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How to backup/restore VHD files in Windows Server 2008?

Posted on 2010-09-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
How do I backup and restore a VHD file? I have Windows Server 2008 (64-bit) with Hyper-V. My WinXP virtual pc works great with the VHD file. I want to have a backup of the virtual pc. I tried to copy the VHD file to another HDD but when I copied it back to the orginal location, Hyper-V will not open the file. I installed Symantec Backup Exec System Recover (server version) and created a full system backup. When I restored the VHD file, Hypver-V will not start my virtual pc. It looks like there are some special permissions set on the VHD file that are lost in the copy/restore process. Stumped!
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Question by:sahinman
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by:Will Szymkowski
Will Szymkowski earned 100 total points
ID: 33645588
I would recommend using Windows Server Backup, which is more then capable of backuping up and resotring VHD (hyp-v). This tool is also free as it comes with Server 2008.

Take a look at this link as it is the step-by-step guide to accomplish this...
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc770266(WS.10).aspx

hope this helps~!
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Brad Howe earned 400 total points
ID: 33645691
Hi,

Windows Server backup will successfully back up a running VM since it backups at the volume level though VSS. You can also restore an individual VM by recovering its VHD from the backup and then creating a new VM mounting the restored VHD.

How to back up Hyper-V virtual machines from the parent partition on a Windows Server 2008-based computer by using Windows Server Backup
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/958662

You could also use a scripted approach modified from this.
http://www.bunkerhollow.com/blogs/matt/archive/2008/09/24/hyper-v-vm-backup-script-batch-file.aspx

We did this in the beginning and finally purchased Acronis backup 10. This is VM aware and works everytime. We maintain all the base configs in an xls and then when a restore is required, we simply create the VM Container on the Host, boot with Arconis and restore the last backup.

If you can purchase agents to install, Data protection manager by Microsoft or Acronis would be the path I would suggest.
If free is required, then a powershell scripted approach or Windows Server Backup would work.

-Hades666
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by:Brad Howe
Brad Howe earned 400 total points
ID: 33645826
Here is a good video walktrough of Windows Server Backup and VHD restore.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/dd775213.aspx
Cheers,
-Hades666
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Expert Comment

by:jbits1212
ID: 33646278
As a backup solution I like logmeinbackup

https://secure.logmein.com/products/backup/

It is subscription based but the price is low, you can get a free trial (time limited)
it is bullet proof for my needs
It will even look at regulary changing large files such as .pst (outlook files) and only backup the changed data which is great if you are sending stuff offsite all encryted of course.

Good luck
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