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Backup - Minimum selection list required to restore Windows Server 2003??

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  • Backup - Minimum selection list required to restore Windows Server 2003??

    Hi,

    Environment:
    -Windows Server 2003 Servers(various HW). All either SP2 or R2 SP2.
    -Symantec Backup Exec 12.5.

    What is the MINIMUM selection list needed to be able to restore one of these servers? Not including User data.

    If the server is:
    A. Domain Controller
    B. File&Print / DHCP / DNS Server

    Obviously, applications, and Databases, SQL etc are all extra, but just a minimum restore of the server in its current OS config.

    I believe System State is sufficient but would like confirmation that there is no need/point in backing up the C:\Windows directory.

  • #2
    Re: Backup - Minimum selection list required to restore Windows Server 2003??

    It has been my experience that the question is really "How much time do you want it to take to restore?"

    System State is all that is necessary for AD, etc..

    Do you want to boot off a floppy / CD and do a complete restore (ASR in backup exec) or are you planning to reinstall windows / all drivers / all applications / remap everything / etc etc etc?

    So the question is
    1) Is time a factor in the backup? (IE: the backup performs while you wait)
    2) Is Space a factor on the tape/device?

    If you answered no to both than grab it ALL! Too much information is never a problem!

    Does you server run on a raid system (Mirrored, Raid5)? If so, you will come to find the backups are more for user errors than for your disaster recovery plan. (IE: CIO messes up his quickbooks data, Sales VP deleted the wrong contract, etc)

    Hobie

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    • #3
      Re: Backup - Minimum selection list required to restore Windows Server 2003??

      A point I'd like to mention is the fact that BE 12.5 comes with the IDR option for free. IDR allows you to do a full restore (even a bare metal restore to dissimilar hardware) as long as you perform a full backup of the machine. I do a Full machine backup once a week and incremental backups the remaining 6 days. I do a Full System State backup everyday. I know this doesn't answer your question, but this is the way I do it to ensure maximum data availability and minimal downtime. As for your question, a Full System State backup is the minimum data required to restore your DC but you'll spend a lot of time doing the recovery.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Backup - Minimum selection list required to restore Windows Server 2003??

        Same here, we always backup everything and only remove anything from the backup job if it's causing an error or if the customer is fussy and prefers to see "Successful" rather than "Completed with Exceptions" in their backup report.
        BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
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        Cruachan's Blog

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        • #5
          Re: Backup - Minimum selection list required to restore Windows Server 2003??

          Hmmm... thanks, interesting replies.

          So, minimum is System State.

          However, is there actually a middle ground between:
          -Doing a server build and performing an ASR,
          and
          -Using a feature like BE 12.5's IDR for which a COMPLETE server backup must be taken?

          I.e. When you install Windows, most of the C:\Windows directory will be rebuilt anyway? And you cant really use a BE restore to restore installed programs, can you?

          As regards User Data - that's seperate to this question, that is being backed up. There are certain servers which do not store any normal user data & just provide services.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Backup - Minimum selection list required to restore Windows Server 2003??

            Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
            Hmmm... thanks, interesting replies.

            So, minimum is System State.

            However, is there actually a middle ground between:
            -Doing a server build and performing an ASR,
            and
            -Using a feature like BE 12.5's IDR for which a COMPLETE server backup must be taken?

            I.e. When you install Windows, most of the C:\Windows directory will be rebuilt anyway? And you cant really use a BE restore to restore installed programs, can you?

            As regards User Data - that's seperate to this question, that is being backed up. There are certain servers which do not store any normal user data & just provide services.
            The backup software will backup the programs and restore them. Keep this in mind when you backup the data (IE: Do you install everything under c:\program files or do you move them around?)

            Again, this might all be mute.

            How much space does your machine need to backup (if not counting user data?) How much space on the TAPE do you have?

            Hobie

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Backup - Minimum selection list required to restore Windows Server 2003??

              Originally posted by Hobie View Post
              The backup software will backup the programs and restore them. Keep this in mind when you backup the data (IE: Do you install everything under c:\program files or do you move them around?)
              Ignore the capacity issue for now please, its not what I'm concerned about just yet. I'm trying to get a clear picture of what exactly different levels of backup are capable of restoring.

              So, if I have a backup comprising of:
              -System State
              -Program Files
              -Windows Directory

              And I then build a basic server, and use BE to restore the above, the programs will all work perfectly? Will BE make the registry changes normally done on install by the programs etc?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Backup - Minimum selection list required to restore Windows Server 2003??

                The system state includes the registry files..

                So yes, if you restore the machine and include the registry on the backup (system state) it will expect to find all the files for all of your programs.

                If you fail to backup the program files folder you will/may have errors after the restore. (depending of course on what is installed)

                Hobie

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                • #9
                  Re: Backup - Minimum selection list required to restore Windows Server 2003??

                  Thanks. Getting a little clearer now.

                  I could of course just re-install the programs again after performing a restore of System State?
                  Obviously I may have some issues with licensing with certain software, but in general this approach could/should work if used?

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