Microsoft offers built-in Windows Server Backup (WSB) utility over the operating system of the servers which is not always a robust tool for managing the system backups. The utility is available as an application that facilitates the backup creation only when configured properly. The WSB utility offers a simple method to backup data and applications on a Windows Dedicated Server with the help of different modes. The system state data is captured using one such mode and offered a push-button restoration of the data, attributes, and its metadata using the catalogs that ensures returning the data to its original location.
However, sometimes a seemingly successful and completed backup also fails to restore due to a failed or corrupted catalog file which makes it unable for the utility to read it, leading to a failed restoration. So to help users mitigate against the corruption of catalog files and bounce back from a server failure, here we present six preventive measures to restore Windows Server Backups like a pro!
A Brief Overview of Windows Server Backup
Windows Server backup is a built-in backup and recovery protocol for the Windows Server operating system. It provides a way to create and manage backups of important data, such as system state, files, and folders, as well as entire volumes or hard drives. It is one of the key steps involved in quick data recovery in case of system failure or data loss. The backups can be stored on a local drive or a network share and can be used to restore the data in case of data loss or system failure. It provides a variety of backup options, such as full, incremental, and differential backups, that can be tailored to meet different needs. Windows Server backup uses the Volume Shadow Copy service to create a point-in-time snapshot of the data being backed up, ensuring that all files are backed up in a consistent state. You also have the option to compress and encrypt the data during backup, which can save storage space and improve security. For the uninitiated, the Windows Server backup process can be scripted, which allows for automating backup and restore procedures. This process can be particularly useful for large and complex tech environments. Organizations must protect their data at all costs and minimize downtime in case of data loss or system failure. In order to do that efficiently, it is recommended that you hire a proven Windows server backup service provider with cloud backup solutions. Opting for backup cloud services will ensure that you stay on top of your data protection game without having to bear the cost of setting up an in-house server data backup team.
Also Read- Boost Your IT Operations with the Correct Levels of Data Backup and Recovery
Steps to Install Windows Server Backup
Installing Windows Server backup on a Windows Server can be done using the Server Manager or through PowerShell. Here are the basic steps to install Windows Server Backup on a Windows Server:
- Open the Server Manager by clicking on the Server Manager icon on the Taskbar, or by navigating to Start > All Programs > Administrative Tools > Server Manager.
- In the Server Manager, click on the “Add roles and features” button.
- In the Add Roles and Features Wizard, click on the “Next” button to proceed.
- In the “Select installation type” screen, select “Role-based or feature-based installation” and click on “Next”.
- In the “Select destination server” screen, select the server on which you want to install Windows Server Backup and click on “Next”.
- In the “Select server roles” screen, scroll down and select “Windows Server Backup” and click on “Next”.
- In the “Select features” screen, you can leave the options at their default settings and click on “Next”.
- In the “Windows Server Backup” screen, click on “Add Features” to add the required features, and then click on “Next” to proceed.
- In the “Confirm installation selections” screen, review the selected roles and features and click on “Install” to begin the installation process.
- Wait for the installation process to complete.
In this regard, it’s worth noting that you must have an experienced and trained IT team or professionals to conduct such intricate backup procedures. Even a tiny error can lead to massive damage. That’s where professional data backup solutions can come to your rescue. Cloud server backup services providers know what they are doing, and they are the ideal people to assist you in backing up your Windows Server from corrupted files.
Symptoms of Windows Server Catalog Corruption
Windows Server backup uses a catalog file to keep track of the backups that have been performed. If this catalog file becomes corrupted, it can cause issues with the backups and make them difficult to manage. Here are some symptoms of Windows Server Backup catalog corruption:
- Backup failure: Windows Server Backup may fail to create a new backup or restore an existing backup, even if the backup location has enough space.
- Error messages: Windows Server Backup may display error messages such as “The backup did not complete” or “The catalog is corrupt” when attempting to create or restore a backup.
- Incomplete backups: Windows Server Backup may create an incomplete backup or restore only a portion of the files or folders, even though the backup location has enough space.
- Missing backups: Windows Server Backup may not be able to locate or access previously created backups, even though the backups appear to be present in the backup location.
- Inconsistency with backup files: Windows Server Backup may not be able to match the backup files with their associated catalog files, which can make it difficult to restore the backups.
- Backup schedule not working: Windows Server Backup may fail to perform the scheduled backups, or it may produce an error message at the time of the scheduled backup.
- Error in restore wizard: Error messages may appear in the restore wizard while trying to restore the backup, indicating an issue with the catalog.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s a good indication that your Windows Server Backup catalog may be corrupted, and it’s a good idea to troubleshoot and repair the catalog. Depending on the version of the Windows Server you are running, you can use the command-line utility “Wbadmin” to repair or rebuild the catalog, or you can use the GUI-based “Windows Server Backup” tool. Or else, you can opt for professional server backup cloud solutions provided by industry leaders like i2K2 Networks.
Causes of Windows Server Catalog Corruption
Here are some common causes of Windows Server backup catalog corruption:
- Power failure or system crash: If a power failure or system crash occurs while Windows Server Backup is in the middle of creating a backup or writing to the catalog file, it can cause corruption of the catalog file.
- Disk failure: If the disk on which the catalog file is stored fails or becomes corrupted, it can cause the catalog file to become inaccessible or corrupted.
- Network issues: If the network connection to the backup location becomes unstable or disconnected during a backup, it can cause the catalog file to become corrupted.
- Malware: Malware or a virus can corrupt the catalog file and cause issues with the backups.
- Incorrect shutdown: If Windows is shut down incorrectly, it can cause problems with the catalog file and backups.
- Conflicting software: Conflicting software such as another backup software or antivirus can often cause issues with the Windows Server Backup catalog.
- Windows Updates: Unforeseen issues due to Windows updates can cause catalog file corruption.
- Human error: Accidentally deleting, moving, or modifying the catalog file or backup location can lead to catalog file corruption.
Also Read- Considering Cloud Backup Solutions for Ransomware Recovery
Six Ways for a Worry-Free Windows Server Backup and Restoration
To prep-up your IT, you must start considering these six notable points to carry on a Windows Server Backup and restoration –
1. Perform Restoration on Other Server: Sometimes it is advisable to perform restoration of data and application on another server so that certain variable such as OS type, updates, and hardware do not get affected. Performing restoration in a totally different server offers a wide range of combination of services that allow customers to successfully execute the backup process.
2. Copy your Backup: It is important to keep a copy of the backup archive before restoring the data located within them after verifying the corrupted catalogs.
3. Reviewing the File, Security and Share Permission: As the catalog and XML files are corruption prone, so it is always better to prepare proper ACL permissions beforehand while restoring the data after fall back. Windows Server backup restoration uses certain commands that preemptively export the ACLs for critical data and later re-imports after successful data restoration.
4. Mounting VHDX file within the Archive: Users must find the host name of the device, which they wish to backup, present in the archive. A Virtual Hard disk (VHDX) file is present inside the archive that contains all the data of the Windows Server. WSB utilizes this VHDX file format to store data and application, as the file can be easily transported and mounted by most of the modern Windows Operating Systems. The VHDX files can also be imported to a VM for simple recovery if the server fails, and this is one of the added advantages of having this file while restoration. This helps the server to get back online again. The versatile VHDX files are capable to be mounted on any desktop and extract the desired data from the archive, adding purpose to data restoration.
5. Verification of Business-Critical File Data: it is important to verify the integrity of the business-critical data and applications to generate a unique hash value for each file. Windows Server Backup check these hash values against the restored values and authenticate it before uploading onto the server, keeping data in its original and unmodified form.
6. Frequent Testing of Backup Restore: Checking the Backup restoration process on a regular interval helps mitigate the data corruption to further extent. Potential threats and vulnerabilities that can lead to server failure can be detected in advance and the user gets additional time for implementing corrective measures. If frequent testing verifies the proper functionality of backup and restore, then data loss can be reduced to a certain level.
These strategies will help out users to restore their Windows Server and its application after a server breach, which impacts the revenue and reputation of a business, causing a domino effect of the consequence over the enterprise. But why wait for such an event to occur? You can save your enterprise from such catastrophe by availing best-in-class backup services from our organization, i2k2 Networks, who put server backup solution in the most desirable form-Simplest, Reliable, and Scalable. Your search for the leading data center services provider in Noida ends here. You can totally overcome the challenge of server backup with our customized, easy-to-use, secured data backup and recovery solution. We cater to different flavors of server backup and restoration for different operating systems. Not only do we provide Windows server backup solutions, but also offer state-of-the-art Linux hosting in India to meet the demands of organizations of various sizes across multiple industries. To know more about our services, you can give us a call at +91-120-466-3031 | +91-971-177-4040 or can even drop a mail to email@example.com to help our executives reach you!