Use Windows Server Backup to Perform a Backup of Exchange


Applies to: Exchange Server 2010 SP3, Exchange Server 2010 SP2

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 includes a plug-in for Windows Server Backup that allows you to make Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS)-based backups of Exchange data. You can use Windows Server Backup to back up and restore your Exchange databases.

During the backup operation, a consistency check of the Exchange data files is run to make sure that the files are in a good state and can be used for recovery. If the consistency check succeeds, Exchange data is available for recovery from that backup. If the consistency check fails, the Exchange data isn't available for recovery. Windows Server Backup runs the consistency check on the snapshot taken for the backup. As a result, before copying files from the snapshot to backup media, the consistency of the backup is known, and the user is notified of the consistency check results.


  • This procedure can only be performed locally on a computer running Exchange 2010 on the Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system.

  • The Windows Server Backup feature must be installed on the local computer.

  • If a server hosting the data being backed up is a member of a database availability group (DAG) and hosts both active and passive database copies, you must disable the Microsoft Exchange Replication service VSS writer. If the Microsoft Exchange Replication service VSS writer is enabled, the backup operation will fail. For detailed steps, see Using Windows Server Backup to Back Up and Restore Exchange Data.

Use Windows Server Backup to perform a backup of Exchange

You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure. To see what permissions you need, see the "Mailbox recovery" entry in the Mailbox Permissions topic.

  1. Start Windows Server Backup.

  2. In the Actions pane, click Backup Once. The Backup Once wizard appears.

  3. On the Backup options page, select Different options, and then click Next.

  4. On the Select backup configuration page, select the type of backup that you want, and then click Next:

    1. Select Full server (recommended) to back up all volumes on the server.

    2. Select Custom to specify which volumes should be included in the backup. If you select this option, the Select backup items page appears. Select the volumes to be backed up, and then click Next.


      By default, volumes that contain operating system components or applications are included in the backup and can't be excluded.

  5. On the Specify destination type page, select the location where you want to store the backup, and then click Next. If Remote shared folder is selected, the Specify remote folder page appears. Specify a UNC path for the backup files, and then do one of the following to configure access control settings:

    1. Select Do not inherit if you want the backup to be accessible only by a set of specified user credentials, and then click Next. Type a user name and password for a user account that has write permissions on the computer that is hosting the remote folder, and then click OK.

    2. Select Inherit if you want the backup to be accessible by everyone who has access to the remote folder, and then click Next.

  6. On the Specify advanced options page, select VSS full backup, and then click Next.

  7. On the Confirmation page, review the backup settings, and then click Backup.

  8. On the Backup progress page, you can view the status and progress of the backup operation.

  9. Click Close when the backup operation has completed.

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