Setting up Windows Server 2012 Essentials server backup

The steps to configure a Windows 2012 Essentials server to be backed up to an external hard drive are as follows:
  1. Open the Windows Server 2012 Essentials Dashboard.
  2. Click on Set up Server Backup.

    Dashboard - Set up Server Backup

  3. Click on the "Click to set up Server Backup" link on the right side of the window.
  4. A "Getting Started" window will open informing you that:

    This wizard helps you set up and schedule routine backups of your server and data.

    Before you begin, you must attach at least one backup hard drive to the server. You can set up more than one hard drive to be used by the Server Backup, but you can only connect one backup hard drive to the server at a time.


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    Set up Server Backup - Getting Started

    Click on Next.

  5. At the next window, you will be prompted to "Select the Backup Destination". Check the checkbox next to the external drive you wish to use for the backup

    Set up Server Backup - Select Destionation

  6. You may then see a window appear with the following warning:

    You selected a hard drive that might be divided into one or more logical drives. When you finish this wizard, the server will reformat the folllowing hard drives." Beneath that message will be information on the drive you selected followed by "If you contine, all existing data will be deleted. Do you want to continue?"

    Server will reformat drive

    If there is anything on the external drive that will become the drive for the server backups already that you wish to retain, backup the files you wish to keep to another location then click on "Yes" to acknowledge the warning.

  7. You will next be prompted to type a label for the drive you wish to use; it can be whatever you like.
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    Label Destination Drives

  8. You will next be asked to specify the backup schedule. You can select the backup frequency and the time of day for backups. You can have backups run multiple times each day. Microsoft recommends that you perform a backup twice each day with the default values being at noon and 11:00 PM each day.

    Speciy Backup Schedule

    If you select the "Custom" option, you can pick whatever time or times you wish to run a backup from half hour increments throughout the day, e.g. 12:00 AM, 12:30 AM, 1:00 AM, and so forth. Click on Next when you've selected the backup times.

  9. You will next be asked to select which items to back up. Microsoft recommends that you include "System Backup". You can click on Next if you are satisfied with the default settings or select additional items or deselect items already selected. When you are finished click on the Next button.

    Select items to back up

  10. You will then be asked to confirm your choices at the "Cofirm the backup settings" window.

    Confirm the backup settings

    Click on Apply settings.

    You will then see a "Setting up Server Backup" window telling you it may take several minutes for the process of setting up the backups to complete.


  11. When you see the "You successfully set up Server Backup" window, you can click on the Close button to complete the process.


You should then see a green check mark next to "Set up Server Backup" in the Dashboard.

Dashboard Server Backup completed

The drive used for backups won't have a drive letter assigned to it and won't appear in the list of drives you see with the Windows Explorer, but if you use the Disk Management utility, which you can run from a command prompt by typing diskmgmt or which you can get to by right-clicking on the Windows Start button and selecting Disk Management, you will see it listed.

Windows Disk Management

You can check on the available backups later from the command line using the wbadmin command - see Checking the status of a server backup with wbadmin.

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Created: Saturday January 24, 2015