Windows Server 2008 has inbuilt functionality to perform reliable and effective data backups! The native tools can back up an entire volume to a .vhd file on a second local disk while you can still restore individual files from the vhd file! In cases of system volume failures where Windows does not start you can boot from the Windows installation media and restore the system volume from the backup.
Apart from the GUI, you can use the wbadmin tool to initiate backups from a script or at a command prompt even when using Windows Server 2008 Server Core installations. A simple backup job that backs up drive c: and saves the vhd file to drive d: would look like:
wbadmin start backup –backuptarget:d: -include:c: -quite
Where the quite option runs the command with no prompts, backuptarget specifies the destination storage location and include specifies the drives to include in this backup job.
But remember that you need to install the Windows Server Backup Features to have the tools available:
- In Server Manager, right click Features, and then select Add Features
- From the Features page of the Add Features Wizard, expand Windows Server Backup Features, select both check boxes and click Next. (If you are prompted to install additional features to support the command-line tools, click Add Required Features).
- Click Install and Close.
To see an Automated System Image Backup example go here.