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Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard - creating full system image

    Question

  • What is the best way to create a full system image with Windows server 2008 R2 Std?  For instance, I would like to create a full system image of my server to a portable HD.  Lets say one day my server is stolen and I had to purchase a second server.  From that HD and Windows CD I want to be able to hit restore on this new server.   This new server works, functions, has all the programs, drivers, set up, etc like the first server.  Basically, I want to be able to create a full system image or back up that I could use to make clone of any server of the same brand.

    Would I have to purchase a specific software for that?  Is 2008 R2 capable of this?

    Responding in laymen terms would be highly appreciated since I am very new at this.


    • Edited by Mugen 911 Monday, May 06, 2013 5:15 PM
    Monday, May 06, 2013 5:13 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    If Techco group means the user group which perform the backup process, then it is important as user will not have permission to perform a backup if it is not a domain admin or Backup oprators.

    For the diffrerence between BMR vs Full System Backup, I assume you mean "system state" vs BMR.

    System State could help you restore current system to a previous status. and BMR could help you restore the server to another computer as disaster recovery.

    And if you mean "Full Server" in Windows Server Backup GUI (with the other option "Custom"), it should means the whole system including all  volumes.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc755163.aspx


    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum |If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    • Marked as answer by Mugen 911 Thursday, May 16, 2013 1:28 PM
    Wednesday, May 08, 2013 11:10 AM
    Moderator
  • BMR backup will try to backup your critical volumes, which are sufficient to replicate your working workstation. Data volumes you can add optionally.

    Make sure while recovery you have sufficient disk space for all volumes, else BMR will give importance to critical volumes. Data volumes will be recovered only if sufficient space is available. Data volumes can also be recovered later from the backup image.

    Not so sure, but ideally license for each workstation need to be procured separately.

    Turning 'Automatic updates' you can decide as per you need. Not all updates will require server re-boot.

    Hope I helped. If yes, mark as helpful.

    Gagan [MSFT]

    • Marked as answer by Mugen 911 Thursday, May 16, 2013 1:27 PM
    Wednesday, May 15, 2013 5:08 PM

All replies

  • A BMR backup will do whatever you want to achieve in this case. This is what you have to do:

    > Take a complete backup of your system to the External disk. You can do this from UI using the "Full server" option or use the command:

    wbadmin start backup -allcritical -include:<other volumes> -backuptarget:X:

    > To recover, use the OS installation disk and boot to the recovery environment. Run BMRUI.exe through cmdline and select the system image to restore your system. The disk on which you took the backup should be attached to the system.

    If you do not have OS installation disk, you can use WinRE CD or WinRE on USB

    (here's how to create one:http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc749103(v=ws.10).aspx)

    hope it helps.

    Monday, May 06, 2013 6:20 PM
  • Thank you for your response. 

    Will this recovery method work in a disaster situation when suddenly my server dies and I can quickly convert a workstation into the original server ready to go with all installed programs installed instantly until I receive a Permanent Server?  BTW, Is there any benefit of using softwares like Norton's Ghost or ShadowProtect?  I appreciate any insight, and please pardon my IT ignorance.

    Tuesday, May 07, 2013 4:58 PM
  • Yes indeed. BMR (Bare Metal Recovery) backup sole purpose is to help in disaster recovery. You can try to recover your original workstation, if it goes corrupt or can clone your system to an alternate workstation, considering.

    > The new workstation should have enough disk space to recover your all volumes.

    > BMR recovery will choose disks on the new workstation and restore your volumes. It will wipe out all data originally present on the disks of the workstation.

    You should create a backup schedule to keep a latest image of your server. First backup will take some amount of time, but later it should just do differential backup and maintain a latest copy of your system.

    I am not really sure about other tools you talk about.

    Thanks!

    Tuesday, May 07, 2013 6:07 PM
  • I understand that I must set up server back up before I can perform any back up. 

    When doing so do I need to go to Configuration -> Local Users and Groups -> Groups -> Backup operators ->add Techco group.  Is adding Techco group important?

    Also what is the dirrerence to BMR backup vs full system back up?

    And during the backup wizard what is the difference between full server back up vs. coing to custom and doing a Bare Metal Recovery.

    Thank you for any inputs.

    Tuesday, May 07, 2013 10:57 PM
  • Hi,

    If Techco group means the user group which perform the backup process, then it is important as user will not have permission to perform a backup if it is not a domain admin or Backup oprators.

    For the diffrerence between BMR vs Full System Backup, I assume you mean "system state" vs BMR.

    System State could help you restore current system to a previous status. and BMR could help you restore the server to another computer as disaster recovery.

    And if you mean "Full Server" in Windows Server Backup GUI (with the other option "Custom"), it should means the whole system including all  volumes.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc755163.aspx


    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum |If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    • Marked as answer by Mugen 911 Thursday, May 16, 2013 1:28 PM
    Wednesday, May 08, 2013 11:10 AM
    Moderator
  • Thank you all for your inputs.  

    To clarify I meant between Full Server vs BMR.  My apologies for the confusion.

    I now understand that BMR allows me to back up a server and in turn when necessary turn a computer into that server as disaster recovery.  My concerns is will it restore all company management programs, applications, data, etc that I installed into the server under a separate Partition that my office works off of?  Also, the hardware or computer receiving the restore does it need to have an identical configuration to the hardware that was the source of the backup?

    Full Server as you mention copies all volumes, which I believe is all partitions (unfortunately my computer background is limited).  If so does that mean BMR transforms a computer into a working server.  And Full Server Brings a computer into a working server + all Data + User installed Programs.  If not, what is the Full Server backup good for or in what situation is it used for, or what is its applications?

    In general I later found out my server has a very simple setup.  Its hard drive has 2 partition.  One for MS OS and the other for Data and programs.  My concern is that I run a small office and my server runs about 4 different company management softwares.   The technician that setup my server told me to back up, all I need was to copy the Data Partition to an external drive.  He never set up the System Backup because he doesn't believe it is necessary.  Later on I figure out that this is not good solution if there is a disaster such as my server being stolen and especially if it took him 6 hrs to set up the server and install 4 company management softwares.  So I wanted to find the correct way to do a good and efficient Backup.  Thus to eliminate or minimize having to set up a new server on a different workstation if need to.  And the restore will also restore all company softwares, appplications plus all its data installed.  I have all my software CDS including Windows 2008 STD R2.  Again thank you all for your help.




    • Edited by Mugen 911 Tuesday, May 14, 2013 5:09 PM
    Monday, May 13, 2013 5:21 AM
  • Thanks for your input. 

    After playing with the server, I understand what you are telling me now.  I do have a few more questions.  On the BMR recovery I noticed it doesnt automatically include a separate partition I created for my Data.  I would have to click the box on my  Data Partition in order for the recovery to include it.

    Is there a reason why the Data Partition was not automatically included for BMR back up?

    Including this Data Partition would that negative affect on the restore?  Or make the restore more difficult?

    If restore to a different computer such as a workstation.  Would I need to buy another Server 2008 Std license or is that license transferable?  Or do I need to contact MS to get another license ID.

    Finally I notice the tech that installed my server didnt have Automatic update turned on.  Is it important to have it turned on or does turning it on require me to have to reboot my server after each update as seen with other Windows Operating Systems such as Windows 7.

    Thanks

    Wednesday, May 15, 2013 3:37 PM
  • BMR backup will try to backup your critical volumes, which are sufficient to replicate your working workstation. Data volumes you can add optionally.

    Make sure while recovery you have sufficient disk space for all volumes, else BMR will give importance to critical volumes. Data volumes will be recovered only if sufficient space is available. Data volumes can also be recovered later from the backup image.

    Not so sure, but ideally license for each workstation need to be procured separately.

    Turning 'Automatic updates' you can decide as per you need. Not all updates will require server re-boot.

    Hope I helped. If yes, mark as helpful.

    Gagan [MSFT]

    • Marked as answer by Mugen 911 Thursday, May 16, 2013 1:27 PM
    Wednesday, May 15, 2013 5:08 PM