Back up the entire OS with Windows Server Backup

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Learn how to use the feature "Windows Server Backup" provided in Windows Server 2008 and later to back up and restore drives throughout the OS.

Windows Server バックアップのユーザーインターフェースです

Operating Environment

Operation check environment

Windows Server Version Windows Server 2008 R2 DataCenter
CPU Core i5 i5-540M 2.53GHz L3 3MB 64bit Compatible VT Support
memory 8GB (4GB DDR3-1066 × 2)
HDD 750GB Serial-ATA 5400rpm 8MB
NIC One (Gigabit LAN)
Chipset Mobile Intel GM45 Express Chipset
Backup destination storage HD-PE640U2

System requirements required

Windows Server Version
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard
  • Windows Server 2008 EnterPrise
  • Windows Server 2008 DataCenter
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 EnterPrise
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 DataCenter


Preparing for Windows Server Backups

To perform a Windows Server backup, you must be able to save the backup data to storage somewhere. You can specify "Local Drive" or "Remote Shared Folder" as the location. External HDDs connected via USB are recognized as local drives.

In this example, we are backing up to an external HDD with a USB connection. It is recognized as "D:" on the local drive. The backup destination disk should be larger than the overall disk size used by the OS.

Also, note that the storage specified as the backup destination this time will be a completely dedicated area for backup.

Installing Windows Server Backup

To use Windows Server Backup, you must perform an installation. The installation is already built into the Windows Server feature, so you don't need to download it separately.

Start Server Manager on the taskbar.

When Server Manager opens, select Features from the tree on the left, and then click Add Features from the area on the right.

When the Add Feature Wizard dialog appears, check Windows Server Backup Features → Windows Server Backup from the central list.

Click the Next button.

Click the Install button.

When the installation is complete, click the Close button. If you are asked to restart the operating system, do so.

"Windows Server Backup" has been added in the "Administrative Tools" folder of the Start menu, so click to start it.

The Windows Server Backup window appears.

Schedule backups

To create a backup schedule, click Schedule Backup in the action area to the right of the window.

The "Backup Schedule Wizard" is displayed, so click the "Next" button.

When the Select Backup Configuration screen appears, select Entire Server. If you want to back up files individually, select "Custom". We won't talk about custom here.

Specify Backup Time specifies when the backup is to be performed. In the case of a PC that is always running, let's specify a time zone that is not running much. Repeatedly start and shut down If your PC is always running, specify a time when you think it is always running, but make sure you set it according to the operation of your PC.

This time, since it is backed up to an external HDD, select "Back up to hard disk dedicated to backup". Note that if specified, the specified storage will be a completely backup-only area.

If you want to back up to another location, choose according to the location. The behavior changes depending on the location to be saved, so please read the description on the screen and check it.

Check the storage to be backed up to in "Select destination disk".

Since the backup covers all drives, the drive connected by USB is also included in the backup. Since it is a backup destination, a warning that it is excluded from the target is displayed, so click the "OK" button.

A confirmation dialog will be displayed to reformat the destination storage to make it a dedicated storage disk, so select "Yes".

When you have reviewed all the settings, click "Finish".

When the creation is complete, click the Close button.

You can verify that the schedule has been created. After that, the backup will start automatically at the specified time.

The time it takes to back up is determined by a variety of factors, including the amount of disk size, network and storage media specifications, the number of backups, and the amount of differences.

Performing backups manually

If you want to back up manually, click Back Up (One-Off) from the action area to the right of the window.

The Backup (One-Off) Wizard appears. If you already have a schedule, you can easily perform a backup by selecting "Scheduled Backup Options".

If there is no schedule, select "Another option" to set each option to back up. The settings are almost the same as when you plan your schedule.

If you select the scheduling option, you can start the backup immediately.

Wait for the backup to finish once it has started. After that, it will automatically go to completion, so you can close the window by pressing the "Close" button.

The time it takes to back up is determined by a variety of factors, including disk size, network and storage media specifications, the number of backups, and the amount of differences.

When the backup is complete, press the "Close" button to finish.

On the Windows Server Backup screen, you can see the time at which the backup was performed.

Deleting a Backup Schedule

To delete a backup schedule that you created, click Backup Schedule from the action area on the right side of the window.

When the "Backup Schedule Wizard" is displayed, check "Stop backup" and click "Next".

The backup destination disk is displayed, so click the "Finish" button.

Select Yes.

The schedule is deleted.

The disk you specify as the backup destination is freed up and can be used as a regular storage device. Since the backup file has not been deleted, please leave it as it is as backup data or delete it manually.

Recovering from Backup Data

If you want to get back certain files, applications, etc. from the backed up data, select "Recover" from the operation area on the right side of the window.

If there is data that is backed up on a schedule, you can check "This server" and recover from the data that is backed up on a schedule. If you have a completely different backup data, choose "Backup stored in another location".

Select the date and time of the original data you want to recover from the backup. Normally, the date and time of the last backup is selected, so there is no problem as it is, but if you want to recover from past backup data, please select it in a timely manner.

Select the items you want to recover. Select "Files and Folders" if you want to recover files and folders, "Volumes" if you want to recover non-system volumes in bulk, "Applications" if you want to recover specific applications, or "System state" if you want to recover only the system state.

If you select Files and Folders, you can select a folder to return to the backup state.

You can specify several options when recovering. You don't necessarily have to put them back in the same place.

Once you have selected the folder and files you want to get back to the original, you can press the "Recover" button to get them back.

If you select an application, a list of recoverable applications is displayed. This item is operated differently depending on the application, so check it as necessary.

If you select a volume, you can return all but the system drive in bulk, but you cannot return it with this method for drives with a Windows system. For information about bulk recovery of system drives, see "System Volume Recovery" below.

If you select the system state, you can specify whether to recover to the original location or to a different location.

System Volume Recovery

To recover the system volume from backup data, you must perform an operation from the Windows Server installer disk.

Make sure you can connect to the backup disk beforehand. This time, it is described as saving the data backed up by the backup schedule to a USB external HDD.

After booting from the Windows Server installation disk, proceed with the installation wizard.

Now, instead of clicking "Install Now", click "Repair your computer" at the bottom right corner of the window.

Since you already have backup data and are connected, select "Restore your computer using a previously created system image" and click "Next".

The procedure may differ depending on the location and media you backed up, so please respond in a timely manner.

If your backup disk is recognized, check Use the most recent available system image.

If you want to restore it as it is in its complete form, click the "Next" button as it is.

Once you have confirmed the recovered contents, click on the "Finish" button.

All the data of the recovery destination will be erased, so select "Yes" to execute it as it is.

The image will start reapplying, so wait for it to complete.

Reboot when reapplication is complete. After that, please start as usual and check whether it has been restored to the state at the time of backup.