You can protect your server running Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 and its data automatically by scheduling daily backups to attached internal or external hard disks. To configure scheduled backups, you will need to first:

To create a backup schedule using the Windows Server Backup user interface
  1. Click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Windows Server Backup.

  2. In the Actions pane of the snap-in default page, under Windows Server Backup, click Backup Schedule. This opens the Backup Schedule Wizard.

  3. On the Getting Started page, click Next.

  4. On the Select Backup Configuration page, do one of the following, and then click Next:

    • Click Full server (recommended) to back up all volumes on the server. This is the recommended option.

    • Click Custom to back up just certain items, and then click Next.

      1. On the Select Items for Backup page, click Add Items. In Select Items, select the check boxes for the items that you want to back up. If you want to back up just certain folders or files on a disk or volume, expand the folder tree and select the items that you want to include. Click OK.

      2. On the Select Items for Backup page, click Advanced Settings, click the Exclusions tab, click Add Exclusions, and then expand the folder tree and select the items that you want to exclude.

      3. On the VSS Settings tab, select either VSS full Backup or VSS copy Backup. Click OK and then click Next.

  5. On the Specify Backup Time page, do one of the following, and then click Next:

    • Click Once a day, and then select the time from the drop-down list to start running the daily backup.

    • Click More than once a day. Then, to select a start time, under Available time, click the time that you want the backup to start, and then click Add to move the time under Scheduled time. Repeat for each start time that you want to add.

  6. On the Specify Destination Type page, select Back up to a hard disk that is dedicated for backups (recommended) and then click Next.

  7. On the Select Destination Disk page, select the check box for the disk that you attached for this purpose, and then click Next.

    By default, the likely disk or disks are shown in the list. These disks are external disks that can be used for moving backups offsite for disaster protection. If the list is empty, or the disk that you want to use is not listed, click Show All Available Disks. In Show All Available Disks, select the check box next to the disk that you want to use to store the backups, click OK, and then on Select Destination Disk, select the check box for the disk again. This disk will no longer be visible in Windows Explorer—to prevent data from accidentally being stored on the drive and then overwritten, and to prevent accidental loss of backups.

    A message informs you that the selected disk will be formatted and any existing data will be deleted. Click Yes. Do not click Yes if you have data on the disk that you need. To use a different disk, click No, and then select a different disk under Available disks.


    We recommend that you record and then physically attach the label information to any external disks that you are using to store backups. If you need to recover data from the backup stored on the disk, you will need this information to identify the disk.

  8. On the Confirmation page, review the details, and then click Finish. If you have dedicated a disk for storage, the wizard formats the disk, which may take several minutes depending on the size of the disk.

  9. On the Summary page, click Close.

Additional considerations

  • To configure a scheduled backup, you must be a member of the Administrators group or Backup Operators group, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority.

  • You can also perform this task remotely for another server using the Connect To Another Computer option in the Windows Server Backup Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in. Make sure that you are a member of the Administrators or Backup Operators group on the remote server. If you are a Backup Operator, ensure that the Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) security settings on the remote computer are set to allow Backup Operators to connect to it.

    You can only use this feature if the local and remote servers are running the same version of Windows—either both running Windows Server 2008 or both running Windows Server 2008 R2. In addition, you cannot use this feature to manage a computer running any version of Windows client operating system.

  • You can use multiple external disks to store the data, and rotate them between onsite and offsite storage locations. For instructions, see Configure a Backup Schedule for Multiple Storage Disks.

  • After you create a backup schedule, you should revisit the settings periodically to confirm that your hardware configuration has not changed and that you are still backing up everything you intended to. For instructions, see Modify or Stop an Automatic Backup Schedule.

Additional references