I work in a shop where we are unable to roll out the latest version of Veritas’ NetBackUp (NBU) do to bugs.  Although the version 6.5.3 now supports Windows 2008, it can’t provide a clean backup that can be trusted so we needed to find a way to roll out a backup product.  So while we wait for Veritas to get its act together (One year and counting) we have chosen to backup our Windows 2008 physical machines using WBAdmin.  Our virtual machines are all backed up via snapshotting technology so this is not a factor.  So as we start to roll out physical machines I built this set of details (Which is still in flux).  The nice thing about the details below is it will allow you to do a rebuild w/o having to preload anything.  It even partitions the disk for you, this is really a slick technology.

What does this have to do with AD you might ask?  Well we need to roll out 2008 and we have to have a reliable means to backup our DC’s, so this is it.  I’m not sure if others are in the quandry we are but if so, I hope this helps out.

The info below is for backing up machines to an external disk using unc for the destination.  Unfortunately you can’t schedule these through the backup gui.  This option is only available for backing up a disk to another local disk, I’m not sure why WBAdmin won’t allow unc pathing but trust me that it won’t work.  So you will have to build a scheduled task to run your nightly backup.

Hopefully the info below will be of assistance and please let me know of any issues you find with this article.

Backing up a Windows Server 2008 with snapshot enabled:

wbadmin start backup -backupTarget:\\servername\sharename -include:c:,e: -quiet –vssfull

 

wbadmin 1.0 – Backup command-line tool

(C) Copyright 2004 Microsoft Corp.

 Retrieving volume information…

 This would backup volume systems(C:) to \\servername\sharename.

Backup to \\servername\sharename is starting.

Creating the shadow copy of volumes requested for backup.                                               

Running backup of volume systems(C:), copied (1%).

Running backup of volume systems(C:), copied (4%).

Running backup of volume systems(C:), copied (98%).

Backup of volume systems(C:) completed successfully.

Backup completed successfully.

 

Summary of backup:

——————

Backup of volume systems(C:) completed successfully.

 

Finding out the versions currently available to restore:

wbadmin get versions -backuptarget:\\servername\sharename

 

wbadmin 1.0 – Backup command-line tool

(C) Copyright 2004 Microsoft Corp.

Backup time: 11/25/2008 10:55 AM

Backup target: Network Share labeled \\servername\sharename

Version identifier: 11/25/2008-16:55

Can Recover: Volume(s), File(s), Application(s), Bare Metal Recovery, System State

 

 

 

Finding out what specifically is available within a version backup:

wbadmin get items -Version:11/25/2008-16:55

 

wbadmin 1.0 – Backup command-line tool

(C) Copyright 2004 Microsoft Corp.

Volume Id = {7896551d-751d-11dd-8929-806e6f6e6963}

Volume ‘systems’, mounted at C:

Application = Registry

Component = Registry (\Registry)

 

Recover a Failed System:

Boot up the machine with a W2K8 install disk            

(Make sure to use the correct bit length x32 or x64)

                … Windows is loading files…

Accept English

Next

Select Repair Your Computer

Click Load Drivers

Ok

Browse the media for the drivers        (Make sure to use the correct bit length x32 or x64)

Click Add Drivers

Next

 

Would recommend you verify that you have a good network connection by checking the nic’s activity lights. I had issues with a nic on a couple of different occasions that boiled down to a bad network connection.

 

Select Windows Complete PC Restore

Cancel

Select Restore a Different Backup

Next

Select Advanced

Select Search for a backup on the network

Yes

\\ip address of server\sharename

Ok

Enter domain\domain user id and password

Select the backup to restore

   Next

Select the drive(s) to restore

Next

Select Exclude Disks

Select any disk you may want to exclude from the restore

Select Advanced

Deselect Restart computer…   (This is done for visual inspection to verify that the restore went correctly)

Next

Finish

Confirm reformatting

Ok