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Backing Up and Restoring Windows 2000 

Added: 08/02/2001, Hits: 2,792, Rating: 0, Comments: 0, Votes: 0
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Backing up your data can be one of the most important things that you do in your IT and/or home life. You never seem to miss something until it is gone. If you want to spend more time making money and not redoing things that you have already done then make sure you back it up.

What are the backup types?
There are five different types of backing up your data; Normal, Copy, Incremental, differential, Daily which are explained below:
  • Normal - is backing up all selected files then it marks each of the files as backed up. Just the plain way of backing up, nothing special to remember.

  • Copy - backs up all the selected files, but does not mark them as backed up.

  • Incremental - backs up all the selected files only if they have not been backed up, or have been modified then it marks them as backed up.

  • Differential - backs up selected files only if they have not been backed up or modified, but it does not mark them as being backed up.

  • Daily backs up only the files that have been modified today and it does not mark them as being backed up.

A scenario where these would be used together would be: Using Daily as your everyday backup and then having an Incremental back up as your Friday one. This would allow for all data to be lost and only have to recover the days you need and not have to pull a whole weeks worth of data. The weekly backup would be the backup that goes into storage from record keeping and recovered if needed.

Getting Started
To launch the backup utility, go to Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Backup. This will bring up three options for backing up. The choices are: Backup Wizard, Restore Wizard, and Emergency Repair Disk.

The Backup Wizard is the choice to use if you want to make backups of your data. It can be set on a schedule and does not take a lot of memory like past backups that would hog a lot of resources to backup.

The Restore Wizard lets you recover any of the backups that you have done. If the power goes out, hard drive dies then you can bring back what you had last backed up.

The Emergency Repair Disk is a start up disk that will repair certain Windows 2000 components.

Now Back it up
Before you get started, you need to make sure that you have appropriate user rights to back up files and folders.
Follow the wizard for backing up your data. You will be asked to choose whether you want to backup your whole computer, selected files, or only System State data. System State data is very important as it contains many key components. For Windows 2000 Professional, the System State data comprises only the registry, COM+ Class Registration database, and boot files. For Windows 2000 Server operating systems, the System State data comprises the registry, COM+ Class Registration database, system boot files, and the Certificate Services database (if the server is a certificate server). If the server is a domain controller, Active Directory and the SYSVOL directory are also contained in the System State data. Also, if you are running the domain name service (DNS) on a domain controller, then the Active Directory portion of the System State data also contains all of the DNS zone information (DS integrated and non-DS integrated). Finally, if the server is running the Cluster service, then the System State data will also include any resource registry checkpoints and the quorum resource recovery log, which contains the most recent cluster database information. You cannot choose to back up or restore individual components of the System State data as there are dependencies between them. You also cannot backup system state data to a remote computer. It can only be backed up to tape or other local drive.

Next you will want to select the drives or files that you wish to have backed up and then pick a name for your backup file and a place to save it. The next screen will show a finish button, but for more options click Advanced. This is where you will specify what type of backup, the schedule for it, and a label for what is being backed up. Unlike Windows NT 4, Windows 2000's backup utility comes with a built-in scheduler. If you are not doing the backup right away and setting it as a scheduled task then it will ask for your login password before it finishes. You are done for now, until you need something else backed up.

Restoring Data
In order to begin restoring data, you select the Restore Wizard after launching the backup utility. If you wish to restore the System State data, and you choose not to designate an alternate location for the restored data, Backup will erase the current System State data and replace it with the System State data from your backup. If you restore the System State data to an alternate location, only the registry files, SYSVOL directory files, Cluster database information files, and system boot files are restored to the alternate location (the Active Directory directory services database, Certificate Services database, and COM+ Class Registration database are not restored). In order to restore the System State data on a domain controller, you must first start your computer in Directory Services Restore Mode. This will allow you to restore the SYSVOL directory and the Active Directory. You can only restore the System State data on a local computer (not on a remote computer). Restoring regular files and data is very straight forward and simply needs to be selected in the restore wizard.

Storing Backup Media
For mission critical or sensitive data, it is always a good idea to keep the backup in a separate location to protect from fire or theft. With Windows NT 4.0 this typically required physically moving the tapes to another location and storing them in a fire-proof safe. Because Windows 2000 now supports backing up data to remote storage, you can backup files to a remote location and optionally run a backup to tape of the remote location. You may wish to have some sort of RAID configuration at the remote location to provide further redundancy. If you are backing up System State data, you will want to have this backed up to tape as it can only be restored on the local computer. This may involve physically moving the tapes to a remote location depending on how critical protection of the tapes is.

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