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Windows 2008 Bare metal backup for VM & limitations

Posted on 2013-01-08
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Last Modified: 2013-01-14
Windows 2008 R2 (Standard & Enterprise) comes with a
"Bare Metal Backup" feature.

Q1:
Can I take bare metal backups of my VMware VMs using this
feature & how do I restore?  For physical servers, will need
a Win 2008 recovery CD to boot up but how do I do this for
VMware VMs?

I'm doing this as interim solution because the Netbackup vendor
told me current NBU Ver 7.1.0.2 could not support VADP backup
of our VMs (on ESXi 5.0 Upd 1).  There's cases of OS being corrupted

Q2:
Unlike Acronis bare metal backup which could deselect certain drives
/folders (say D: drive of a physical server which hold data/apps files),
I noticed that Win 2008 R2's Bare Metal backup will backup entire
local disks ie if I have C: & D: , it will backup both C: & D: fully &
won't allow me to skip, say D: drives or selected folders.  Anyway
to work around this as I don't want too huge a backups being
created & the Win 2008 bare metal backups to run too long
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Question by:sunhux
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by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 390 total points
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Q1. Yes this can be done. Backup using Windows Backup to a Network File Share on your Network, Insert the CDROM (connect ISO to new VM). Boot CDROM, select Restore/Repair.

See my videos, which I've created and tested for EE Members.

I've done this with SBS same procedure.

Video Tutorial - Bare Metal Recovery of Microsoft Small Business Server 2011: Part 2 How to Restore Microsoft Small Business Server 2011

Video Tutorial -  Bare Metal Recovery of Microsoft Small Business Server 2011: Part 1 How to Backup Microsoft Small Business Server 2011


Q2 Windows Backup and Recovery is FREE, and just allows you to restore you Server complete, as it was when it was backed up.
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Assisted Solution

by:BlueCompute
BlueCompute earned 100 total points
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Hi sunhux,

It is possible to exclude volumes from a full Bare Metal Recovery backup in Windows 2008 R2.  See screenshots below - WSB will not allow me to exclude the C: volume as it is required for BMR, but I can exclude E: and back up the flat files on that volume in a different way if I choose.  I could then do a bare metal restore of the C: and system state without E:
WSB exclude volume
Although I do seem to recall being unable to do this on other 2008 servers...
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
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Thanks hanccocka.

> exclude volumes from a full Bare Metal Recovery backup in Windows 2008 R2
Think the E: volume is another physical disk.  I found that if I have a HDD
which is partitioned to C: & D:, Win 2008 R2's Bare Metal Backup will
still backup both C: & D:
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by:BlueCompute
BlueCompute earned 100 total points
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Ah yes, you are quite correct sunhux, apologies - because the backup is block based, it does not recognise partitions and will only do whole disks.
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