Windows Server Backup consists of a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in, command-line tools, and Windows PowerShell cmdlets that provide a complete solution for your day-to-day backup and recovery needs. You can use Windows Server Backup to back up a full server (all volumes), selected volumes, the system state, or specific files or folders—and to create a backup that you can use for bare metal recovery. You can recover volumes, folders, files, certain applications, and the system state. And, in case of disasters like hard disk failures, you can perform a bare metal recovery. (To do this, you will need a backup of the full server or just the volumes that contain operating system files, and the Windows Recovery Environment—this will restore your complete system onto your old system or a new hard disk.)
You can use Windows Server Backup to create and manage backups for the local computer or a remote computer. And, you can schedule backups to run automatically.
Windows Server Backup is intended for use by everyone who needs a basic backup solution—from small business to large enterprises—but is even suited for smaller organizations or individuals who are not IT professionals.
- You must be a member of the Administrators
group or Backup Operators group to use Windows Server Backup.
- Certain backup or recovery tasks must be
performed with two computers running the same version of Windows
Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2, while others
may be performed with computers running either version. For more
information about compatibility, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=143709.
- To perform a system state or full system
recovery, you must use backups from the same version of Windows
that you are recovering. For example, you cannot use a backup from
Windows Server 2008 to recover the system state of a computer
running Windows Server 2008 R2.
- The firewall may be enabled. If you are
managing the backups of another computer using the Windows Server
Backup snap-in, your connectivity to the remote computer may be
affected and can be resolved by changes in the firewall rules.
While working on the local computer, you are not affected.
- Windows Server Backup does not support
backing up of data from or storing backups on Clustered Shared
Volumes. (You can, however, back up virtual machines using Windows
Server Backup from within the virtual machine.) For more
information about managing failover clusters, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=92360. For more
information about managing Hyper-V, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=93752. And for
more information about Hyper-V and cluster shared volumes, see
- If you are using a virtual hard disk to store
backups, if the virtual hard disk is on a physical disk that
contains system volumes or critical volumes, there may be
limitations to what you can recover. In addition, virtual volume
files will be excluded from the backup if the virtual volumes are
online. For more information about working with virtual hard disks,
- If you are a current user of the previous
backup feature (Ntbackup.exe), and plan to switch to the new
Windows Server Backup, you might be affected by the following
issues and changes:
- Settings for creating backups will not be
upgraded when you upgrade to Windows Server 2008. You will
need to reconfigure settings.
- You cannot use Windows Server Backup to back
up file and folders on volumes that require more than 2040 GB (or 2
TB). However, as long as the data size is less than 2 TB, you can
perform a file or folder backup. For example, you can back up 1.5
TB of data from a 3-TB volume. But, a full server or volume
recovery using the backup will recreate a 2-TB volume instead of a
- Only NTFS-formatted volumes on a locally
attached disk can be backed up. (For instructions to convert a FAT
partition to a NTFS partition, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=70318.)
- You cannot store backups on tape. (However,
support of tape storage drivers is still included in Windows
Server 2008). Windows Server Backup supports backing up to
external and internal disks, optical and removable media such as
DVDs, and remote shared folders.
- You cannot recover backups that you created
with Ntbackup.exe by using Windows Server Backup. However, a
version of Ntbackup.exe is available as a download to Windows
Server 2008 for users who want to recover data from backups
created using Ntbackup.exe. The downloadable version of
Ntbackup.exe is only for recovering backups for older versions of
Windows and cannot be used to create new backups in Windows
Server 2008. To download Ntbackup.exe, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=82917.
- Settings for creating backups will not be upgraded when you upgrade to Windows Server 2008. You will need to reconfigure settings.
Windows Server Backup in Windows Server 2008 R2 includes the following improvements:
- More flexibility in what you can back
up. Windows Server Backup enables you to back up selected files
instead of full volumes. You can also exclude files based on file
type and path.
- Automatic management of full and
incremental backups. You no longer need to manage full and
incremental backups. Instead, Windows Server Backup will, by
default, create an incremental backup that behaves like a full
backup. You can recover any item from a single backup, but the
backup will only occupy space needed for an incremental backup. In
addition, Windows Server Backup does not require user intervention
to periodically delete older backups to free up disk space for
newer backups—older backups are deleted automatically.
- Expanded options for backup storage.
You can now store backups created using a scheduled backup on a
remote shared folder or volume. (If you store backups on a remote
shared folder, only one version of your backup will be maintained.)
You can also store backups on virtual hard disks.
- Improved options for system state backups
and recoveries. You can now use the Windows Server Backup
snap-in user interface to create backups that you can use to
perform system state recoveries. In addition, you can now use a
single backup to back up both the system state and other data on
your server. These system state backups are now faster and require
less space for multiple versions because they use shadow copies for
versioning, similar to volume based backups, and not individual
folders for each version. For more information about how system
state backups are stored on Windows Server 2008 R2, see
- Expanded command-line and Windows
PowerShell support. The Wbadmin command and
documentation enable you to perform the same tasks at the command
line that you can perform by using the snap-in. For more
information, see the Command Reference (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=140216). You
can also automate backup activities through scripting.
Changes to this command are the same as the changes for the Windows Server Backup snap-in.
In addition, Windows Server 2008 R2 contains an updated collection of Windows PowerShell cmdlets for Windows Server Backup that you can use to write Windows PowerShell scripts to perform backups. For more information, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=140217.
Supported operating systems
Windows Server Backup is available in all editions of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. However, like other snap-ins, the Windows Server Backup snap-in is not available for the Server Core installation option of Windows Server 2008 R2. To run backups for computers with a Server Core installation, you need to use the Wbadmin command, Windows PowerShell cmdlets for Windows Server Backup, or manage backups remotely from another computer.
- For more information about backing up or
recovering your server, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=93012.