Creating Full Computer Backup Sets


Topic Last Modified: 2005-11-10

A full computer backup set includes all of the information in a Microsoft® Windows® backup set plus most of the data on the hard drives of your computer. Having a full computer backup set available is helpful if you want to make sure that you have a copy of all the data on your server (for example, the contents of your drives on a specific date) and all of your applications.

Although the drive contents of your computer make up the majority of the data in a full computer backup set, you must also include the System State data in this backup set.

You can use the backup utility (Backup) in Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003 to create full computer backup sets. Unlike Windows backup sets, full computer backup sets are typically created with the expectation that you will restore applications such as Microsoft Exchange by restoring the full computer backup set instead of reinstalling them. If you performed a full computer backup by using Backup, this backup can be restored only by using Backup. Therefore, Windows Server 2003 must function sufficiently well after a disaster to allow you to restore your full computer backups. If the disaster renders your Windows Server 2003 operating system unusable, you must repair or reinstall the operating system, and then restore your full computer backup.

If a failure renders your Windows Server 2003 operating system unusable, you do not have to repair or reinstall Windows Server 2003 if you can restore a disk image of the boot partition (which contains the files that start the operating system) and the system partition (which contains the remaining operating system files). For more information about how to restore disk images, see your disk imaging software documentation.

For detailed instructions, see How to Create a Full Computer Backup Set Using Backup.

Backup might not include all the files on a drive in a backup. By default, Backup does not back up specific file sets, such as swap files and temporary files. For information about how to exclude particular directories or file types from your full computer backup set, see "Selecting the Default Settings for Backup."