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Backing up and restoring data

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Backing up and restoring data

The Backup utility helps you protect data from accidental loss if your system’s hardware or storage media fails. For example, you can use Backup to create a duplicate copy of the data on your hard disk and then archive the data on another storage device. The backup storage medium can be a logical drive such as your hard disk, a separate storage device such as a removable disk, or an entire library of disks or tapes organized and controlled by a robotic changer. If the original data on your hard disk is accidentally erased or overwritten, or becomes inaccessible because of a hard disk malfunction, you can easily restore the data from the archived copy.

Two of the most common tasks are backing up files to a file or tape and restoring files from a file or tape. You can also back up data from the Managing Backup from the command line. For more information about other tasks for backing up and restoring data, see Backup How To ....

To back up files to a file or tape

  1. Open Backup.

    The Backup or Restore wizard starts by default, unless it is disabled. You can use this wizard or go to the next step to work in Advanced Mode.

  2. Click the Advanced Mode link on the Backup or Restore wizard.

  3. Click the Backup tab, and then on the Job menu, click New.

  4. Select the files and folders you want to back up by clicking the box to the left of a file or folder in Click to select the check box for any drive, folder, or file that you want to back up.

  5. In Backup destination, do one of the following:

    • Choose File if you want to back up files and folders to a file. This is selected by default.

    • Choose a tape device if you want to back up files and folders to a tape.

  6. In Backup media or file name, do one of the following:

    • If you are backing up files and folders to a file, type a path and file name for the backup (.bkf) file, or click the Browse button to find a file.

    • If you are backing up files and folders to a tape, choose the tape you want to use.

  7. Select any backup options you want, such as the backup type and the log file type, by clicking the Tools menu, and then clicking Options. When you have finished selecting backup options, click OK.

  8. Click Start Backup, and then make any changes to the Backup Job Information dialog box.

  9. If you want to set advanced backup options such as data verification or hardware compression, click Advanced. When you have finished setting advanced backup options, click OK.

  10. Click Start Backup to start the backup operation.

Caution

  • You can use Backup to back up and restore data on FAT16, FAT32, or NTFS volumes. However, if you have backed up data from an NTFS volume, it is recommended that you restore the data to an NTFS volume of the same version to prevent losing data. Some file systems might not support all of the features of other file systems.

Notes

  • You can use Backup to back up and restore data on FAT16, FAT32, or NTFS volumes. However, if you have backed up data from an NTFS volume, it is recommended that you restore the data to an NTFS volume of the same version to prevent losing data. Some file systems might not support all of the features of other file systems.

  • To start Backup, click Start, point to All programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Backup.

  • If the Backup or Restore wizard does not start by default, you can still use it to back up files by clicking Wizard Mode on the Welcome tab.

  • To back up and restore Microsoft SQL Server database files, it is recommended that you use the built-in backup and restore utilities that SQL has. For more information, see the Microsoft SQL Server documentation.

  • Some tape drives may not support hardware compression.

  • System State data contains most elements of a system's configuration, but it might not include all of the information that you require to recover your system from a failure. Therefore, it is recommended that you back up all boot and system volumes, including the System State, when you back up your system.

  • You can only back up the System State data on a local computer. You cannot back up the System State data on a remote computer.

  • Backup files usually have the extension .bkf. You can use any extension you like, but it is highly recommended that you use .bkf which has file associations that will ensure that the backup file is recognizable.

  • Backup operators and administrators can back up and restore encrypted files and folders without decrypting the files or folders.

  • If you have Windows Media Services running on your computer, and you want to back up the files associated with these services, see "Running Backup with Windows Media Services" in the Windows Media Services online documentation. You must follow the procedures outlined in the Windows Media Services online documentation before you can back up or restore files associated with Windows Media Services.

To restore files from a file or tape

  1. Open Backup.

    The Backup or Restore wizard starts by default, unless it is disabled.

  2. Click the Advanced Mode link on the Backup or Restore wizard.

  3. Click the Restore and Manage Media tab, in Click to select the check box for any drive, folder, or file that you want to restore, select the files and folders you want to restore by clicking the box to the left of a file or folder.

  4. In Restore files to, do one of the following:

    • Click Original location if you want the backed up files and folders to be restored to the folder or folders they were in when they were backed up. Skip to step 6.

    • Click Alternate location if you want the backed up files and folders to be restored to a folder that you designate. This option will preserve the folder structure of the backed up data; all folders and subfolders will appear in the alternate folder you designate.

    • Click Single folder if you want the backed up files and folders to be restored to a folder that you designate. This option will not preserve the folder structure of the backed up data; the files will appear only in the folder that you designate.

  5. If you selected Alternate location or Single folder, type a path for the folder under Alternate location, or click the Browse button to find the folder.

  6. On the Tools menu, click Options, click the Restore tab, and then do one of the following:

    • Click Do not replace the file on my computer if you do not want the restore operation to copy over files that are already on your hard disk.

    • Click Replace the file on disk only if the file on disk is older if you want the restore operation to replace older files on your disk with newer files from your backup.

    • Click Always replace the file on my computer if you want the restore operation to replace files on your disk regardless of whether the backup files are newer or older.

    • Click OK to accept the restore options you have set.

  7. Click Start Restore.

  8. If you want to change any of the advanced restore options, such as restoring security settings and junction point data, click Advanced. When you are done setting advanced restore options click OK.

  9. Click OK to start the restore operation.

Caution

  • Choosing Always replace the file on my computer could cause you to lose data if a file you are working on is contained in the backup.

  • You can use Backup to back up and restore data on FAT16, FAT32, or NTFS volumes. However, if you have backed up data from an NTFS volume, it is recommended that you restore the data to an NTFS volume of the same version to prevent losing data. Some file systems might not support all of the features of other file systems.

Notes

  • You can use Backup to back up and restore data on FAT16, FAT32, or NTFS volumes. However, if you have backed up data from an NTFS volume, it is recommended that you restore the data to an NTFS volume of the same version to prevent losing data. Some file systems might not support all of the features of other file systems.

  • To start Backup, click Start, point to All programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Backup.

  • You can also use the Restore wizard to restore files by clicking Restore Wizard on the Tools menu.

  • To back up and restore Microsoft SQL Server database files, it is recommended that you use the built-in backup and restore utilities that SQL has. For more information, see the Microsoft SQL Server documentation.

  • In order to restore the System State data on a domain controller, you must first start your computer in Directory Services Restore Mode. This will allow you to restore the SYSVOL directory and the Active Directory directory service database.

  • You can only restore the System State data on a local computer. You cannot restore the System State data on a remote computer.

  • Backup operators and administrators can back up and restore encrypted files and folders without decrypting the files or folders.

Information about functional differences

  • Your server might function differently based on the version and edition of the operating system that is installed, your account permissions, and your menu settings. For more information, see Viewing Help on the Web.

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