SBS backup to USB

Posted on 2010-09-21
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
RobWill, from your previous comment:

"Seriously the SBS backup to USB is your best bet. Make sure you have a drive large enough to do multiple days, and you should have multiple USB drives so that you have copies off site.
A restore from the USB is basically as fast as it can copy the file back. I have restored base SBS's in an hour. If you are worried about hardware you can have a spare unformatted box sitting standby.
I have a colleague that sells a spare motherboard with every server. He figures drives, power supplies etc. are readily available."

Are you saying that SBS backup to USB is a way to restore everything? Would I have to have SBS installed on a the replacement machine and then do the restore?  It sounds like you are saying this is different from a basic back up.....

What I am using now is a Micronet device that has two 1tb harddrives mirroring each other. It is a USB device that I have Windows backup running to every night.  I was using this when my server crashed in August. It was the incremental back up that wouldn't restore.  I had to go back to the "full" back up from a week prior to recover.  Sorry, more than you asked about, but the Micronet is a mirrored device conected via USB.  What I have now is just a basic back up.  Are you saying SBS backup to USB is something more than this?
Question by:rodynetwork
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 33729564
If you use the SBS backup from the SBS console, it will do a full backup of the Server. This can be used for individual file recovery or even a complete rebuild of the server.
To do a server restore you boot from the CD and work your way through to the restore option, select the rive and date, and wait.

This will only work with a block device (full drive not folder) such as a USB drive, or internal disk dedicated for backup.
The Backup automatically allows you to swap multiple external USB drives so that you can keep copies off site.
I am surprised you couldn't restore one of your incremental backups. I assume you are monitoring the daily reports to see that the backup is working.

As a result I would recommend multiple drives over your solution. If there were a fire or theft you would likely loose server and backup.

As for virtualizing it presents a problem as you cannot do a scheduled SBS backup to a network device and Hyper-V will not allow the SBS to see a USB drive on the host. Note: it can be done with Hyper-V R2 but that does not come with SBS 2008. The workaround for this is an application by that allows USB over the network.

Author Comment

ID: 33729712
So, I would need to back up the full drive to the USB device via the SBS console.  To restore, I would boot from CD and restore from the backup.  Pretty cool.  I think I could actually do a practice run of this with my extra server?

My incremental back up was copying onto a computer and suddenly disappeared.  I think the computer we were copying it to was flaky. The guy that was helping me said the USB with that computer seemed funky.  I don't know.  I just know that when we were restoring, it got a few minutes into the restore and then gave an error message and then the image just disappeared from the drive.  That whole experience was super freaky. My server's RAID 5 had two drives fail and then my incremental backup just went poof.  
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 33729972
I strongly recommend doing a practice restore with any backup solution.
The following is a great article:
Some additional good articles:
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Author Comment

ID: 33735050
Hi Rob,

Wondering if this is a good way to test the backup?  SInce I have a box 2, what would be involved in doing the restore of the backup, as a test on box 2?  Would I need to install  SBS first, or do I just put the CD in and do a restore as if it were happening on box 1?  The boxes are identical in that they have the same board and same processor familly, but box 1 is a xeon 3210 and box 2 is a xeon 3230.  Ram is 8gb in box 1 and 4gb in box 2.  If I do a restore on box 2 and use the backup, do I need to do anything esle prior to trying this out?
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 33735132
You should be able to restore to server 2 the same as if you were doing server 1. Just boot from the CD and follow the instructions as per:

So long as the HAL (Hardware Access Layer) is the same, which it would be with the same motherboard, it should work fine, even with the different processor. It does require 4GB of RAM to install which you have, but it will be very slow. If at any point it asks to get updates from the Internet choose no and do them after everything is restored. It can hang at that point sometimes and seems to do more so with less RAM. I can't remember if it asks that during a restore or just clean install.

Author Comment

ID: 33735600
Thanks Rob,  in reading that blog, first question comes to mind.  Since I'll be a doing a restore of the SBS onto box 2, will that cause any conflicts with my box 1 that is running now?  While I do this test I will need to keep box 1 online so everyone can work.  It just occurred to me that having box 2 on the network at the same time might cause some issues. Maybe I just do the restore with the ethernet cable unplugged?  Sorry for such a seemingly obvious question.
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Accepted Solution

Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 33735747
Correct you cannot have 2 SBS's on the same network, especially in this case where they will have the same name and IP.
You cannot install SBS 2008 with the network cable disconnected. I doubt this is true of a backup, but to play it safe just connect the cable to an unused switch or router. It doesn't have to have access to the network or the Internet, it just needs to see it is connected to a live device.

Author Comment

ID: 33735812
Good idea. Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 33735853
Thanks rodynetwork.

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