Manually set up ntbackup for SBS 2003

Posted on 2006-04-25
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
 I'm well aware of the motto: "Small Business Server 2003 is not Server 2003".  I've learned the hard way in the past which is why I ususlly try to ask before attempting something.

  At one of my managed sites, I've run out of room for a normal SBS Backup to run on a Travan 40 tape drive because the drive does not offer compression and neither does ntbackup.  Since I cannot convince my supervisor nor the client to move to the best solution which is to upgrade our backup solution to a better product/drive, I tried this:

  I set up a weekly backup to backup system state, exchange, and other c drive contents.  I have a nightly backup that backs up the D: and E: drives which is data that is modified daily.  To achieve this I used NTBackup rather than going through the SBS Backup Utility because the backup utility will not allow me to exclude the c drive from my backup procedures.

  I'm asking to see if this is a workable solution, or will SBS get all bent out of shape.  I set up the scheduled backup, and it ran.  I had to use the /um switch to get it to work right, and when I changed the /v option from no (which is how I originally had it) to 'yes', the backup will run, but then seems to hang during the verification.  The report shows the backup of the drives, but after the line that usually seperates the backup from the verify, there is nothing, not even a failure notice.  I checked the task, and it was still running at 2:25pm this afternoon.  The backup runs at 11:00pm each night.  That's why I'm wondering if it could be that I'm trying this on SBS or is it just that I have to do something else with the switches when I tell it to verify.

  Please verify:
    1)  Whether or not this solution should work on SBS 2003.
    2)  If it should work, what might I try as far as switches to make the backup not hang during the verify.
              I will provide the backup command that is in the scheduled task below.

C:\WINDOWS\system32\ntbackup.exe backup "@C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows NT\NTBackup\data\NightlyServerBackupSelections.bks" /n "Media created 4/20/2006 at 3:31 PM" /d "Set created 4/20/2006 at 3:31 PM" /n "Media created 4/20/2006 at 3:31 PM" /v:no /r:no /rs:no /hc:on /m normal /j "NightlyDataBackup" /l:s /p "Travan" /um
Question by:compsol1993
    LVL 74

    Accepted Solution

    My guess is that the verify process is being slowed down by your anti-virus program.  What are you running for AV?  Using a manually configured NTBackup is generally not a problem on SBS... the only thing you have to be aware of is making sure that the Exchange store and SQL DBs are backed up properly.

    I'd be worried about only backing up the system state once a week... (as well as other things).  If you have a failure, you would have to restore back to the day of the system state backup... and then try to patch together all the data since.

    If an SBS backup exceeds 40GB, then I'd be looking at your archiving policy.  Mosf of the time when I encounter large backups, it's due to bad archiving, or backing up large data files such as photos, which should probably be stored somewhere other than the SBS.  The larger the backup gets, the more expensive it is to manage.

    My preferred backup method is using the native SBS Full Nightly backup to 120GB 2.5" USB hard drives.  I use a set of three of them rotated off site each night... which allows for about two full weeks of full backups to select from.

    Overall backup info, btw, is here:


    Author Comment

    Thanks for the info, Jeff.  We have a couple of clients using the USB drive method.  I might try that.  One question on your comment though.  You say that you don't recommend not doing a system state backup each night.  Why is that?  I don't know a lot about the servers, but wouldn't the system state simply be settings on the server such as programs and preferences?  Or does this in some way actually tie to the data being stored on other drives, both real and logical?

    I'm running Symantec AV on the network being served by the SBS.  My backups are just over 20GB, but in my situation that is the problem becuase of the lack of resources.  I will recommend your option though.  Not sure if they will take it.

    Please get back to me on those other questions if you wouldn't mind.  Thank you.

    Author Comment

    By clients, I mean customers, not client pcs.  Wanted to clarify.  
    LVL 74

    Expert Comment

    by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
    System State is ACTIVE DIRECTORY and your REGISTRY... the most vital parts of your server.


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