backup issues

I have a big question and some few issues (I hate backups)
1) what is the procedure / implementation of a backup that will insure me that if a server crashes I can start from scratch using the backup- Do I need to keep indexing on a separate file , back up system state - how do i restore ..etc... I will appreciate an elaborate answer that will cover the ntbackup tool of Microsoft 2000 server  and backup exe on 2003 server

2) I try to use the ntbackup tool on 2000 server  but I get messages that the backup cant recognize the cassette , I try to format the used tape but i get the message "please check the removable storage ..." or "the tape doesn’t support" .
when I tried to backup up from other server I get the message the cassette is full although it supports 12g and I am backing only 6 gb of data from 20 gb .

3) Backup exe on 2003 server cant find a d$ partition

* any suggestions for a good backup software ,...
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1.      One suggested strategy is to do full backup at Monday and Wednesday and incremental backup the other days of the week; this make sure that you can restore your server state to one day before in case of disaster.
2.      In NT backup tool of windows 2000 you have to manually mount the drive before using. Also, make sure that your Cassette drive is on HCL of windows 2000; you may need to update the driver for it.
3.      Make sure that the D$ share is present, and the NT backup tool are running as Administrator or a member of the backup group.  

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Windows 2000

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