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Troubleshooting Backup and Recovery

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

This topic lists some common issues that you may encounter when using Windows Server Backup. For more in-depth troubleshooting information, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=93294.

What problem are you having?

I cannot recover any data from a .bkf file that I created using an earlier version of Windows.
  • Cause:  You cannot use Windows Server Backup in Windows Server 2008 to recover backups that were created with the previous backup feature (Ntbackup.exe).

  • Solution:  A version of Ntbackup.exe is available as a download for Windows Server 2008 users who want to recover data from backups created using Ntbackup.exe. The downloadable version of Ntbackup.exe is only for recovering backups created with older versions of Windows and cannot be used to create new backups in Windows Server 2008. To download Ntbackup.exe, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=82917.

I tried to create a backup to a tape drive, but did not see my drive listed for available locations to store backups.
  • Cause:  Windows Server Backup in Windows Server 2008 does not support backing up to tape storage devices. (However, support of tape storage drivers is still included in Windows Server 2008.)

  • Solution:  Use a supported storage media type or solution. Windows Server Backup supports backing up to external and internal disks, DVDs, removable media, and shared folders.

In Windows Explorer, I am not able to see the disk that I used to store my scheduled backups.
  • Cause:  This is by design. Once you specify a disk to be used to store scheduled backups, it is allocated for that purpose—it is not mounted to a drive letter, so it is not visible in Windows Explorer. This is done for the following reasons:

    • To ensure that the data being protected and a backup of that data will not be on the same physical disk. (This is important in the case of a disk failure.)

    • To keep the disk clear of data that is not needed. Storing other data on the backup disk can cause loss of space and loss of backup copies.

    • To protect the backups. Hiding the disk in this way makes it less likely that data will be accidentally deleted or corrupted.

  • Solution:  The drive will be visible in Disk Management (Diskmgmt.msc). To release the drive, you must cancel the scheduled backups. For instructions, see Modify an Automatic Backup Schedule.

When I list the Wbadmin commands at a command prompt, I do not see some of the commands that are referenced in the documentation.
  • Cause:  This is by design. Certain commands are only available from the Windows Recovery Environment, or are hidden but available for use.

  • Solution:  To see a complete list of commands, their syntax, and examples, see the Command Reference (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=93131).

I cannot select just files and folders to be backed up.
  • Cause:  This is by design. Windows Server Backup backs up data at the block level (image backup), so that the ability to back up individual files and folders is not available. You can, however, back up certain volumes or the full server (all volumes). Windows Server Backup uses this method for improved performance.

  • Solution:  Copy the individual files and folders that you want to back up to a volume and then create a backup of that volume.

When I perform a system state backup, the time that it takes is longer and the size of the backup is much bigger than for earlier version of the operating system.
  • Cause:  This is by design. System state files have increased in number and size. On Windows Server 2008, there are approximately 50,000 system state files, which take up approximately 4 GB for the default installation on an x86-based computer.

I cannot perform a system state backup or system state recovery using the wizards in Windows Server Backup
When I create a second backup to disk, the first backup seems to have disappeared.
  • Cause: Backups are stored using Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) technology on the storage disk. They are available in the shadow copy that was created of the backup storage disk.

  • Solution: The backups are not lost. You can use the Wbadmin get versions command or the Recovery Wizard to see all the versions of backup available. However, when using Windows Explorer, you will only see the contents of the latest backup on the disk.

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