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Can I backup my server this way? Please say yes! RRS feed

  • Question

  • I just built a new computer for WHS 2011.  It has two 2TB internal drives and two 2TB USB external drives for backup.  On my D: drive are photos/videos/important files.  On my E: drive are movie rips and music.  The E: drive is almost full so I will need to start adding my new movies and music to the D: drive.  I would love for WHS to backup my D: drive to one external drive and my E: drive to the other external drive.  I can't figure out how to do this.  After giving up I figured that WHS will just use the full 4TB of external space and make a giant image of both of my internal drives.  When I came home for lunch it was sitting at 53% complete.  When I came home from work this evening it said the backup failed due to storage space.  You can see from the attached image (please click it to full-screen) that the 2nd external drive wasn't even touched.  What do I need to do?

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/607/whs2011.jpg/

    I do have a secondary question.  When WHS 2011 does its backups does it do an entire backup or will it see that I haven't added any movies in the last day and not even bother with the E: drive?  I think I may just turn auto backups off and only do a backup on the nights where I actually add files to the server.  I have no need for WHS to backup any client computers.  My main PC has a small 96GB SSD with only Win7 on it, Office and a game or two.  Everything else will go on the WHS.

    Thanks in advance for any help!




    Wednesday, June 22, 2011 1:16 AM

All replies

  • Windows Home Server backup uses the backup features built into Windows Server 2008 R2, so it, umm, "lacks flexibility". What you've already seen is, pretty much, what you get; the backup feature is restricted to a single backup schedule (which can use one backup drive at a time, though you can connect multiple drives in rotation), and 2 TB of backed up data.

    You can use the wbadmin command line tool, plus your external disks, to set up scheduled tasks which back your two internal disks up regularly. Doing so isn't supported (nothing on the desktop is, technically) but it will work. There are also third party tools which should work, though they will be quite expensive (they'll be priced for enterprise use, not consumer).


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, June 22, 2011 1:46 AM
    Moderator
  • Ken, thanks for your response.

    I'm in absolute shock the backup function sucks as badly as it does.  Did Microsoft seriously think there weren't people with 2+ TB of space they wanted backed up?  This was a huge selling point for me building a WHS.  In fact, I think I will now e-mail MS and tell them how disappointed I am.

    So basically I'm better off just hooking my 2TB external drives up on occassion and doing a manual backup?  Tell it to copy all and skip files if they're already present?

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011 3:26 AM
  • Ken, thanks for your response.

    I'm in absolute shock the backup function sucks as badly as it does.  Did Microsoft seriously think there weren't people with 2+ TB of space they wanted backed up?  This was a huge selling point for me building a WHS.  In fact, I think I will now e-mail MS and tell them how disappointed I am.

    No. Microsoft is aware that a certain percentage of users have more than 2 TB of data. The problem, for users like you, is that software products like this are designed to have maximum mass appeal for minimum investment of internal resources. So if only e.g. 5% of users have more than 2 TB of data, it makes good sense from a project planning POV to simply use functionality already present in the base OS. After all, they could wind up spending hundreds/thousands of man-hours on developing something that doesn't work as well, and have to either raise prices or leave out other important features. And once that decision is made, all further discussion is moot, because this product is locked into the capabilities of another product and won't change until it does.

    So basically I'm better off just hooking my 2TB external drives up on occassion and doing a manual backup?  Tell it to copy all and skip files if they're already present?

    More or less. There are alternatives. Robocopy/richcopy, wbadmin in scheduled tasks, and third party tools are all possibilities.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, June 22, 2011 12:44 PM
    Moderator
  • You'd think you could just tell WHS to backup D: to F: and E: to G:.  Something that simple.  I think my workaround is to manually backup my full 2TB drive and unhook the external drive permanently.  I will leave one external drive hooked up and have it backup my C and D drives, which are only like 300GB right now.  It's going to take me a very long time to fill that drive up to 2TB.

    Again, Ken, thanks for your help.

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011 1:09 PM
  • Keeping the same backup drives attached all time long is contradictionary to the sense of backup. Electrical surge would not only kill the internal disks, but also the attached drives, fire, water or theft would not leave the external disk alone. Therefore storing important data on external media and outside of the own 4 walls is important to consider.

    Besides that, from a certain amount of data it becomes difficult, to provide a safe and performant backup. Have you ever tried to copy more than 2 TB through USB or network? This is simply not very realistic with current technology, which is at home user price level.

    So a regular backup of the more important files should be enough - the most ripped movies or other large size stuff is somehow replaceable, I assume.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011 9:07 PM
    Moderator