Windows Server Backup is a built-in component of Windows Server 2008 R2 that consists of a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in, command-line tools, and Windows PowerShell cmdlets. Windows Server Backup, like its predecessor – Ntbackup (on Windows Server 2000/2003), provides a complete solution for your day-to-day backup and recovery needs.
When compared to Windows Server 2008 RTM, in Windows Server 2008 R2 there are new features that expand what you can back up, where you can store backups, and how you can perform recoveries.
Note: One thing to keep in mind is that you cannot recover backups with Windows Server Backup that were created in earlier versions of Windows with Ntbackup. However, a read-only version of Ntbackup is freely available if you want to recover data from backups created using Ntbackup, and can be installed to recover files on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7:
Download Details – Microsoft Download Center – Windows NT Backup – Restore Utility
What You Can Backup with Windows Server Backup
You can use Windows Server Backup to back up a full server (all volumes), a selected list of volumes, the system state, or specific files or folders—and to create a backup that you can use for bare metal recovery.
Note: In Windows Server 2008 RTM, you were very limited in what you could choose to backup, with the only choices being volumes or the entire server. Luckily, this was changed in R2.
After performing a backup, and if need arises, you can recover volumes, folders, files, certain applications, and the system state. And, in case of disasters like hard disk failures, you can even perform a bare metal recovery.
You can use Windows Server Backup to create and manage backups for the local computer or a remote computer (even for Server Core installations), and you can schedule backups to run automatically.
Installing Windows Server Backup
When you add the Windows Server Backup Features and subordinate items, you also install the following tools:
- Windows Server Backup Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in
- Wbadmin command-line tool
- Windows PowerShell cmdlets for Windows Server Backup
To install Windows Server Backup you can use one of 3 methods:
- Using Server Manager
- Using Servermanagercmd.exe
- Using PowerShell (See why every admin needs to learn PowerShell)
We’ll take a look at each of the installation methods in more detail below.
To install Windows Server Backup, log on to the computer by using the local Administrator account or another account with Administrator privileges. To perform backups or recoveries by using Windows Server Backup, you must be a member of the Administrators or Backup Operators groups.
1. Installing Windows Server Backup Using Server Manager
Probably the easiest for this specific role. I would use this method.
1. Open the Server Manager and wait for it to load.
2. Click on “Features” and wait for it to load.
3. Click “Add Features“.
4. In the “Add Features Wizard” page, scroll down and click to select “Windows Server Backup features“. If you also want to get the PowerShell command samples, manually select “Command Line Tools“. You do not need this addition if you plan to use the GUI or the WBADMIN command line tool. Click “Next“.
5. In the “Confirm Installation Selections” page click “Install“.
8. Once finished, there is no need to reboot the server.
2. Installing Windows Server Backup Using Servermanagercmd.exe
Using the servermanagercmd.exe command is easy, however this command will be deprecated in future versions of Windows, so don’t get used to it too much…
1. Open a Command Prompt window with elevated permissions (right-click CMD and select “Run as Administrator“).
servermanagercmd -i Backup-Features
Note: Servermanagercmd.exe is not case sensitive.
3. Installing Windows Server Backup Using PowerShell
In Windows Server 2008 R2, PowerShell is installed by default. However, in order to install roles with it, you need to import the Server Manager module.
1. Open a PowerShell window with elevated permissions (right-click PowerShell and select “Run as Administrator“).
3. Once imported, type:
Note: The Add-WindowsFeature command is not case sensitive.
Get the full Microsoft article:
Windows Server Backup Step-by-Step Guide for Windows Server 2008 R2