Windows 2003: Data Backup and Recovery (Part 2) - Windows 2003 Backup Utility
In this article we’ll continue where we left off in Part 1 and discuss how to actually backup and restore data using theBackup utility that comes with Windows 2003, as well as take a look at disaster recovery.If you missed the first part of this article series please readWindows 2003: Data Backup and Recovery (Part 1) - AGeneral Overview.
About the Windows 2003 Backup Utility
There are many third-party backup software packages out there – HP, Veritas, and CA being some of the big nameplayers on the market. Depending on the size and budget of your enterprise you may wish to choose any of these. If however, you are after a simple solution to backup individual systems and data on shared folders, then why not usethe Backup Utility that comes ‘free’ with the Windows 2003 operating system? Alternatively, why not use Backup inconjunction with another software backup to provide a complete backup and recovery solution?The Backup Utility in Windows 2003 will allow you to, amongst other things, archive files and folders on the currentsystem or remote shared folders to a hard disk and then restore these files to any accessible disk sometime in thefuture, create a copy of the system state, system/boot partition (and any files needed to start up your system in theevent of a system failure), schedule automated backups, create a log file of what was backed up and when, and alsocreate an ASR (Automated System Recovery) disk that will save system files and configuration settings. You can alsouse Backup remotely to back up Microsoft Exchange Server databases and information about other machines.Discussing anything other than backing up and restoring data using this tool is outside the scope of this article, but Iwill briefly touch on how and when other features can be used in relation to the backup and recovery of data.
Backing up Data
To open the backup utility, go to the Start menu, navigate to Programs > Accessories > System Tools and click Backup. This will start the Backup and Restore Wizard or go straight to the Backup and Restore utility (depending onyour previously chosen settings).For the purpose of this explanation I will walk you through Advanced mode. If you start in Wizard mode, click ‘Advanced mode’ to switch.
Setting backup options
Select Tools > Options to open the Options dialog box and select your backup preferences. The General tab will allowyou to choose whether you want to verify backup after the backup process has completed – this is a good idea as itwill compare the data on the source with that of the destination to make sure an identical copy has been made. TheRestore tab gives you the option to replace files, not to replace files or to replace files on disk if they are older thanthose on the backup media. The Backup Type tab allows you to select which default backup type you want to use –choose from Normal, Copy, Differential, Incremental and Daily (as discussed in Part 1 of this series). From theBackup Log tab you can set the level of logging you want for a backup – choose from ‘Detailed’ to log allinformation, ‘Summary’ to log the most important information and ‘None’ to log nothing at all. Finally, the ExcludeFiles tab will let you set which files to exclude from being backed up.The image below shows the General tab of Backup Options:
Figure 1Performing an interactive backup
From the Backup tab you can choose which drive, file or folder you want to back up and to which destination. In theleft hand pane, click the checkboxes for which drive, file or folder you want to be backed up. The details for theselected folder appear in the right hand pane, as seen in the image below:
In my example I have chosen to back up the contents of My Documents on the local machine and a share located onanother computer in my workgroup.