Windows Backup: installation and configuration

Presentation

Windows Server includes a feature (Windows Backup) that allows you to perform full system backups or a portion of it.

It can be used to back up virtual machines, SQL Server databases, file server …

It is recommended to use a hard disk dedicated to backups to have incremental backups, in case of user of a network share a full backup will be made every day.

Installing the Windows Backup Feature

From the server manager, click Add Roles and Features 1 to launch the wizard.
GEstionnaire de serveur / Server Manager

When launching the wizard, click Next 1 .
Wizard add feature

Type of installation, choose Role Based Installation or 1 Functionality and click Next 2 .
Select Install type

Choose server 1 where the Windows Backup feature must be installed then click Next 2 .
Select Server for install Windows Backup

Skip the list of roles by clicking Next 1 .
Skip the roles

In the list of features, check Windows Server Backup 1 and click Next 2 .
Select Windows Backup feature

Click Install 1 to confirm the installation of the Windows Backup feature.
Start install

Wait during the installation …
Wait while installing Windows Backup

When the installation is complete, exit the wizard by clicking Close 1 .
Windows Backup installation completed

Setting up a backup with Windows Backup

Launch the wbadmin console that manages the Windows backup feature.
wbadmin - management console for Windows Backup

At the launch of the console is displayed a summary of backups, for the moment no information is available in the absence of job. It is also possible to perform external backups on Azure. Click on the Local Backup node 1 .
Overview management Windows Backup

Click Backup Schedule 1 to configure one.
Configure a local backup

When launching the setup wizard, click Next 1 .
Wizard configure backup

Choose the desired type of backup, here Complete server 1 and click Next 2 .
backup type

Configure the backup schedule 1 and click Next 2 .
backup planning

Choose the backup medium, in the example we will dedicate a disk so select Backups to a hard drive dedicated to backup 1 then click Next 2 .
Destination of Windows backups

If the disk dedicated to the backup is not displayed, click Show all available disks 1 .
Select disk for Windows Backup

Select disk 1 and click on OK 2 .
Select disk

Once the disk dedicated to backing up Windows Backup, click Next 1 .
Disk selected for Windows Backup

A warning message appears indicating that the selected disk is included in the backup, click OK 1 to remove it from the saved volumes.
Remove disk

Another message appears indicating that the disk will be reformatted and that it will no longer be available in the explorer. Click Yes 1 to confirm.
Confirm format disk for Windows Backup

A summary of the backup is displayed, click Finish 1 to confirm the creation of the backup.
Confirm creat Windows Backup

Wait while creating …
Wait during creation

Once the backup is created, exit the wizard by clicking Close 1 .
WIndows Backup created

On the administration console is a little more information with the status of backups and scheduling information.
Overview Windows Backup

When the backup cycle has started, a summary of each backup will be available in the console, along with the number of copies and the volume used on the disk. For each information given, it is possible to find out more by clicking on Show details.
Overview Windows Backup

Restoration

Now that we have backups, we will see how to restore a file, before going further, it is also possible to do a bare metal restore of the machine in the case of a full backup of the server. For this you will need to boot to the Windows ISO corresponding to the backup and choose the Repair option instead of clicking Install. Another method is to reinstall Windows with the Windows Backup feature and then restore the system state.

From the console in the Actions menu click on Recover 1 .
Restore files

When launching the wizard, select the location of the backup 1 and click Next 2 .
Choose the location of the Windows backup

Choose Restore Point 1 and click Next 2 .
Select restore date

Choose the type of recovery you want, in our Files and Folders 1 example and click Next 2 .
Restore type

Select items to retrieve 1 and click Next 2 .
Select files or folders

Configure the restore options (locations, rights …) 1 and click Next 2 .
Restore options

Confirm the restoration of the elements by clicking on Recover 1 .
Confirm restore Windows Backup

Wait during the restoration …
Restore in progress

When the restore is complete, exit the wizard on Close 1 .
completed restoration

On the console, we can see that a restore event has been performed 1 .
Event added

Check where the file (s) and folder (s) are present.
File restored

Conclusion

Windows Backup allows you to perform system backups efficiently despite the lack of a configuration option. Too often, small and medium-sized businesses ignore backup software because they “cost” too much and they think that dual power and RAID disks are sufficient security.

It’s like believing that a spare wheel helps prevent engine failures on a car

Other free alternatives are also available:

  • Veeam Agent
  • Altaro Backup for free hypervisor backup for 2 VMs.

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