Microsoft’s Windows Server Backup program, which we’ve been discussing lately, wouldn’t be all that great if it didn’t also support the Server Core versions of the server operating system – the ones that don’t include a graphical user interface. Thankfully, it does! Although (as with many things Server Core-related) it’s a tad tricky.
First off, the backup program isn’t installed by default. In “regular” Server 2008, the command is
or, if you prefer,
start /w ocsetup WindowsServerBackup
(and you’d better get the capitalization right, because the feature names with ocsetup are case-sensitive, for some reason known only to Microsoft).
In Server 2008 R2, Microsoft wants us to use the DISM command, for example:
dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:WindowsServerBackup
(and, again, the feature name has to be capitalized just right. Send your postcards to Steve Ballmer, Microsoft, Redmond, WA.)
To run the backup program on a Server Core system, you can just use WBADMIN as you would (for example) in a script on a full server box, for example:
wbadmin.exe start backup -backupTarget:\\server\share -allCritical -VSSfull -quiet
You can also connect to your Server Core box using a remote command environment like WinRM (Windows Remote Management) and perform a backup that way. Remember also that in the R2 release, you can now store scheduled backups on a remote share or remote volume. (This was one of the more annoying limitations of the straight Server 2008 version… although you could always get around it by creating a scheduled task.)
Glenn Weadock is a longtime instructor for Global Knowledge and teaches Windows 7, Server 2008, and Active Directory. He has recently co-developed with Mark Wilkins two advanced Server 2008 classes in the Microsoft Official Curriculum. Glenn also consults through his Colorado-based company Independent Software, Inc. and is technical director of MarketCoach Investment Education Software LLC.