including a way to backup WHS.  The WHS team and others can claim otherwise, but marketing this product as a backup tool is a false claim.  People are not as protected as they should.  Period

    Monday, October 29, 2007 11:29 PM
  •  

    Again, most people won't use it for anything other than what it is ...

     

    Mmmh - WHS is a new product on the market. I have no idea why you could be so sure that all the people only want to use it with the minimal functionality you are proposing . If this would be true, then I'm asking what makes the difference between WHS and one of the many well know NAS servers which you could buy for less money in every computer store ?

     

    Maybe my expectations were wrong - but I trusted Microsofts announcements that WHS would be a system which is based on the power of the legendary Windows 2003 server ... ok, some limitations such as the number of client users or lack of Active Directory functionality. But in all the annoucements there was no word about the fact that - for example - there is a hard-coded 20 GB limitation for the system partition or - as you are pointing out - that

     

    ... It is not designed to be a full-fledged server

     

    where 'full-fledged' obviously means that ALL functionality is disabled but pure file server functionality. So, I really still do not understand the concept of WHS ... ( a machine with Win XP Prof used as a 'server' would offer more comfort, power and flexibility for about half the price of WHS)

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007 12:34 AM
  • I'm also getting a very p.....d/annoyed/irritated by all these people trying to tell me/us why we don't need backup's or that this is not the way the system was meant to be bla bla bla bla. I know I am repeating myself but actually in WHS documentation up to RC1 MS actually advises users to maintain off-site backup of important data. In the same documentation MS states "Caution Many existing backup applications, such as ntbackup.exe (included with Windows prior to the Windows Vista™ operating system), do not back up the shared folders on Windows Home Server correctly. The backup appears to be successful, but a restore may corrupt data. This is a known issue and is being investigated............ " SO EVEN MS KNOWS THIS IS AN ISSUE AND IS INVESTIGATING IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why the pretend it's not an issue?

     

    To me everything on any of my computers is important because I really hate the lengthy reinstalls when any system (including my server fails).

     

    Even if you don't use as a full fledged server but simply in the way it's meant (defining a number of different home users, a few remote users, having a lot of shares all with specific rights for specific users, install a few Add-Inns (whiist, create a number of different websites with photoalbums for remote users, configure OnTheFlyUnzipper so remote users can easily drop any number of pictures and immediately view them) Antivirus solution (I'm using TrendMicro SMB product), SERVER REINSTALL IS NOT AN EASY TASK. Also if you install an Add-Inn or third party software that messes up your system there's no easy way back.

     

    Also I think it's not that difficult for MS to built a proper backup solution for WHS. All you need to do is backup sys partition, and a single instance of every file stored on the data drives. Together this should be all you need to restore a working WHS.

     

    @COLINWH, It is NOT easy for an average user to run backups from a headless system! Try explaining to this average user who performed regular backup on all of his shares to a USB disk that was stored off-site (as was advised by MS) with NTBackup or some other mainstream backup app why restore only resulted in 4kb files! LOL.

     

    Especially with the current WHS build which has multiple data corruption issues a proper and simple backup solution would be very convenient. For me it's no big deal, I'm running WHS only as test system because I really like the concept and want to help in making it better product. Please don't ignore the facts nor the opinion of many users.

     

    If you like there's another interesting discussion on WHS backup in this thread: http://forums.microsoft.com/windowshomeserver/showpost.aspx?postid=1781301&siteid=50&sb=0&d=1&at=7&ft=11&tf=0&pageid=1)

    To me this whole thread is a bit of a deja vue 

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007 12:55 AM
    Moderator
  • @Klaus, many of the so-called "hardcoded features" are not really hardcoded and can thus generally be adapted to suit your needs. There are multiple examples you can find on this board

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007 12:59 AM
    Moderator
  •  theog wrote:
    BS.  I don't think that guy is missing the point at all. 

     

    I am working on my aunt's computer and she is updating a couple of things.  She has years (I'm talking from the late 80's) of docs, pics, etc, etc on her computer.  She is retired from gov work now (she is maybe 65 or so). 

     

    Anyway, I was telling her if she purchased windows home server she could keep backups of all her data and not worry about if her computer crashed.

     

    I almost fell to the floor when she asked, "But what if the house burns down?" 

     

    She is so far from being a tech it is not funny.  She knows how to turn it on and use word.

     

    Basically, MS messed up by not including a way to backup WHS.  The WHS team and others can claim otherwise, but marketing this product as a backup tool is a false claim.  People are not as protected as they should.  Period

     

    And what backup method does she use now?

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007 1:32 AM
    Moderator
  •  kariya21 wrote:
     theog wrote:
    BS.  I don't think that guy is missing the point at all. 

     

    I am working on my aunt's computer and she is updating a couple of things.  She has years (I'm talking from the late 80's) of docs, pics, etc, etc on her computer.  She is retired from gov work now (she is maybe 65 or so). 

     

    Anyway, I was telling her if she purchased windows home server she could keep backups of all her data and not worry about if her computer crashed.

     

    I almost fell to the floor when she asked, "But what if the house burns down?" 

     

    She is so far from being a tech it is not funny.  She knows how to turn it on and use word.

     

    Basically, MS messed up by not including a way to backup WHS.  The WHS team and others can claim otherwise, but marketing this product as a backup tool is a false claim.  People are not as protected as they should.  Period

     

    And what backup method does she use now?

    Probably nothing so you can sell her a half-baked solution??

     

    @ Kariya21, I really don't like the way you are replying to theog. I  think you and others are grossly under-estimating home users. The reason most of them don't run regular backups is probably not ignorance but more likely based on the technical and/or financial implications of most backup solutions. Many home users already have externall hdd to keep their important files, and lot's of them start using these online backup solutions

     

    @theog, my father is 73 and he also recently asked me to help him setting up a backup solution (he started working with computers about 5 years ago)
    Tuesday, October 30, 2007 1:56 AM
    Moderator
  •  brubber wrote:
    I'm also getting a very p.....d/annoyed/irritated by all these people trying to tell me/us why we don't need backup's or that this is not the way the system was meant to be bla bla bla bla. I know I am repeating myself but actually in WHS documentation up to RC1 MS actually advises users to maintain off-site backup of important data.

     

    As I recall, that documentation advises keeping a backup of the data because it was beta software (which has nothing to do with NTBackup or anything else).

     

     brubber wrote:
    In the same documentation MS states "Caution Many existing backup applications, such as ntbackup.exe (included with Windows prior to the Windows Vista™ operating system), do not back up the shared folders on Windows Home Server correctly. The backup appears to be successful, but a restore may corrupt data. This is a known issue and is being investigated............ " SO EVEN MS KNOWS THIS IS AN ISSUE AND IS INVESTIGATING IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why the pretend it's not an issue?

     

    Their comment is regarding backing up the shared folders using traditional backup tools (which will only get the reparse points), not the OS itself.  You're comparing apples and oranges.

     

    Would it be nice to have a way to restore the OS (with users/permissions/programs/add-ins)?  Sure.  I am not saying it's not.  But is it necessary?  In my opinion, if you use WHS as it's designed to be used, no.  I'm simply pointing out the fact that it doesn't take forever to reinstall WHS (unless a person added eleventy-five programs after the fact).  If that is their intent, they are using the wrong version of server to begin with....

     

     brubber wrote:
    To me everything on any of my computers is important because I really hate the lengthy reinstalls when any system (including my server fails).

     

    Everyone believes everything on any of his/her computers is important (otherwise it wouldn't be there in the first place).  As for the time, I guess that depends on your definition of lengthy.  I reinstalled WHS over the weekend.  Time to reset users/permissions/add-ons/etc:  13 minutes.  All things considered, more than acceptable to me....

     

     brubber wrote:
    Even if you don't use as a full fledged server but simply in the way it's meant (defining a number of different home users, a few remote users, having a lot of shares all with specific rights for specific users, install a few Add-Inns (whiist, create a number of different websites with photoalbums for remote users, configure OnTheFlyUnzipper so remote users can easily drop any number of pictures and immediately view them) Antivirus solution (I'm using TrendMicro SMB product), SERVER REINSTALL IS NOT AN EASY TASK. Also if you install an Add-Inn or third party software that messes up your system there's no easy way back.

     

    I disagree.  You throw in the DVD, select Server Reinstallation and let it run.  Sounds pretty simple to me.  As for the add-ins, that depends on which one.  Yes, I can see how Whiist could be a potential problem from a reinstall standpoint (although I haven't used it myself).  I had 2 add-ins before (and only 1 now):  avast AV.

     

     brubber wrote:
    Also I think it's not that difficult for MS to built a proper backup solution for WHS. All you need to do is backup sys partition, and a single instance of every file stored on the data drives. Together this should be all you need to restore a working WHS.

     

    The problem I see is for those users who have multiple TB of data (I believe I saw a user on this forum who has over 10 TB of it).  Where is he supposed to store all of that backup data?  Tape drive?  No, way too expensive for the average user.  USB drives?  Sure, get a shopping cart to store them all.  Besides, I think the majority of people don't backup anything right now so client PC backup/Folder Duplication/Server Reinstallation is still a step up for them.

     

     brubber wrote:
    @COLINWH, It is NOT easy for an average user to run backups from a headless system! Try explaining to this average user who performed regular backup on all of his shares to a USB disk that was stored off-site (as was advised by MS) with NTBackup or some other mainstream backup app why restore only resulted in 4kb files! LOL.

     

    Which is precisely why MS says basically don't try normal backups through the shares because it's not going to work.  The average user should have read the documentation more carefully before attempting it (which only proves my point).  Which is this: MS designed this product to be simple so you don't have to have IT/admin experience to use it (and yet still be functional).  And it is....

     

     brubber wrote:
    Especially with the current WHS build which has multiple data corruption issues a proper and simple backup solution would be very convenient.

     

    Obviously, the ADS issue is a major concern (which is why I suggested to everyone I originally told about WHS to basically "hold their horses" if they were considering buying it and explained why).

     

     brubber wrote:
    For me it's no big deal, I'm running WHS only as test system because I really like the concept and want to help in making it better product. Please don't ignore the facts nor the opinion of many users.

     

    I am not ignoring the facts.  The fact is everything on your local network is backed up - with the exception of users/permissions/installed programs and add-ins - if you use everything as it is designed.

     

    To clarify what I'm saying:  Sure, I would like to see a way to restore the WHS to how it was before a primary drive failure as much as the next guy.  But reinstalling from the DVD/Flash Memory (for end user products such as HP) is not difficult at all if you stay within the confines of traditional WHS uses from the beginning...

     

     brubber wrote:
    If you like there's another interesting discussion on WHS backup in this thread: http://forums.microsoft.com/windowshomeserver/showpost.aspx?postid=1781301&siteid=50&sb=0&d=1&at=7&ft=11&tf=0&pageid=1)

    To me this whole thread is a bit of a deja vue 

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007 4:28 AM
    Moderator
  • Brubber, I agree that most people aren't backing up their computers because it's hard to do properly. It's even harder to restore from a backup, for most people, which is another hurdle. (Ever done a full system restoration with NTBackup?) And I agree that it doesn't offer an easy way to get your data off-site as it comes out of the box. It's still so much easier to use than anything else out there that it's a stellar solution by comparison, for the home user.

    What offends some here (including me) is, I think, your apparent contention that WHS is fatally flawed because it doesn't deliver an enterprise-class, soup-to-nuts backup solution. Frankly, you give the impression that you spend more time railing against Microsoft for not delivering your ideal backup solution than you do helping people with problems. WHS will probably never deliver as robust a solution as you appear to be seeking; it would be too expensive if it did, and the hardware requirements would be ridiculous.

    If you want an off-site backup of important data, it's trivial to set up a robocopy job to synchronise a folder, share, or all the shares to an external drive. Swap the drive off-site once a month or whatever, and you're good to go. Is it graceful? No. But when has Microsoft ever supplied a graceful backup solution for the consumer? For the cost of two external drives you can have peace of mind that your important data is safe.

    Now, I would like to suggest that everyone just walk away from this discussion. I'm going to. We're here to ask (and answer) questions, help solve problems, and figure out what cool stuff we can do with WHS. Not to fight over whether it's exactly what you want, or what I want, or what any given user wants (because it isn't; there are things I think it really shouldn't have shipped without). Right?
    Tuesday, October 30, 2007 4:56 AM
    Moderator
  • I have built 3 servers so far for WHS, and I have have to say that WHS is the best thing to come along in long time.  It has so many useful applications, not only for home use, but for small business as well.  I have seen so many people lose their data because they don't know how or can't be bothered to do backups properly. 

    Most people that do back up just their data, don't realize the work involved in just restoring their Windows if their hard drive dies or gets badly corrupted, which would involve installing Windows, doing all the updates, locating & installing all their device drivers, re-installing and configuring their application programs, antivirus, printer drivers, email, etc, etc.

    I do this for a living every day, and it is a very time consumming task.

     

    WHS is like having a copy of Norton Ghost and a spare hard drive on every machine, as well as having a file sharing server.

     

    I don't have a method for backing up the WHS system drive, as a re-install is not very difficult, but I do have a system for backing up the Shared folders.

     

    I use a program called Second Copy 2000 which in my opinion is the best backup software there is for my purposes and its very inexpensive.  It will also run as a service, so adminstrator doesn't have to be logged in for it to run.  It copies files, to pretty much any kind of disk or even ftp.

    You can install it and set it up through Remote Desktop.

     

    The systems I built have 3 - 500 gb hard drives for WHS, and I bought 2 - 750GB WD MyBook external USB drives.  I only have one of the external drives  plugged in (not added to pool), and the swap them weekly to take one of them off-site.

     

    I use the Second Copy 2000 to back up the folders in the shared folder nightly.  (Don't copy D:\shares, copy the folders in \\server\shares). It doesn't take too long as it only copies new or modified files.  There is no need for a restore option, as it will copy your files in the same format as they already are.  If you need to get them back, you can just drag and drop.  There is also no need to have full and incremental backups, as I have it set to "Exact Copy" which just copies the new or modified files and deletes any files that I've deleted from the shared folders, basically a mirror image.  It does this in the background and uses very little resources, so you can't even tell that its backing up while your still using the machine.

    I am not affiliated with Second Copy in any way, but I am a very satisfied user.

     

    A lot of people would have the argument that this method would be expensive for the external drives, etc,   Just ask yourself what your data would be worth if you lost it.  I doubt that I will ever need these external backups, as WHS seems to be pretty solid, but it helps me sleep better.

     

    I've also read posts about how some people think WHS is too expensive.  Even it it was  $500.00, I would still buy it.  For years of reliable backups and a file server that is this easy to administer its a steal.

     

    Just my opinion,

    Stubby 

     

     

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007 8:31 AM
  • Ken, no I don't require an Enterprise Class backup solution, as you could have read from a number my previous posts on this topic. All that's required is WhitePaper / SDK and perhaps a slightly adapted version of NTBackup so that third party developers can build decent and easy to use backup solutions. A few post before I have indicated what would be a good strategy for WHS IMHO.

     

    Trying to get a good backup solution in WHS is not something personal. As also said before I don't need it at this moment. However for me it would be a requirement if I used WHS as my only server. Personally I think it will add a lot of value to the already very nice WHS. Discussing suggestions and idea's to improve WHS will in the end also help making WHS a better product for all users, and this is well within the scope of this board. Right now there is no backup or system restore option at all. Even WXP Home has both features present.

     

     Ken Warren wrote:
    Frankly, you give the impression that you spend more time railing against Microsoft for not delivering your ideal backup solution than you do helping people with problems.
    Ken this is not really nice. Even if you were right this one is not really compliant with the "Rules of Conduct" or forum policy which everybody here and certainly Moderators/MVP'should respect.

     

     Ken Warren wrote:
    Now, I would like to suggest that everyone just walk away from this discussion. I'm going to. We're here to ask (and answer) questions, help solve problems, and figure out what cool stuff we can do with WHS. Not to fight over whether it's exactly what you want, or what I want, or what any given user wants (because it isn't; there are things I think it really shouldn't have shipped without). Right?

     

    Yep me to. I advise everyone who does (or doesn't) want a backup solution to vote on the WHS connect site as I suggested in this topic. http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2339383&SiteID=50
    At the same time those who like it can conctinue the discussion overhere.

     

    Just one more note, I really really like the WHS concept, and I'm looking forward to v2

     

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007 9:18 AM
    Moderator
  • Oh dear.  I was hoping that this thread would have some useful tips about backups.  Having read it, it seems there's two camps and neither is putting anything useful forward.

     

    BTW, from my experience of Windows servers, MS have never provided what could be called a "proper" backup solution.  Okay, NTBackup works, but it's no Veritas.  So to that end I would expect to find something myself.  That something takes the form of an external USB drive and Robocopy.  I simply schedule Robocopy (as a CMD script) to mirror the server shares to the external drive overnight.  I don't worry about the system partition as it can be rebuilt.  I don't worry too much about the PC backups either, for much the same reason.  I tell my family to save their important stuff on the server, in case something goes awry.  When I go on holiday, I shut the scheduler off and hand the drive to a trusted person to look after for me.

     

    Don't fancy that?  How about a copy of Netbackup and some DAT tapes?  Burn your critical stuff to DVD?  Go for a free tool?  Upload to your ISP provided webspace?  Duplicate to a spare partition on one of your PCs?  Loads of options, really.

     

    We should consider that a NAS doesn't have built-in backup, and that since WHS is really just a fancy NAS, we shouldn't be complaining!

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007 11:38 AM
  • Lee, the extent of advice available is that there is no "proper" backup solution in Windows Home Server at this time. In the mean time, most high-performance backup solutions will not work, because when you attempt to use them to back up your shares, they pick up the tombstones, not the actual files. Certainly NTBackup does, and Netbackup, and the two or three other tools I've tested with. OTOH, robocopy works fine, as does a tool called HandyBackup (according to other forum members). I personally doubt that Microsoft will ever add a robust backup solution; I think they will rely on third parties to deliver them. At best, they will update NTBackup to be able to back up the shares, and make it possible to recover WHS configuration information easily in case of the loss of the system drive.

    What I do is use robocopy to mirror certain shares to an external drive I rotate off-site once a month, so I won't lose more than a month's worth of data if the house burns down.


    Tuesday, October 30, 2007 7:59 PM
    Moderator
  •  kariya21 wrote:
     theog wrote:
    BS.  I don't think that guy is missing the point at all. 

     

    I am working on my aunt's computer and she is updating a couple of things.  She has years (I'm talking from the late 80's) of docs, pics, etc, etc on her computer.  She is retired from gov work now (she is maybe 65 or so). 

     

    Anyway, I was telling her if she purchased windows home server she could keep backups of all her data and not worry about if her computer crashed.

     

    I almost fell to the floor when she asked, "But what if the house burns down?" 

     

    She is so far from being a tech it is not funny.  She knows how to turn it on and use word.

     

    Basically, MS messed up by not including a way to backup WHS.  The WHS team and others can claim otherwise, but marketing this product as a backup tool is a false claim.  People are not as protected as they should.  Period

     

    And what backup method does she use now?

     

    I'm it... I'm what she use... free offsite backup maybe once or twice a month.  If I were her, I would not want to pay for anything either, I guess... although, daily backup might be good for her... She is retired, but working in voting rights stuff and all kinds of other .org places...

     

    But I'm not sure what that has to do with my argument?  She does not work on the WHS team, visit this forum or work in MS marketing/advertising. 

     

    I agree with ken... you can wrap this anyway you want, but the fact is that whs does not have a backup.  No use in telling people they need win 2003 or linux.  They simply want MS to ship what they market... not too hard, and not too complex. 

     

    People resorting to robocopy is just insane... how does that look?

     

    I'll tell you: funny. 

    Wednesday, October 31, 2007 7:53 AM
  •  

    I haven' used WHS yet, going to install this weekend on my xp box I'm currently using as a nas, but my first concern was how do I back it up.

     

    I've got a RAID10 array using 4 250 GB ATA drives for a net of 500 Gb fully mirrored on a Gb/Wireless N network

     

    Right now I have my NAS doing 3 things, acting as a file server, being the repository for automated Ghost images from each client pc, and I have a SCSI connected 8 tape LTO1 changer for  backing it all up and getting it offsite.

     

    I see the WHS replacing everything that does but more effectively, and I really like the remote desktop to any machine without setting up different ports for each, remembering them all, etc.

     

    The only thing I can't fathom is why there isn't a built in method to backup the WHS. I don't even care so much about the OS, but the data which is irreplaceable (and by data I do not differentiate between shared folders and client pc backups because both likely contain valuable data).

     

    I am going to try installing this on my xp box, but do I unerstand that I won't be able to use my tape drive to backup any of this?

     

    I personally see the biggest value of this as being that it gets all the data in the house into one place, where it can be easily backed up at once and taken off site.

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007 1:17 AM
  •  clearanceman wrote:
    I haven' used WHS yet, going to install this weekend on my xp box I'm currently using as a nas, but my first concern was how do I back it up.

     

    I've got a RAID10 array using 4 250 GB ATA drives for a net of 500 Gb fully mirrored on a Gb/Wireless N network

     

    Right now I have my NAS doing 3 things, acting as a file server, being the repository for automated Ghost images from each client pc, and I have a SCSI connected 8 tape LTO1 changer for  backing it all up and getting it offsite.

     

    I see the WHS replacing everything that does but more effectively, and I really like the remote desktop to any machine without setting up different ports for each, remembering them all, etc.

     

    The only thing I can't fathom is why there isn't a built in method to backup the WHS. I don't even care so much about the OS, but the data which is irreplaceable (and by data I do not differentiate between shared folders and client pc backups because both likely contain valuable data).

     

    I am going to try installing this on my xp box, but do I unerstand that I won't be able to use my tape drive to backup any of this?

     

    I personally see the biggest value of this as being that it gets all the data in the house into one place, where it can be easily backed up at once and taken off site.

     

    Currently, that's not possible.  There have been reports of adding a "server backup" functionality (see here), but based on what it says, I think it's implying that it will not backup EVERYTHING (just the OS itself and the backup database).  Guess we'll have to wait and see on that...

     

    As to the tape drive, you would need to find backup software that understands WHS (due to the way the tombstones work) that works with a tape drive, which, to the best of my knowledge, doesn't currently exist (although you can copy file from the network shares using a tool like RoboCopy or SyncToy, but I don't think that's what you have in mind)...

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007 1:52 AM
    Moderator
  •  

    I have my WHS up and running.

     

    If I install the tape drive and the backup software, can't I just point it to the shares as \\home-server\photos, etc.

     

    Then it will be reading files just as any other user of the files.

     

    This won't work?

    Saturday, December 8, 2007 3:14 PM
  •  
    I had not seen this thread until now... wow this is a long thread, I have not read it completely, but here is what I posted earlier today in another post that may help; if it works that is:
     
    My earlier post:
     
    Content:
    ....here is what I came up with as a workaround....
    • Use terminal services to access the WHS desktop
    • Create a batch file (backup_whs_ss.bat) with the following entry:
    Code Block
    ntbackup backup systemstate /J "SS Backup Job" /F "z:\backup.bkf"

     

     

    Where z: is one of the WHS shares.
     
    This command will do a system state backup.  You can also create another one to do a full backup with the following entry:
     
    Code Block
    ntbackup.exe backup C:\ /j "Full Backup Job" /f "Z:\FullBackup.bkf" 

     

     

    Again where z: is one of the WHS shares.
     
    This can be added to the Windows scheduler for automated backups or done after a system configuration change.   (I wonder if there is a way to invoke "whsbackup.exe" instead )
    I have not fully tested this yet as I am still in the middle of a full backup after I have done a successfull system state backup.  No restore done yet.  This may solve my problems, we will see.  
     
    Again the purpose of this is to save the system state and configuration of WHS not the data shares.  For the purposes of recovering from system configuration errors or beta versions of Addins that may corrupt the system state.   An example of this is the Whiist Addin on an HP MediaSmart Server which will screw up the HP OEM websites.
     
    Anyway we will see if this works....   BTW: ntbackup does not support command line restore so you would still need to have a working (terminal services capable system) in order to restore your config if you have a headless system.  Unless you don't have a headless system and you have a floppy drive, you may be able to restore system state from a floppy & using the orignial WHS install media.  (Also systemstate may not backup the WHS Console config, this may need to be done with a full backup).
     
    If anyone knows of any reason why this would not work please let me know before I spend too long screwing with it....
     
    Again ths is from an earlier post, not having completely read this post, maybe this will help if it works....
     
    Does anyone know of why it would not work?
     
    ...Update to the above: Looks like the full backup I specified above will attempt to backup the full system including shares (via tombstones) so I changed my backup to a more selective backup which excluded the "c:\fs" directory.  Now instead of the backup estimate completing in 2 days it says 30 minutes or so....
     
     
    Saturday, December 8, 2007 3:48 PM
  • Four pages and counting. Have you actually got an answer that you have decided to use?

    To cut a long story short my solution would be to use a disk imaging utility such as Acronis True Image and you don't have to use the expensive enterprise version either.

    With ATI you can create a bootable CD that runs a Linux based OS in RAM and has no problems with creating and restoring Windows Server 2003 images. Therefore it shouldn't have a problem with WHS. I say shouldn't because I've yet to try it on WHS. I know that it works for Windows Server 2003.

    Sunday, December 9, 2007 7:46 PM
  •  

    I have an LTO1 8 tape changer that is capable of backing up 1.6 T (compressed, 800G native) in one shot.

     

    My WHS is currently at over 600 Gb and growing.

     

    I shouldn't have to buy an external disk that can match the size of my WHS just to back it up.

     

    Not to mention that I'm sure many people will have WHS that are larger than any one disk can hold (1 T is the largest I'm aware of , and they are expensive.

     

    There needs to be a way to back up the WHS (and I don't just mean the OS and configuration, I mean all the data)

    to get it off site, easily, regularly, and in a cost effective manner.

     

    I am hoping that WHS comes up with a way to do this that will integrate with many existing backup solutions, but in the meantime I was hoping I could install my backup software and backup the shares from \\home-server\.

    Thursday, December 13, 2007 3:49 PM
  • @clearanceman, from one of my previous posts in this thread

     

    "I advise everyone who does (or doesn't) want a backup solution to vote on the WHS connect site as I suggested in this topic. http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2339383&SiteID=50 "

    Thursday, December 13, 2007 4:14 PM
    Moderator
  •  

    Thanks, I did vote previously.

     

    But what I really want to know right now is, can I hook up my tape drive, install my backup software, and backup the shares using \\home-server\ syntax.

     

    It seems to me that it will back up the files just like copying them to a disk would.

     

     

    Thursday, December 13, 2007 5:30 PM
  •  clearanceman wrote:

    But what I really want to know right now is, can I hook up my tape drive, install my backup software, and backup the shares using \\home-server\ syntax.

     

    It seems to me that it will back up the files just like copying them to a disk would.

    That's correct but I think the issue is more backing up the system drive and all associated setup rather than backing up the data.  It would be nice to be able to do a restore of your system drive if it crapped out and not have to reinstall and reconfigure WHS including applying updates, addins, resetting up users, etc.

    Thursday, December 13, 2007 5:47 PM
  • That may be the issue if you value your WHS OS and config more than the data it is there to protect.

     

    The system can be recreated, the configuration can be recreated, my 600 Gb of user data cannot.

     

    It has to get off site to be protected and is far more important that the WHS OS and config.

     

    I watched my next door neighbors house burn to the ground due to a circuit breaker frying itself.

     

    If I'm him, do I give a *** about being able to restore my WHS OS and it's config so that I have no data left to restore on it?

     

    As far as I know, right now my house could be on fire, or my basement could be flooding, or someone could be stealing my server.

     

    Everyone NEEDS their data protected (off site), nobody NEEDS their WHS OS and config protected.

     

     

     

     

     

    Thursday, December 13, 2007 5:59 PM
  •  clearanceman wrote:

    That may be the issue if you value your WHS OS and config more than the data it is there to protect.

     

    The system can be recreated, the configuration can be recreated, my 600 Gb of user data cannot.

    I agree with you which is why I have external drive(s) connected to WHS that are not added to the pool and I plan to use SyncToy to maintain regular backups that I will take in to my office so that I have offsite backups.  It would be nice if WHS included built-in functionality to do this.

     

    But my previous post had more to do with the intent of this thread - the way I read it the OP was asking how you back up the WHS OS drive, not the data.

    Thursday, December 13, 2007 6:11 PM
  •  clearanceman wrote:

     

    Thanks, I did vote previously.

     

    But what I really want to know right now is, can I hook up my tape drive, install my backup software, and backup the shares using \\home-server\ syntax.

     

    It seems to me that it will back up the files just like copying them to a disk would.

     

     

    It will probably fail. Best thing to do would be:

     

     

    For a system with multiple hdd units

    0. stop drive extender migrator service, pdl and whsbackup services, then backup

    1. Tombstones, these will be in \\homeserver\shares (=D:\shares) folders and folders D:\folders

    2. All files folders in C:\fs\X\DE where X is "driveletter" and those in D:\DE

    3. System Backup of C partition, excluding C:\fs

    4. Reboot  to restart services

    Thursday, December 13, 2007 11:12 PM
    Moderator
  • I installed WHS on a server with a 60 GB (Disk 0) and a 500 GB (Disk 1) drive.

     

    Then I installed an additional 2 x 500 GB drives (Disk 3, 4) into the server. WHS found and added them to data storage.

     

    I see that data (D) is partitioned on the physical 60GB drive with the system files (C).

     

    MY QUESTION: How do I exclude data from being written to this drive so I can limit the physical disk to just system files? Do I need to re-install WHS?

     

    My worry is that if Disk 0 goes down, and I reinstall WHS, I will loose what ever data was on Disk 0.

     

    I plan to run all folders "duplicated" in case a drive fails so that I am redundant or worse case, simply re-install WHS to the primary drive.

     

    I also plan to run JungleDisk for offsite backup of hard to replace data (e.g., family photos).

    Saturday, December 15, 2007 11:52 PM
  •  markus_duffin wrote:
    I installed WHS on a server with a 60 GB (Disk 0) and a 500 GB (Disk 1) drive.

     

    Then I installed an additional 2 x 500 GB drives (Disk 3, 4) into the server. WHS found and added them to data storage.

     

    I see that data (D) is partitioned on the physical 60GB drive with the system files (C).

     

    Did you install the OS on your 60 GB drive?  If so, you will be in for a world of hurt when you start adding files to the server.  My suggestion would be to start over and install WHS on one of your 500 GB drives (since available free space for adding files to the server is based solely on the D partition).

     

     markus_duffin wrote:
    MY QUESTION: How do I exclude data from being written to this drive so I can limit the physical disk to just system files? Do I need to re-install WHS?

     

    You can't.  WHS handles the files the way it sees fit (although it won't use the D partition on the primary drive until last).

     

     markus_duffin wrote:
    My worry is that if Disk 0 goes down, and I reinstall WHS, I will loose what ever data was on Disk 0.

     

    I plan to run all folders "duplicated" in case a drive fails so that I am redundant or worse case, simply re-install WHS to the primary drive.

     

    Since you will have Folder Duplication on all shares, it won't matter (because all data on the network shares will be stored on 2 different physical hard drives).

     

     markus_duffin wrote:
    I also plan to run JungleDisk for offsite backup of hard to replace data (e.g., family photos).

    Sunday, December 16, 2007 12:42 AM
    Moderator
  • I am confused by your comments.

     

    First you say that installing WHS to the 60 GB drive will hurt when I add files. Then you say that WHS won't use the D partition space on the primary drive until last.

     

    Since I have 2x 500 GB drives, I should have plenty of space before the primary drive is used, no?

    Sunday, December 16, 2007 6:24 AM
  • When files are being transferred to the server, the vacant space on the system drive,-D:- is used, in effect, as a staging post while the data is then transferred to one of the other drives. This secondary transfer can run quite slowly, so with having such a small initial drive, you will be very limited as to the size and speed of what you will be able to transfer. This data will then be duplicated across your drives, (if you have duplication for the shared folders enabled), and the system is clever enough to know that it is to use all available space, (apart from a reserved 20 GB on each drive,) on all the other drives in your computer, prior to utilising your system drive

    As an aside, I'm surprised that you managed to get it to install on a 60 GB drive, the software usually baulks if there isn't at least 80 GB available.  Microsoft also recommend that your system drive should be your largest available drive when your building your system.

     

    Colin

     

     

    Sunday, December 16, 2007 1:07 PM
  • The hard drive is actually a 74GB Western Digital Raptor (WD740GD) with 10k RPM that I had lying around.

    http://www.wdc.com/en/library/sata/2879-001069.pdf

    The only thing that I am transfering on a daily basis are the PC back-ups. So, I don't see how the 74GB drive will hurt me with it using system space, 20 GB reserved, and the balance being Swap Space. Am I missing something?

    Sunday, December 16, 2007 1:52 PM
  •  markus_duffin wrote:
    The hard drive is actually a 74GB Western Digital Raptor (WD740GD) with 10k RPM that I had lying around.

    http://www.wdc.com/en/library/sata/2879-001069.pdf

    The only thing that I am transfering on a daily basis are the PC back-ups. So, I don't see how the 74GB drive will hurt me with it using system space, 20 GB reserved, and the balance being Swap Space. Am I missing something?

     

    The point is if you attempt to add too much data to the WHS network shares at one time, you will get a "not enough space" error because the maximum you can have on the D partition at one time is approx 54 GB (even though you may have tons of space on your secondary drives).  If you are not moving any (or not much) data to the network shares at any one time, you should be ok.  But that is a bottleneck you will have to accept forever.  I still suggest starting over and installing WHS on one of your 500 GB drives.

    Sunday, December 16, 2007 7:10 PM
    Moderator
  • I have had enough with this MS BS. I have installed this WHS only to find out that unless I use WHS, I have no access even to my sharing data. Once installed, nothing works as normal on the Server 2003 that this thing runs on.

    Most annoying is that there is no way to insure that your most important info, pictures ETC that are on this beauty WHS are available on some other external drive, just for the "rare"  case that MS will send some update that will crash your WHS and you'll have to wait about 10 hours for this thing to "reinstall"  it self.

    Using revo Uninstaller, I notice 10s of little program installed on the computer, all starts with "Window Home Server - ..."

    In fidelity to MS policy to save money, Looks like this thing was designed in several 3ed world countries and assembled in China, just in order to see how frustrated they can get the American people.

    Coming to think about it, of all promises, the WHS is only good as a backup method.

    Users: You need to create on both the station and the WHS
    Drive mapping: you need to create script and run on each station.
    Follow up My Documents and Desktop - don't even mansion this one - way beyond MS limits.
    Backup for most dear files stored on the WHS - R U joking?

    Bottom line, buy an external hard drive, and use the good old xCopy to copy to important info on it. This is the one and only way that you can see your backed up files with any explorer and be sure those files are usable without you need to be a wizard.

    FKNG MS.

    Show me 1 good thing after 2003:

    Expression Web2 - Garbage
    Entire Office - nothing but one big headache, and you can get 99% of it for free - try openOffice and you'll be surprised
    Vista - right. What ever took 2 clicks on XP is now 5, speed is half even your computer is twice as fast, the bastards took away  all those nice features from XP - like the imageresizer, the wonderful XP picture Printing wizard, and try to get the status for your network card (Use to be 2 click on XP, now about 6)

    Guys - MS in hardly competing to get to where GM and Ford are - obsolete, FAT, OBIS slow mover, unreliable - you name it.

    They are going to buy Yahoo for billions, and would not be able to invest a little and get a search engine that will find their own error message, IN Microsoft.com. Get it? Try to find in Mocrosoft.com a Windows error message...


    The good news is that Notepad still work OK, need less to day - try to save a file with extension other then text

    For your info, the writer is an IT guy who was MS freak, sold many Windows / Office ETC.

    No more. MS is in a crash mode, just like GM, Ford, AIG and the other...

    Shame.



    Have a nice WHS guys. For me - the king (MS for this matter) is naked.





    Wednesday, December 24, 2008 3:55 PM
  • Mark and  everyone,
    One thingyou can do is use Symantec Clone to clone the WHS c drive. You can clone to a larger drive. Faster than reinstalling, OS, plugins and settings. You can even change the size of the 20gb system partion if needed with Partion Magic 8.0. The only thing that you can't do is clone the other drives, but if you have 3 or more drives and file duplication on that should not be an issue. I have cloned my system drive sucessfully from an 80 gb to a 500gb (20 sys and 445 left from 2nd data partition). Then I did it again to a 1TB drive with (30gb system partition) the rest left for the data partition. 
    Just make sure you set the c partition as active or it will not boot!

    Cloning also is a good backup solution for backing up WHS for now. And yes I know that cloning is not always for beginners.
    Hope some find this helpful
    Happy new Year,

    Jimi Two Feathers
    I now have 9 WHS running 2 of mine and seven for my small Business clients.! Remota access is AWSOME!
    Computers don't save time they just reallocate how we spend it.
    Saturday, December 27, 2008 8:36 PM
  • Jimi Two Feathers said:

    Mark and  everyone,
    One thingyou can do is use Symantec Clone to clone the WHS c drive. You can clone to a larger drive. Faster than reinstalling, OS, plugins and settings. You can even change the size of the 20gb system partion if needed with Partion Magic 8.0. The only thing that you can't do is clone the other drives, but if you have 3 or more drives and file duplication on that should not be an issue. I have cloned my system drive sucessfully from an 80 gb to a 500gb (20 sys and 445 left from 2nd data partition). Then I did it again to a 1TB drive with (30gb system partition) the rest left for the data partition. 
    Just make sure you set the c partition as active or it will not boot!

    Cloning also is a good backup solution for backing up WHS for now. And yes I know that cloning is not always for beginners.
    Hope some find this helpful
    Happy new Year,

    Jimi Two Feathers
    I now have 9 WHS running 2 of mine and seven for my small Business clients.! Remota access is AWSOME!


    Computers don't save time they just reallocate how we spend it.



    First, cloning any WHS drive is unsupported.  Second, even if you decide to do it anyway, you will have to do it fairly often (due to the way WHS works).  The clone you ran a few days ago probably wouldn't help much if your system drive failed today.
    Sunday, December 28, 2008 2:59 AM
    Moderator
  • brubber said:

    If the system drive fails when it's still balancing (moving non-system data off the D-drive to the other drives) you are also likely to lose data. If you fry more then one disk including system disk you will not be able to recover!!

    It sounds like that "D" drive is a problem.  Is there any way to take it out of the picture.?

    My system drive is a 300-gigger that WHS carved 20 gigs out of for a system partition - leaving the balance as "D".

    My intent was to have all my data live on the three 1-tb SATA drives that are also in the box.

    I don't have duplication turned on bc it's just a media server: TV programs and .ISOs of DVDs that I can always re-rip.


    Before I installed WHS, I explicitly partitioned that 300-gig drive with a 40-gig partition intended for the system - leaving the rest unpartitioned.

    But at install time it seems like WHS had it's way with it...

    Post-install, is there any way of taking "D" out of WHS's little world?
    Thursday, March 26, 2009 12:11 AM
  • PeteCress said:

    It sounds like that "D" drive is a problem.

    You are referring to a post from 18 months ago and it no longer applies.  (Still wishing MS would automatically lock inactive threads after a certain number of days...)

    PeteCress said:

    Is there any way to take it out of the picture.?

    No.

    PeteCress said:

    My system drive is a 300-gigger that WHS carved 20 gigs out of for a system partition - leaving the balance as "D".

    My intent was to have all my data live on the three 1-tb SATA drives that are also in the box.

    I don't have duplication turned on bc it's just a media server: TV programs and .ISOs of DVDs that I can always re-rip.


    Before I installed WHS, I explicitly partitioned that 300-gig drive with a 40-gig partition intended for the system - leaving the rest unpartitioned.

    But at install time it seems like WHS had it's way with it...

    Post-install, is there any way of taking "D" out of WHS's little world?


    No.

    Thursday, March 26, 2009 1:46 AM
    Moderator