Backup Windows Server

Data is the lifeblood of businesses. It is crucial to protect and safeguard this data, especially when it comes to Windows servers. Regularly backing up Windows server data is of utmost importance to ensure the continuity of business operations and protect against data loss. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on how to backup a Windows server, highlighting the importance of backups, step-by-step instructions, recovery options, common problems and solutions, preferred tools/software, and more.

Mar 6, 2021

Concept Of Windows Server Backup

Windows Server Backup is a built-in feature of Windows Server that allows users to create and manage backups of their servers. It provides a reliable way to protect critical data and system files, making it easier to recover from disasters and minimize downtime. Understanding how Windows Server Backup functions is essential before delving into the backup process.

Windows Server Backup relies on the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to take snapshots of the server's data at a specific point in time. It creates a full backup initially and then captures subsequent incremental backups, saving disk space and reducing backup time. This incremental approach involves backing up only the changed portions of files since the last backup, resulting in efficient storage utilization.

To backup a Windows server successfully, users need to have basic prerequisite knowledge, including understanding the server's file structure, disk configuration, and required permissions for accessing and backing up data.

Importance Of Backing Up Windows Server

  1. Protection against data loss: Accidental data deletion, hardware failures, and software errors can lead to irreversible data loss. Regular backups ensure that critical data can be restored in the event of data corruption or loss, preserving the continuity of business operations.

  2. Assuring continuous business operations: Server downtime can have severe consequences for businesses, affecting productivity, customer satisfaction, and revenue. By backing up Windows servers, organizations can quickly recover data and get their systems up and running, minimizing the impact of potential disruptions.

  3. Safety against cyber-attacks/malware threats: Cyber-attacks, including ransomware, are on the rise, targeting organizations of all sizes. Having secure and up-to-date backups enables businesses to restore their systems to a state before the attack, reducing the impact and potential data loss caused by such threats.

  4. Case studies highlighting the importance of regular backups: Highlighting real-world examples and case studies showcasing the consequences of not having proper backups can effectively emphasize the importance of regular backups. Referencing studies like How Pixar Almost Lost $497 Million? can provide compelling evidence for businesses to prioritize backups.

Step-by-Step Guide To Back Up Windows Server

Initialization process

To initiate the backup process on Windows Server:

  1. Open the Windows Server Backup application.

  2. Select "Backup Schedule" from the Actions pane.

  3. Click on "Create Backup Schedule" and follow the on-screen instructions.

Choosing Backup Option (Full server or Custom)

To choose the appropriate backup option:

  1. In the Windows Server Backup application, select "Backup Once" from the Actions pane.

  2. Choose either "Full server" to back up the entire server or "Custom" to select specific volumes, files, or folders.

Selecting the destination for the backed-up data

To select the destination for the backup:

  1. Specify whether to back up to a local disk, remote shared folder, or network shared folder.

  2. Click on "Browse" to locate the destination path and configure any necessary permissions.

Scheduling the backup

To schedule regular backups:

  1. In the Windows Server Backup application, select "Backup Schedule" from the Actions pane.

  2. Configure the desired backup schedule, specifying the frequency, time, and retention policy.

Confirming and initiating the backup process

After setting up the backup options and schedule:

  1. Verify the backup settings and destination.

  2. Start the backup process by clicking on "Backup" or "Backup Once" in the Windows Server Backup application.

Recovery Options

Windows Server provides various recovery options, depending on the specific needs and scenarios. These options include:

  1. Restoring from backups: Windows Server Backup allows users to restore files, folders, volumes, applications, and the entire server from backups, ensuring data recovery in case of accidental deletion or data corruption.

  2. Bare-metal recovery: This recovery option allows the complete restoration of a server to new hardware or a deleted server, including the operating system, system state, and all applications and data.

  3. System state recovery: System state backups contain critical configuration and system files required for system recovery. This option enables the restoration of system settings, Active Directory, and other essential components.

  4. Individual file or folder recovery: Windows Server Backup allows the granular recovery of specific files or folders from a backup, facilitating targeted data recovery without the need for a complete restoration.

Common Problems And Solutions

While backing up Windows servers, users may encounter various issues. Here are some common problems and their troubleshooting steps:

  1. Issues encountered while backing up the server: Problems like backup failure, slow backup speed, or backup completion errors may arise. Common troubleshooting steps include checking disk space availability, ensuring proper system permissions, verifying network connectivity, and updating system drivers.

  2. Troubleshooting steps to overcome these issues: Users should consult error messages, check event logs for relevant information, and utilize built-in diagnostic tools like Event Viewer and Problem Steps Recorder. Additionally, applying software updates, restarting relevant services, and consulting Microsoft support resources can help resolve common backup issues.

Preferred Tools/Software For Backing Up Windows Server

Windows Server provides a native backup tool that offers the necessary functionality to protect server data. However, some organizations may prefer to use third-party software for additional features, ease of use, or specific functionalities. One such software is Slik Safe.

Slik Safe is a comprehensive backup solution that offers end-to-end encryption, ensuring data security while at rest or in transit. It provides seamless integration with Windows Server and offers features like advanced scheduling, incremental backups, and easy recovery options. With its user-friendly interface and robust security measures, Slik Safe is a reliable option for organizations looking to enhance their Windows server backup strategy.


Regularly backing up Windows servers is crucial for businesses to protect their data, ensure continuous operations, and mitigate the risks of data loss and cyber threats. By following the step-by-step guide, utilizing the available recovery options, and adopting preferred tools like Slik Safe, organizations can establish a robust backup routine that safeguards their critical data and enables quick recovery in the face of unforeseen events. Remember, investing time and effort into backups is a small price to pay compared to the potential consequences of data loss.

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