Backup

Bare-metal Backup: How to setup Windows server backup and create backup jobs

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Bare metal backup is a process of backing up your entire system’s data, and it’s not just user data and settings, the entire system including drivers, programs, information structure, even the operating system itself. To achieve a successful bare-metal recovery, you need the right backup. Performing a bare-metal recovery involves several important steps, planning, backing up the system image, and recovering your system image to new hardware. Kindly refer to the following related guides. Cloud Protection Manager: How to recover backup via N2WS Veeam CPM, SEP sesam Hybrid Backup and Disaster Recovery Solution, and Advantage of using a 3rd party software for Backup (N2WS by Veeam) over AMI.

An Active Directory server backup requires you to back up the database and the transaction logs. If you do not have the following enterprise backup solutions such as Rescuezilla, System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM), SEP Sesam, Veeam Cloud Connect and Cloud Protection Manager etc. You may want to look at Windows Server Backup which also enables you to recover to different hardware. Please refer to this guide on how to stop Windows backup job via the wbadmin console. 

Step 1: Instal Windows Backup feature: To enable the built-in backup and recovery utility, launch the Server Manager as shown below.

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On the menu, select “Manager”, and click on Add roles and features.

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On the “Before you begin”, click on Next and On the Installation Type, select “Role based or Feature based installation”.

On the Select destination server, we only have one server, this is selected automatically. If you have multiple server in here, please ensure the right server is seleted.

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Since we are not installation any role, we will click on next on the “Select Server Roles” window.

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Select Windows Server Backup feature from the list, and then click Next.

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On the Confirmation page, click on “Install”. On the result page, the Windows Server Backup feature has been installed, it will display installation succeeded on your selected server.

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Step 2: Create a backup of Windows Server: Bare metal backup is an OS image-level backup that includes everything related to the operating system, the system state, boot files, entire local drives, registry, page files, application files, etc. If your server is a Domain controller, the bare metal back will contain the Active Directory NTDS database, registry, SYSVOL folder, etc. All these backed-up data can be restored. To create a backup, launch the server manager, and select Tools and then Windows Server Backup. You can also launch the Server Backup utility tool etc.

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As you can see below, we o not have any backup created previously and this is not good enough. Therefore, I will be creating some backup jobs.

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To have an automatic backup on a schedule configured, select Backup Schedule. as shown below.
- Backup of an Active Directory server must be performed online.

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This will open up the backup schedule wizard. On the getting started window, click on Next.

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In the backup configuration window, you will have to select a backup configuration type,
– Full server (recommended). This will back up all server data, applications, and system state or
– Custom: This Will allow you to define your backup need by selecting certain volumes or files to be backed up. Click on Next to continue.

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In the “Specify Backup Time” window, you can decide to select “once a day” and select your desired time or select the second option”More than once a day backup”. You can select as much backup time as you want and use the Add button to add the time to the Scheduled time.

Select your destination backup type. I quickly created a network share and my newly setup Windows Server 2022 “\\TECHWINDOWS2022\Backup”. I will be using this.
– I selected Backup to a shared network folder.

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After selecting this specific option, you will see the following warning that you will only have one backup due to the old backup being replaced by the new one.
– Click on OK.

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Enter the network path and then click Next. Select Inherit under “Access Control” as this allows everyone to access the backup. You will be requested to enter your account details to enable the scheduled backup.

As you can see below, here is a confirmation of the backup job you have created.

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Backup schedule successfully configured click on close.

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As you can see, as compared to when the backup was not created. We now have have backup jobs waiting to be executed.

As you can see, our bare metal (full backup) has completed successfully as shown below.

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Step 3: Create a Once time backup (System State backup): If you wish to create a one-time backup, please follow the steps discussed below. Click on Back up Once.

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In the backup option, select different option as shown below

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Since this is just to demonstrate how this can be achieved, I will be selecting custom option. Click on Next.

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In the “Select items to add as backup,” I will be selecting the system state and one additional folder as shown below. You are free to make your choices here. When you are done, click on Next to continue.

In the “specify destination type”, I will be going with the first option. You can also specify a shared location if you wish. I just wanted to show you this step as well.

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I had to add a new drive “Hardware to the VM”, brought the drive online, initiated, and created a simple volume out of it. This is Drive E. Note. You will have to start the one-time backup process for the backup to reflect this new change.

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Click on backup to continue with the onetime-backup. I have decided to back up just the system state only. If you wish, you can click on close.
– You can also see the backup progress. At this point, you can also click on close.

On the newly created volume, we can see our backup. In the next guide, I will be showing you how to perform Windows Server bare metal recovery.

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Like I said before in Part 3 above, you can also specify a shared location for your system state backup. I created a new shared folder and initiated this backup just to demonstrate this.

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As you can see, the system state backup has completed successfully.

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To perform a system state backup using Wbadmin.exe: Open an elevated command prompt, type the following command, and press ENTER. Please replaced the target-drive “K” with your drive letter.

wbadmin start systemstatebackup -backuptarget:K:

I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.

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