Running more than one backup on Windows 2008 R2 Server. You may have seen your backups failing left and right. The standard GUI allows you to setup one backup. You might need to split your backups to a "Drive to Drive" environment. This will help you schedule a backup per drive to backup to a dedicated drive for that master drive. Call it, Drive for Drive backup scheduled task.

Scheduled Task, Backup Schedules multiple drives.

Running a solid backup plan helps keep things in order and offers you more hours of sleep.

Personally I have never trusted backups until you actually run them and for this I am going to share what I do so you don't fall into the failed backup recovery plans so many IT people suffer from.
Let's face it, if you tested your tape recovery today I would give you a 50/50 shot things will go right.
But even if you did have a tape backup you still need that bare metal recovery for failed drives.

Before you begin the backup process let's set one rule for testing.

1. If you cannot recover to a new unformatted drive you do not have a backup and recovery plan.

Not using your GUI Backup and Restore is not a problem. When you create your command line scheduled task you will still see the backup reports in your backup and restore GUI. That was one question I had when I started, we can only schedule one backup via the Backup Restore GUI but when we use Task Scheduler and WBAdmin.exe we can add as many different backups as you need.

Get it done right the first time!

I have seen in 20 years hundreds of junk backups, tapes changed daily and never tested. As a consultant I ask every business owner to challenge their backups by actually running the process of recovery. If it works, great, if it fails. Call me for a new plan and a new consultant in your area.

New drive replaces failed drive. Make it a no brainer, insert disk, and follow instructions to recover.

My main systems recovery 1.8Gb in 45 minutes.
That's the time from replacing both main drives to being up and running again.
Nice thing about it once you have answered the first recovery question with a "Next" you can go out to eat.
When you come back it will be up and running or completely failed. It's up to your setup today that will make the difference.

Ok? New hard drive test, 1 hour of your off peak hours can offer you peace of mind regarding your backups.

Things you need to know.
I have a master 2 volume recovery plan but this plan only works up to the size of a single drive internally mounted.
If you have a RAID system holding containers for your backups you're richer than I am so I'll show the poor IT method which is "Drive to Drive" backup.

I have 4 2TB drives in one system and 2 500Gb with 5 2TB drives in my second system. The second system is a storage area network which doesn't need a backup.
But the OS drive does. That's the 2 500Gb drives.

The First system has 2 2Tb drives running the servers virtual environment.
I'm sure you have one of these in place.
They are hard to keep up with, you have a VHD within a VHD and another VHD. Who in the world is going to make a backup plan for a single VHD?
I can recover the full drive as fast as recovery a single 500Gb VHD so I opted for the full drive.

To make it clear, OS is Windows 2008 R2 Standard server running full server as my platform on physical drive 1.
I then have Windows 2008 R2 Standard running a a virtual server for all public services like this page you are reading now.
The Windows 2008 R2 Standard VHD is hosted on Drive 2 as all other VHD drives.
I was looking for a balance and found a good working method and a great method of recovery options.
If I have an issue with a VHD I recovery only from one drive and leave my OS drive in place.
I also know that when I upgrade my server platform I'll be able to migrate my VHD's over without much effort.
That includes going to cloud servers when I need additional space.

Ok, time to setup a Dual Drive to Dual Backup Drive system.

At the bottom you will find all the schedule tasks.

One final note. The full server backup started taking more than 3 hours.
By splitting the backups I am staggering the time slots.

The Plan of Action Scheduled Task:


My Configuration:

4 hard drives: C:, D:, E:, F:

  1. Drive C:\ OS drive / Hyper-V
  2. Drive D:\ VHD's
  3. Drive E: > Backup target drive for C:\
  4. Drive F: > Backup target drive for D:\

This backup is for quick recovery by using 2 internal drives to backup 2 active drives. (4 total)

You can extend this by scheduling a drive to drive copy to externally hosted drives for offsite backups. 

If you use BitLocker be sure to enable BitLocker on your backup drives. Do this before you setup your backups.

Scheduled task to backup full system less additional drives C to E backup.

start backup -backupTarget:E: -allCritical -vssFull -quiet

Scheduled task to backup VHD drives running from Physical drive D to F backup.

start backup -backupTarget:F: -include:D: -vssFull -quiet

I have images at the bottom of this article. 

You should test your backup once you have completed it. 
If you know how to recovery to a external drive you can keep your server running.
If you need to backup to your server be sure to schedule your down time. 
My experience has been 45 minutes for your OS drive and then it all depends on how many VHDs you have to recover. My system from complete failure to running is 3.5 hours include my time to remove drives, power up with the recovery disk and roll.

(-vssFull selected for logs. Not sure if it would be beter than vssCopy for the VHD drives. I couldn't find anything online that would say differently. I'll be running a full disaster recovery test in Nov. If all works my two new drives will spin up perfect. If not, I will change this post.)

What I did to make it easy for me to test I used the GUI backup to create my -allCritical and excluded my D:\ physical drives.

Speaking of Physical Drives, This backup is Metal to Metal not VHD to VHD. That's a different process. It works the same but requires you to setup a metal drive before you recover. I like this method of metal to metal drive because I can leave once it starts and allow the boot DVD restore disk to do it's job.

If you need to know how to setup your task schedule read the following page.


Backup _Task _1

Image 1

Backup _Task _2

Image 2

Backup _Task _3

Image 3

Backup _Task _4

Image 4

Backup _Task _6

Image 6 (5 was a duplicate of 4)

Backup _Task _7

Image 7

Backup _Task _8

Image 8

Backup _Task _9

Image 9

Backup _Task _10

Now, if you are really reading this you will know that running as the Admin is not what you want. 
If you change the User to SYSTEM you'll be setup to go. 
I selected the RUn with Highest Privileges but I do believe that wouldn't make a differnce under SYSTEM. 

If you have issues running under SYSTEM send me a note and open a ticket. I want to track what error you have and add it here. I'll do this one time no fee if you allow me to connect to view what you are doing. 



Base example:
WBADMIN START BACKUP -backupTarget:f: -include:e:,d:\mountpoint,

Backup Help Files.

wbadmin 1.0 - Backup command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2004 Microsoft Corp.

ERROR - Command syntax incorrect. Error: /?. See the command
syntax below.

[-backupTarget:{<BackupDestinationVolume> | <TargetNetworkShare>}]
[-vssFull | -vssCopy]

Description: Creates a backup using specified parameters. If no parameters
are specified and you have created a scheduled daily backup, this command
creates the backup by using the settings for the scheduled backup.

-backupTarget Specifies the storage location for this backup. Requires a
hard disk drive letter (f:), a volume GUID-based path in the
format of \\?\Volume{GUID}, or a Universal Naming Convention
(UNC) path to a remote shared folder
By default, the backup will be saved at: \\<servername>
Important: If you save a backup to a remote shared folder,
that backup will be overwritten if you use the same folder to
back up the same computer again. In addition, if the backup
operation fails, you may finish with no backup because the
older backup will be overwritten, but the newer backup will
not be usable.
You can avoid this by creating subfolders in the remote shared
folder to organize your backups. If you do this, the
subfolders will need twice the space of the parent folder.

-include Specifies the comma-delimited list of items to include in the
backup. You can include multiple volumes. Volume paths can be
specified using volume drive letters, volume mount points, or
GUID-based volume names. If you use a GUID-based volume
name, it should be terminated with a backslash (\). You can
use the wildcard character (*) in the file name when
specifying a path to a file. Should be used only when the
-backupTarget parameter is used.

-allCritical Creates a backup that includes all critical volumes (critical
volumes contain the operating system files and components) in
addition to any other items that you specified with the
-include parameter. This parameter is useful if you are
creating a backup for bare metal recovery or system state
recovery. Should be used only when the -backupTarget
parameter is used.

-user If the backup is saved to a remote shared folder, specifies
the user name with write permission to the folder.

-password Specifies the password for the user name that is provided by
the parameter -user.

-noInheritAcl Applies the access control list (ACL) permissions that
correspond to the credentials specified by -user and
-password to \\<servername>\<sharename>\WindowsImageBackup
\<ComputerBackedUp>\ (the folder that contains the backup).
To access the backup later, you must use these credentials or
be a member of the Administrators group or the Backup
Operators group on the computer with the shared folder.
If -noInheritAcl is not used, the ACL permissions from the
remote shared folder are applied to the
<ComputerBackedUp> folder by default so that anyone with

access to the remote shared folder can access the backup.

-noVerify Specifies that backups written to removable media (such as a
DVD) are not verified for errors. If you do not use this
parameter, backups saved to removable media are verified for

-vssFull Performs a full backup using the Volume Shadow Copy Service
(VSS). Each file's history is updated to reflect that it was
backed up. If this parameter is not used WBADMIN START BACKUP
makes a copy backup, but the history of files being backed up
is not updated.
Caution: Do not use this parameter if you are using a product
other than Windows Server Backup to back up applications that
are on the volumes included in the current backup. Doing so
canpotentially break the incremental, differential, or other
type of backups that the other backup product is creating.

-vssCopy Performs a copy backup using VSS. The history of the files
being backed up is not updated. This is the default value.

-quiet Runs the command with no prompts to the user.

Example: WBADMIN START BACKUP -backupTarget:f: -include:e:,d:\mountpoint,


Running more than one backup on Windows 2008 R2 Server. You may have seen your backups failing left and right. The standard GUI allows you to setup one backup. You might need to split your backups to a "Drive to Drive" environment. This will help you schedule a backup per drive to backup to a dedicated drive for that master drive. Call it, Drive for Drive backup scheduled task.