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System Restore feature for Server 2003, 2008 and 2012?

Posted on 2014-04-23
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Last Modified: 2014-04-24
Hello,

I did a relatively quick Google in attempts to answer the following question, why doesn't Windows Server OS's include system restore, and was not able to find a direct answer to that question.  Really people just suggesting questionable alternatives.

Does anyone know why Microsoft had omitted the feature in their server OS's?

Finally, is there something that can be used that functions as closely as possible to this feature that will work for Windows Server OS's 2003, 2008 and 2012?

I would like to use this instead of having to create golden images (OVFs) and monthly images of server VMs.  Especially for servers that have not been virtualized.

It would give quite a bit of peace of mind for protecting against botched software installs messing up server registry hives and other system files.  IE if you want to try out a new server grade antivirus program, but dont particularly trust that the install wont screw up a production server.

Thanks.
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Question by:CnicNV
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by:bbao
bbao earned 75 total points
ID: 40017928
it's indeed a good question.

i blieve the System Restore feature was omitted by design, on purpose. the reason is quite simple, because server OS is for server, not for a single client computer.

as a server OS, it may keep a number of services running and maintain related data or database, most of them are business critical and any inconsistent data may have significant impacts to not only system services but also client cimputers and other resources. e,g. Active Directory.

say if System Restore is available on a DC and the system has been suddenly restored to a previous checkpoint weeks ago, how could the other DCs and client computers talk to this restored DC, the inconsistent data will destory the whole AD and depended resources.

does it make sense?
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Carl Gray earned 175 total points
ID: 40018295
For virtual machines I would recommend Veeam as it does image level backups, however depending on your hypervisor you should be able to do checkpoints or snapshots prior to software installation, or even better using Veeam create a sandbox and do the testing on an identical non production server first!

For physical machines, Storagecraft Shadow Protect is pretty good, but both give a lot more than the system restore, and the restore process will be more involved.

Carl
OxfordSBSGuy.com
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