Perform a Manual Backup to an Attached Disk, DVD, or Removable Media

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

If you back up to an attached disk, you will be able to recover individual files, folders, application data, volumes, system state, and your operating system.

If you back up to a DVD, other optical media, or removable media, you will only be able to recover entire volumes—you cannot recover individual files and folders, system state, or application data directly from backups stored on these media types. Backups are compressed when stored on a DVD or removable media. As a result, the size of the backup on a DVD might be smaller than the volume on the server. However, the backup destination must be at least 1 GB or it will be blocked from the list of available backup destinations. When a DVD backup contains all critical volumes (volumes with system components needed to restore the operating system), you can use that backup to recover the server operating system by performing a system recovery.

Before you attempt to back up to an attached disk, DVD, or removable media, you will need to first:

  • Identify a location for storing your backups. (For more information about choosing a storage location, see Backing Up Your Server.) If you are using a local disk, make sure the disk, which supports either USB 2.0 or IEEE 1394, is internal or attached to the server. In addition, we recommend that, if possible, you store one-time backups and scheduled backups on different locations. If you save one-time backups and scheduled backups to the same location, backup operations may fail due to conflicts or lack of space, and stored backup versions will be lost. If you must use the same storage location, make sure that there is enough space to save the backup before you run the operation. In addition, if you use the Backup Once Wizard, you will be prevented from saving backups to the same location if you choose to use custom settings.

  • If you are using DVDs, make sure a DVD writer is connected to the server and online, and that you have enough blank DVDs to store the contents of all the volumes that you want to back up. Backups to DVDs can span multiple DVDs if the backup is too large for a single DVD.

  • Decide what to include in the backup−the full server or only certain items. (For more information about choosing what to back up, see Backing Up Your Server.)

To create a manual backup on an attached disk, DVD, or removable media

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

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

  3. On the Backup Options page, do one of the following, and then click Next:

    • Click Scheduled backup options.

    • Click Different options.

      1. 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. This is the recommended option.

        • 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 are using an attacked disk and you want to back up just certain folders or files, expand the folder tree and select the items that you want to include. Click OK.


You must back up full volumes if you are using a DVD, optical media, or other removable media. If you attempt to back up just certain folders or files, you will receive an error message when Windows starts the backup operation.

            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**.  
    2.  On the **Specify Destination Type** page, click **Local drives**, and then click **Next**.  
    3.  On the **Select Backup Destination** page, select the destination that you want to use to store the backup from the drop-down list. If you choose a hard disk, confirm that there is enough free space on the disk. If you choose a DVD drive or other optical media, indicate whether you want the contents to be verified after they are written to by selecting the **Verify after writing** check box.  
  1. On the Confirmation page, review the details, and then click Backup. The wizard prepares the backup set and checks the media. If the media is Universal Disk Format (UDF) or NTFS and larger than 1 GB, then the backup operation will proceed. If not, then you will receive a message that the media is not large enough or that the format is not supported. You can choose to reformat the media, or insert new media.

  2. On the Backup Progress page, you can view the status of the backup. If you are backing up to a DVD, when the backup starts, you will receive a message to insert the first DVD in the drive and then, if the backup is too large for a single DVD, you will be prompted for subsequent DVDs as the backup continues. During this process, you should physically write the information next to Disk label in the message on the DVD that you insert. You will need this information later to perform a recovery.

Additional considerations

  • To create a backup using Windows Server Backup, you must be a member of the Backup Operators or 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.

Additional references