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Kevin Remde's IT Pro WebLog

Windows Server 2003 Administration Webcast Series (Part 7 Backup, Restore, and Recovery)


Frustrating Audio!  And for that I sincerely apologize.  We’re finding that the servers somewhere in the pipe that were handling the audio for our LiveMeeting 2005 stream weren’t up to the task. 

The good news: Part 8 and following will all be still using the new LiveMeeting, but with the old audio provider.  (At least until they can prove that they’ve solved the problems.)

Here, as usual, is the “best of” Q&A log from the webcast.  Sincere thanks again to my teammates for doing such a great job helping to answer questions!  I give them the credit for the information in this document.  Outstanding!

Also I want to make sure also have the link to the Session Resources I posted for Part 7, and the homework assignment also.

Questions and Answers:

“Is the Normal BU the same as a Full BU?”

Yes.  We often use the terms interchangeably.


“Will the backup feature in 2003 server replace 3rd party backup software?”

Great question. The backup tool is exceptional and works fine in real world networks. There are some additional features and niceties of 3rd party backup programs that may make them desirable over the windows system. It all depends on your specific needs.


“When you say reset the bit, do you mean reset the bit in the original file or in the backup copy?  FYI, I missed the first part of the audio because of the problem with the Live Meeting 2005.”

There is a bit on the original file that we mark to indicate backup.


“Can you send me the url to get previous PPT’s for these livemeetings livemeeting?”

You have to return to the event page and confirm your registration info to be sent the PowerPoint. Check this link to find all the archived events: http://www.microsoft.com/events/series/windowsserver2003admin.mspx


“When taking a system state backup do you need to backup the window directory as well?”

System state backup is designed to allow for recovery of directory services and critical network services. It does not backup everything on the machine.


“Is Windows Server 2003 utility still unable to backup an opened SQL Server database?”

Check out this reference for how to backup SQL Server 2000:


“Do the questions and answers get saved during the recorded presentation so that we can view them later?”

Not during the presentation.  I, however, capture the log and create this document you’re reading now; so at least there’s that.


“Long time ago I tried to use ASR.  During recovery it asked for the ASR diskette but would not recognize it when I put it in and pressed enter. Has that problem been cured now?”

Interesting problem. I have not seen this. I use ASR regularly and it works very well.


“I have a problem with my 2003 servers and ntbackup scheduler. The backup will error out with “NTbackup error: The requested media failed to mount. The operation was aborted” I have taken the backup command and made a batch file that runs about three minutes after the scheduled job is to run. On two of my servers, scheduling both the ntbackup and the batchfile within 3 minutes of each other, the backup will run. The third server will not back up no matter what I have tried. I can kick it off by running the batchfile, but scheduling the batchfile always errors out with the message above. Help”

You might want to check out the article http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;555136


“If the backup winds up with corruption in it, do you know of any software packages that will repair / recover some of the data?”

I don’t know of any. There’s a great business opportunity.


“Can you backup these up to DAT drives used for backups in your domain?”

Yes and it works well.


“It sounds like then a full backup consists of two parts a) create a backup using the backup/restore utility, and then b) create an ASR. Is this correct?

Correct… if you’re going want ALL of the disk contents, a complete normal (full) backup will do that.  The ASR will create a backup that really is just for restoring your system to fully operational state – without backing up documents or other non-essentials. 


“Can you backup directly to a CD-R or do you need to back up to disk and then burn to CD-R?”

I prefer to backup to disk first and then burn to removable media.


“Can the same floppy be used on different machines if the machines are identical”

If they are truly identical yes. Same SID and all.  So usually, no.

“What steps did needed to create a virtual Floppy?”



“If a 3rd party does the backup, does the archive bit get changed after its done?”

Yes.  3rd party tools generally carry through the same notion of the types of backups available, and use of the archive bit to support them.


“Kevin said if you delete a catalog, you can re-catalog it. How?”

For more info, check out: http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/WindowsServ/2003/standard/proddocs/en-us/Default.asp?url=/resources/documentation/WindowsServ/2003/standard/proddocs/en-us/ntbackup_delete_catalog.asp


“If you have the backup utility create a system recovery disk and direct it to a CD-R drive, will it create a bootable CD?”

No.  You will need to add the appropriate files to make it bootable.

“Can ASR copy to a CD instead of a floppy?”

Unfortunately not.  Please check out the ASR page at: http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/WindowsServ/2003/standard/proddocs/en-us/Default.asp?url=/resources/documentation/WindowsServ/2003/standard/proddocs/en-us/asr_overview.asp


“How often will the ASR disk have to be updated?”

As often as you backup.


“Kevin mentioned last time that XP Home Edition will not recognize Dynamic Volume. Give KB please?”

There is no article that I know of.  The option to create or convert basic to dynamic is simply not a part of the product.


“Will the ASR boot floppy be able to access external media, such as USB hdds?”

No, unfortunately not. 


“How is a product like Vertas Back Up Exec the same, different, better or worse than the back up system we’re looking at now?”

Other backup tools will offer additional options for backup, storage libraries, and methods of restoration.


“Do you only have to create an ASR floppy once per system or every time the system state changes… i.e. I perform an ASR backup two months ago and perform full data/system state backups weekly… would I be able to use the same floppy to restore to the latest full backup?”

You would.  Remember what is on the ASR versus the system state data.


“To perform a full backup that backups SQL Server database – it is not same as creating an image that you can go back to if necessary? To perform a full backup that backups SQL Server database – it is not same as creating an image that you can go back to if necessary?”

Interesting you should bring this up because it is one of the new features of SQL 2005.


“Does XP Home Edition support Dynamic Volume?”

XP home does not have the options to convert to or use local dynamic volumes.


“I’m sorry if I missed it: what kinds of system changes necessitate remaking a system recovery disk. If the answer is complicated, please feel free to pass”?



“Will VSS work for SQL and Exchange?”

You will still need to backup Exchange and SQL independently.  SQL 2005 does have a feature like shadow copies.


“So with SQL Server 2005 full back is the same as an image of the server. Whereas you cannot perform a full backup or ADS image with SQL Server 2000 or earlier. Is that correct?”

Right on the money.


“Can you clarify with the SQL 2005 question? Are you saying that backups are now going to be candidates for VSS?”

No.  I am saying SQL 2005 has a built-in feature that allows us to take a snapshot of a SQL database for recovery.


“My workstation has been backup everyday by a Network. If I want to create a local schedule backup on only my workstation using ASR method. I wonder to know if my local back up will interrupt the Network backup because both back up will reset the bit on the file it backup. I do not want to mess up the Network backup. What should I do?”

You might be able to script this out, check the switches at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;814583


“Using VSS, does that mean the users on shared drives do not need to close out of open data bases and docs?”

Be careful because your results on VSS with open docs will be undetermined. To get a true complete snapshot they would need to be closed.


“You were able to access Floppy because you are using Virtual PC. What if you are Terminal Serving or Remotely connecting to your server. How can you excess the Floppy?”

You wouldn’t.

“I read the article but there is nothing about restoring from tape, I know that I have an option in my Tivoli backup System that let me take an Image from the server, and I hope that ASR will give me the same option.

Correct.  This sort of functionality might be supported in various ways by non-Microsoft products.


“Is there a way to shadow copy of a DFS share consisting of local and network drives?”

For more info, check out: http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/WindowsServ/2003/all/techref/en-us/Default.asp?url=/resources/documentation/WindowsServ/2003/all/techref/en-us/w2k3tr_vss_how.asp


“What is the Microsoft best practice for backing up exchange server?”



“How is the SQL 2005 snapshot different than a full backup? I don’t understand the difference.”

It would only copy delta’s or changes to the database versus the entire database.


“Does VSS create a copy of all the files on the volume each time it is set to even if the files have not changes since last VSS copy?”

For more info on this check out: http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/WindowsServ/2003/all/techref/en-us/Default.asp?url=/resources/documentation/WindowsServ/2003/all/techref/en-us/w2k3tr_vss_how.asp


“Ok, so we now have a true incremental backup now in sql 2005 versus the differential?”

If you used enough snapshots you would. The feature is designed for situations where you might be changing a database and need the ability to quickly go back if corruption should occur.


“I have WS03 Server with Workgroup with Dynamic Volume. does XP Home Edition able to access Dynamic volume on the server.”

Yes XP home can access files on a dynamic volume if it’s just a share across a network.

“Are the backup/restore tools cluster aware?”

Yes and no. The following article talks about how to backup a cluster in Exchange but generally speaking the backup tool assumes you are backing up a single machine. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/community/chats/trans/exchange/exch1203.mspx


“Is it possible to control how many versions are saved in VSS? Our organization would only want a few versions saved that would be available to users to restore.”

For more info check out: http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/WindowsServ/2003/all/techref/en-us/Default.asp?url=/resources/documentation/WindowsServ/2003/all/techref/en-us/w2k3tr_vss_how.asp


“For ASR, what if you don’t have a floppy on your server?”

Without a floppy drive ASR is not an option currently. I expect this to be remedied soon.


Thank you guys for answering the Q/A!”


You’re welcome!