How can I still use NTBackup after Server 2008?


You're probably wondering why on earth anybody would still want to use NTBackup after we removed it after Windows Server 2003. I've been using this tool seemingly forever, and it is invaluable to my system admin toolbox, especially on my home servers.

One big reason to use this is the old fashioned conundrum of "I need to hold backups for xx years". The time comes to do a restore, and you have no tools to restore it with. I had this issue many years ago where we kept all of our tapes, but had no drive to read the tape on. Most importantly, NTBackup files cannot be read by Windows Server Backup. If nothing else, this is a reason to keep NTBackup around. I've tested this on Server 2016, and still back up my home servers with it. Sounds like blog, part 2 on how this is done.

NTBackup doesn't have a whole lot of enterprise features, or compression, or really much of anything. I know other tools like System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) aren't threatened by it. What it does provide, however, is a flexible and no nonsense tool for backing up folders.

If you're reading this blog, you probably already know what NTBackup can do for you. NTBackup is simple and no frills: it allows the user to select folders to back up, rather than a whole drive. In another blog, I will discuss how to make NTBackup an enterprise tool.

In my lab, I had a Windows Server 2003 SP2 virtual machine for the simple purpose of doing backups. Of course, patch it as far as you can for best results. Here are the files to look for, simply dump them all into a single folder (like C:\NTBackup).

Here are the needed files (from the \Windows\System32 folder)

• NTBackup.exe
• Ntmsapi.dll
• Vssapi.dll

...and optionally, these files from \Windows\Help

• NTBackup.chm
• NTBackup.hlp

You can then run NTBackup right from this folder. Later, I will be back to show you how to create an enterprise backup solution just from NTBackup.

If nothing else, you will be able to restore BAK files on the newer Server OS. I have tested this with Windows Server 2016 just fine.

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