Configure a Backup Schedule for Multiple Storage Disks

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012

You can use multiple external disks to store backups, and you can rotate the disks between onsite and offsite storage locations. This can improve your disaster preparedness planning by helping you recover your data if physical damage occurs to the hardware onsite.

For the best protection, we recommend that you follow this practice of disk rotation. To accomplish this, you would visit the offsite location to drop off the most recent backup and retrieve the oldest backup. When you return to your onsite location, insert the disk that you brought from the offsite location.

To configure a backup schedule for multiple disks

  1. Click Start , click Administrative Tools , and then click Windows Server Backup .

  2. In the Actions pane of the snap-in default page, under Windows Server Backup , click Backup Schedule . This opens the Backup Schedule Wizard.

  3. On the Getting Started page, click Next .

  4. On the Select Backup Configuration page, do one of the following, and then click Next :

    • Click Full server (recommended) to back up all volumes on the server.

    • Click Custom to back up just certain items, and then click Next .

      1. On the Select Items for Backup page, click Add Items . In Select Items , select the check boxes for the items that you want to back up. If you want to back up just certain folders or files on a disk or volume, expand the folder tree and select the items that you want to include. Click OK .

      2. On the Select Items for Backup page, click Advanced Settings , click the Exclusions tab, click Add Exclusions , and then expand the folder tree and select the items that you want to exclude.

      3. On the VSS Settings tab, select either VSS full Backup or VSS copy Backup . Click OK and then click Next .

  5. On the Specify Backup Time page, do one of the following, and then click Next :

    • Click Once a day , and then enter the time to start running the daily backup.

    • Click More than once a day . Then, to select a start time, under Available time , click the time that you want the backup to start, and then click Add to move the time under Scheduled time . Repeat for each start time that you want to add.

  6. On the Specify Destination Type page, select Back up to a hard disk that is dedicated for backups (recommended) and then click Next .

  7. On the Select Destination Disk page, select the disks that you want to use to store backups, and then click Next .

    By default, the likely disk or disks are shown in the list. These disks are external disks that can be used for moving backups offsite for disaster protection. If the list is empty, or the disks that you want to use are not listed, click Show All Available Disks . In Show All Available Disks , select the check boxes next to the disks that you want to use to store the backups, click OK , and then on Select Destination Disk , select the check boxes for the disks again. These disks will no longer be visible in Windows Explorer—to prevent data from accidentally being stored on the disks and then overwritten, and to prevent accidental loss of backups.

  8. A message informs you that any one of the disks that you selected may be chosen to store the first backup. Click OK .

  9. A message informs you that the selected disks will be formatted and any existing data will be deleted. Click Yes . Do not click Yes if you have data on the disks that you need. To use different disks, click No , and then select different disks under Available disks .

  10. On the Label Destination Disk page, each disk that you selected is listed. A label that includes your computer name, the current date, the current time, and a disk name is assigned to each disk. Click Next .


We recommend that you record and then physically attach the label information to each external disk. If you need to recover data from the backup stored on the disk, you will need this information to identify the disk.

  1. On the Confirmation page, review the details, and then click Finish . The wizard formats the disk, which may take several minutes depending on the size of the disk.

  2. On the Summary page, click Close .

Additional considerations

  • To configure a scheduled backup using Windows Server Backup, you must be a member of the Administrators group, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority.

  • You can also perform this task remotely for another server using the Connect To Another Computer option in the Windows Server Backup Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in. Make sure that you are a member of the Administrators or Backup Operators group on the remote server. If you are a Backup Operator, ensure that the Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) security settings on the remote computer are set to allow Backup Operators to connect to it.

    You can only use this feature if the local and remote servers are running the same version of Windows—either both running Windows Server 2008 or both running Windows Server 2008 R2. In addition, you cannot use this feature to manage a computer running any version of Windows client operating system.

  • To force a backup to be saved to a particular disk, you can detach or disable all other disks in the backup series.

Additional references