SBS 2011 backup. Server down. How can I validate backup

Hi

We  have an IBM server running Windows SBS.  Backups were run nightly to external USB disk and were successful Server is now down (RAID issues).  I need to verify that backups are ok. I do not have the same hardware available. Can anyone advise on best procedure from here?

Many Thanks
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freshfordianAsked:
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Rob WilliamsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You can attach the drive to a Win7 PC or newer, in disk management mark the drive as off line (right click on the drive, left side), and then access the contents.

Edit:  Sorry use attach, not offline, as per:
http://it.gamerz-bg.com/index.php/mounting-a-vhd-file-in-windows-2008-r2-windows-7-and-sbs-2011/
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David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:
Hello,

Providing you've had reports saying that the backup has been successful then I would presume that they are.  Backup validation happens at the end of the backup test.  

If you have doubts about the backup then try recovering up to a VM prior to the actual server. This will obviously take time though.
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freshfordianAuthor Commented:
Hi
Thank you for your comment. I don't have access to a VM.  Might I be able to recover to a standard 64bit PC or similar?
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freshfordianAuthor Commented:
Thank You. I'll give it a go.
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freshfordianAuthor Commented:
Thanks RobWill, Can see the data ok.
I have located a Dell Blade server with no OS on board presently.  I am considering restoring the backup to this server as an interim measure to access files and data.  IF you could give me any guidelines or point me in the right direction towards achieving this, I would be very grateful
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Though that method allows you to see the data and copy any files you like, it is not a method that can be used for a full restore.  You could set up a server and shares and copy your data.

To do a full restore you need to put the SBS installation CD in the computer, boot from it, and choose to "repair your computer".  This allows you to point to the USB backup, select the backup date, and allow it to restore.  The full process is outlined in the following link:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2010/06/11/how-to-perform-a-bare-metal-restore-on-small-business-server-2008.aspx

However! A full restore may not work with different hardware.  I have had it work, but officially it won't and is not supported.  
To be able to restore to different hardware you would usually use, instead of the SBS backup, Storagecraft's Shadow Protect, or Acronis with the independent hardware restore option.  That is no help now.
No harm in trying with the SBS restore .  What does wok better is to set up a Hyper-V host and restore it as a virtual machine, but again this is not a supported or a guaranteed scenario.

One of the nice things about virtual servers rather than hardware dependent servers is they can easily be moved from one server to another.  I guess not an option here.
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freshfordianAuthor Commented:
Where would you recommend to visit for further info on the Hyper-V option? Sounds interesting!
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
If not familiar with virtualization and Hyper-v it is well worth investing some time.  Most servers today, even in small businesses are being virtualized for a multitude of reasons.  Doing so makes your servers very portable, and if you have multiple servers it can save hardware and energy costs, and physical space.  It is very easy to set up and maintain, but requires some basic understanding.  Once you have a host machine, you restore the SBS the same way as you would a physical machine.
Introduction:
http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/introduction-to-hyper-v-jump-start
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freshfordianAuthor Commented:
Great answer
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