Enabling the Windows Server Backup feature in Windows Server 2008

Windows Server 2008 replaces NTBackup with a new tool called Windows Server Backup. Be prepared for a learning curve.

NTBackup is not a fancy backup mechanism, but it generally worked and could easily be scripted. Windows Server 2008 replaces NTBackup with Windows Server Backup.

I bet at one time or another you had an NTBackup script for a specific part of a server that you used between versions of Windows. Unfortunately, these scripts will no longer work, so the migration to Windows Server Backup will need to be considered for the local backup mechanism.

Windows Server 2008 offers many components that are not part of the base installation but need to be added as a feature. Figure A shows the Windows Server Backup being added through the Add Features Wizard. Figure A

Figure A

When adding Windows Server Backup, be sure to add the command-line tools option because it is not a default. Once you select the features, the server will not need to be rebooted in most configurations. At this point, you can enter the Windows Server Backup program to perform tasks.

If you selected to install the command-line tools, you can also work on creating backup tasks with the wbadmin command. The wbadmin command offers a more extensive command-line environment compared to NTBackup; all functionality can be performed via the command line. Windows Server Backup also has PowerShell support so that backups can integrate more closely to products like Exchange or SQL.

Both Windows Server Backup and wbadmin can be used to interact with remote computers for jobs to back up the remote system, which is entirely new functionality.

For more information on the new backup functionality, read the TechNet article Windows Server Backup Step-by-Step Guide for Windows Server 2008.

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Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.


It's garbage! Try having a single drive partitioned with a C: and D: drive and then running this WSB, it crashes. Apparently WSB does a block copy with VSS and can't single out a partition. The nice thing about NTBACKUP is that you can copy it to your 2008 and the appropriate DLL's and it works perfectly.


Shame Server 2008 backup is not Exchange aware, and is not shipped with the tools to back up Exchange 2007. nice one!


Windows Server 2008 is the most recent release of Microsoft Windows' server line of operating systems. Released to manufacturing on 4 February 2008 and officially released on 27 February 2008, it is the successor to Windows Server 2003, released nearly five years earlier. Like Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 is built on the Windows NT 6.0 kernel. For more information, please visit:


Exchange 2007 just fine. NTbackup works with Exchange 2003 as well as MS SQL. The Technet paper on WSBackup mentioned it using VSS, which should allow it to back up the Exchange data while the database is in use. You can try it (back up and verify), it just might, and should, work.

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