System Image Backup using Windows Server Backup (2012/2012 R2) to Linux NAS

Windows Server Backup is backup software that comes with Windows Server with no additional cost.

It supports Bare metal backup but it only supports disk backup only.

Organization that has little budget for backup storage may purchase Linux NAS appliance but Windows Server Backup cannot write when Linux NAS installed with file system that uses sparse file allocation such as ext4/XFS.

If the organization already purchased this NAS, it is better to make full use of it rather than no backup being performed at all. You decide!

Step 1: Creation of Backup Account

  1. On Linux NAS, create a share folder and user account

  2. On Windows Server, logon with Administrator account and create New User with the same username and password in Linux NAS. In this case, I create a new account ‘BackupWSB’

  3. Remove ‘Users’ group and added ‘Administrators’ group

WSB_WS2012R2_0000

  1. Logoff the current administrator and logon with new user account.

 

Step 2: Creation of Backup Storage in Linux NAS

1. Open Computer Management -> Storage -> Disk Management
  1. Right click on Disk Management and select Create VHD

WSB_WS2012R2_0002

  1. Click Browse and navigate to Linux NAS share folder and enter VHD filename

eg. WSB-TEST_WS2012R2-01.vhdx.

Note:

Due to Linux file system (ext4/XFS) uses sparse file allocation, new created VHD must use Fixed Size. Otherwise you may encounter the error “The version does not support this version of the file format.” For more readings on Linux Sparse: TechnetBackupAssist

Windows Server 2012

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Windows Server 2012 R2

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  1. Right Click on New created VHD, and select Initialize Disk

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     Select GPT (GUID Partition Table) and click OK

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Note: Formatting Disk is not required as Windows Server Backup will format it.

 

Step 3: Configure Windows Server Backup

1. Open Windows Server Backup
  1. Navigate to Local Backup and In Actions pane, click Backup Schedule…

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  1. Follow Backup Schedule Wizard

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Note:

Backup Time can be modified in Task Scheduler

See below section “Modify Windows Server Backup Schedule Time”

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Modify Windows Server Backup Schedule Time

1. Navigate “Administrative Tools” -> “Task Scheduler”.

Navigate to “Backup” as shown below

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2. Double click on Task Name ‘Microsoft-Windows-WindowsBackup’

3. Navigate to ‘Triggers’ tab and click ‘Edit’ button

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4. Modify the schedule and Click ‘OK’ twice

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A task scheduler needs to be created to automate the process of attaching Remote VHD for Windows Server Backup. The task scheduler is set to run when computer starts.

However, the script may fail to attach if Linux NAS is not ready when the task is run.

The solution is to run the task on demand or add another trigger to run before Windows Server Backup Scheduler run.

Step 4: Configure Auto Attach Remote VHD

1. Save the Admin Scripts into your desired Administrative Folder:

In this blog, Admin script is saved into this location

“C:\SYSTEM_ADM\SCRIPTS\WSB\YLNotes__RemoteVhdAttach.cmd”

2. Navigate “Administrative Tools” -> “Task Scheduler”.

Navigate to “Backup” as shown below

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3. Right Click on Backup and select ‘Create Basic Task’ for auto attached remote VHD

    from Linux NAS

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4. Follow Create Basic Task Wizard

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Windows Server 2012

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Windows Server 2012 R2

 

Admin Scripts

  1.  Download YLNotes__RemoteVhdAttach (70)

 

Notes:

  1. You need to check the log of Remote VHD attach which executes when the computer starts. It is located in the location where the admin script “YLNotes__RemoteVhdAttach.cmd” is saved and log filename is “YLNotes__RemoteVhdAttach__LOG.txt”
  2. Open Windows Server Backup to check the execution of the backup

Report 1: Log from Step 4 (Remote VHD Attach)

Windows Server 2012

==================================================================
 YL Library : Remote Attach VHD
 Author     : Zhang Yunlong
 Blog       : blog.ylnotes.com
 Filename   : YLNotes__RemoteVhdAttach.cmd
==================================================================
-------------------------------------------------------------------
[0] Configuration
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Remote VHD Attach: [\\MyNAS\BACKUP_VAULT\WSB-TEST_WS2012-01.vhdx]
-------------------------------------------------------------------
[1] Attached Remote VHD
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Microsoft DiskPart version 6.2.9200
Copyright (C) 1999-2012 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: TEST-WS2012
DiskPart successfully selected the virtual disk file.
  100 percent completed
DiskPart successfully attached the virtual disk file.
Leaving DiskPart...
-------------------------------------------------------------------
[2] Clean Up
-------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Start Date/Time: Thu 03/20/2014 15:10:04.88
End   Date/Time: Thu 03/20/2014 15:10:46.47
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Windows Server 2012 R2

==================================================================
 YL Library : Remote Attach VHD
 Author     : Zhang Yunlong
 Blog       : blog.ylnotes.com
 Filename   : YLNotes__RemoteVhdAttach.cmd
==================================================================
-------------------------------------------------------------------
[0] Configuration
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Remote VHD Attach: [\\MyNAS\BACKUP_VAULT\WSB-TEST_WS2012R2-01.vhdx]
-------------------------------------------------------------------
[1] Attached Remote VHD
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Microsoft DiskPart version 6.3.9600
Copyright (C) 1999-2013 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: TEST-WS2012R2
DiskPart successfully selected the virtual disk file.
  100 percent completed
DiskPart successfully attached the virtual disk file.
Leaving DiskPart...
-------------------------------------------------------------------
[2] Clean Up
-------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Start Date/Time: Wed 19/03/2014 23:13:00.74
End   Date/Time: Wed 19/03/2014 23:13:12.55
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Report 2: Screenshot of WSB Backup Execution

Windows Server 2012

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Windows Server 2012 R2

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