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Backing up and restoring windows 2003 using ntbackup?

Posted on 2013-02-06
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Last Modified: 2013-02-10
I have a server w2k3 sbs with obviously exchange , file server and a SQL database (which is used by a bespoke accountancy application)

It is also a domain. I do regular full ntbackups.


If the server fails i.e won't boot anymore do corrupt boot files , or if the hard drives die.....

1. Can I do a full windows restore using ntbackup after reinstalling windows? Will it restore it to its exact original state?

2. Do I create three backups , one for the complete server, one for exchange and one for SQL. ? I understand ntbackup can backup exchange without dismounting the informations store but how do I back up SQL ?

3. If the hard drives fail, I can put in new hard drives , reinstall windows, then do a full restore from the full ntbackup? Correct

Please advise
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Question by:Ikky786
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LVL 19

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by:Miguel Angel Perez Muñoz
Miguel Angel Perez Muñoz earned 171 total points
ID: 38858612
Standard procedures to make restorations with ntbackups are:

Perform full backups. In case of crash (hard drive damaged or whatever), reinstall OS and perform full restoration. Doing this, you recover your server as same point was at time you do your backup.
Since you have other apps, I recommend before running your ntbackup job, make a full export of your databases, sometimes database files can not be copied using ntbackup, this let you import if database restoration fails. This is a job on SQL Server.
Exchange databases requires another procedures.
This articles may help you:
How to restore a datababase from export: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms177429.aspx
How to make export backups using sql server:http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms187510.aspx
How to backup and restore your Exchange server using ntbackup: http://www.msexchange.org/articles-tutorials/exchange-server-2003/high-availability-recovery/Exchange-2003-Backup-Restore-NTBACKUP.html
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by:ScottCha
ScottCha earned 166 total points
ID: 38859287
To answer your question, no.  NTBackup cannot back up the OS and restore it to a functional OS again.

You need something with more features like BackupExec.

With everthing you are backing up you really need to use a 3rd part program that will have the features you need to do a proper backup.
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Author Comment

by:Ikky786
ID: 38859507
thanks people.

i dont understand why microsoft have made product which we cannot backup properly without third party tools.

doesnt make sense. through all the different flavours of windows they could of atleast included one utility that completely backs up the whole system in its entirety ready for restore.
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LVL 19

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by:Miguel Angel Perez Muñoz
Miguel Angel Perez Muñoz earned 171 total points
ID: 38860136
Really you can recovery at same point using ntbackup, but need reinstall OS first and restore over this install.
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LVL 11

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by:hecgomrec
hecgomrec earned 163 total points
ID: 38865669
I don't know the size of your enviroment but here is my recomendation:

Installed Software:

1 HD (mirrored) for System (OS)
1 HD for your Exchange Data Base (RAID as/if needed)
1 HD for your SQL Database (RAID as/if needed)

Backup:  (if possible different units and Grand Father, Father, Son as needed)

1 set for System
1 set for Exchange Data Base
1 set for SQL Database

Note: Never backup all your data to the same media.  Not safe.

Backup Software:  NTBackup can do the trick but has limitations and can be time consuming for backing up and restoring, other software solution might give you better results but you should decide with one fits your company's needs and budget.

Good Luck
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by:ScottCha
ScottCha earned 166 total points
ID: 38865709
That's a great idea to not have all of your data on the same media. I never thought about it but if a tape breaks then it is all gone for that day.

Wheras if a tape breaks you only lose part of that media for that day and the rest will be fine.

Excellent.
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LVL 11

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by:hecgomrec
hecgomrec earned 163 total points
ID: 38865780
TAPE???? No way....

Use NAS or SAS at 5.0 Gbps via usb 3 or 3.0 Gbps via eSata.
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Author Comment

by:Ikky786
ID: 38866122
i like the NAS or SAS at 5.0gps via usb 3 or 3.0gps via estata.

what should I purchase , a QNAP or synology?

whats cheap and reliable and most commonly used.
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hecgomrec earned 163 total points
ID: 38867795
Here is a thing...  this you will have to go with your budget and company needs.

QNAP is very business oriented...like big!!!

Synology has a broad liine of products, even for home.

So at the end of the day I can't really recommend a Backup solution (NAS) as I like to think there are no rules when it comes to which products is the "best" because what is best for you doesn't mean it will be for the company next door.  As long as you have a good backup organization the media you choose... sorry that you can afford... will do.
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