Thursday, October 22, 2009

Windows Home Server - Backing up the Server

Last night at our monthly Windows N(new) T(Technology) Users Meeting, we discussed Windows Home Server, and Windows Small Business Server. The Home Server got the Lion's share of the meeting as it got quite a lot of questions, comments, and general comments and statements from the whole group.

My contribution was on the part of backing up the server itself. While home server does a bang up job at backing up all the other PCs and Laptops on your network (really, it does work well - you don't need Acronis or Ghost or any imaging software), it does not back up itself. How is that? Well, like our presenter (Mr. Kenyon) mentioned, Microsoft probably thinks that the data duplication is sufficient since if you have multiple drives, and you have duplication on, the data is written in such a way that is duplicated on both drives (not RAID).

But the fact is that I still want to be able to backup the whole server besides that. The way you do that is to get an external drive (internal would work also) so you can take it with you somewhere else. Once you plug in a USB or eSata drive, a message will on the console will ask you if you want to add to the storage or use for backup. You tell it to use it for backup. Once you do this, then when you go to the Computer's tab of the console, you will see the Server appear there. Not until you do that will the server appear! Now, you can just right click on it, and tell it to backup. Point it to the drive, and you are on your way. There is no built in automation. It is manual process which is quite the opposite of the backups it (Home Server) itself does for all other PCs.

There are I believe third part utilities than can help with this, and being a geeky of sorts, you should be able to script something - maybe using Robocopy. A good article can be found here: Backing up Windows Home server on a Friday Night.


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