Windows 2000 Backup
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Windows 2000 Backup provides a large amount
of options to backup, restore and repair your system. Backups
are typically written to one or more tapes, examples being
DLT and DAT drives, but Windows Backup also provides the option
to backup to a file, which then can be written to removable
storage such as a CD/DVD-RW, or a network share.
Windows 2000 Backup can be run from the Start
Menu by clicking Backup in Programs|Accessories|System
Tools. Backup has a
Welcome tab with 3 buttons to start a Backup
Wizard, a Restore Wizard, or create an Emergency
Repair Disk. The Backup wizard allows you to easily create
a backup of your documents and settings, all users’
documents and settings, the entire computer, or a selection
of files and/or folders. The restore wizard allows a restore
with the default options by selecting a backup file.
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The Backup tab of Backup
allows you to create and schedule backup jobs. On the Backup
tab and select the files and folders you want to back up.
On the left bottom, select backup destination and provide
a name for the media or file.
Click the Start Backup button on
the right bottom of the Backup tab. The Backup
Job Information dialog box appears as depicted below.
Provide a name for the backup job,
a label and choose what should be done when the media already
contains data. The option Allow only the owner and the
Administrator access to the backup data is only available
when Replace the data on the media with this backup
The Advanced button opens the Advanced Backup
Option dialog box as shown below:
Selecting the option Back up data that
is in Remote Storage backs up data that has been designated
for Remote Storage. If you select this option, Remote Storage
reparse points (placeholder files) are backed up. Remote Storage
data can only be restored to an NTFS volume.
The option Verify data after backup
allows you to verify that the backup is exactly the same as
the original data. This usually has a huge impact on the time
it takes to perform a backup.
The option If possible, compress the
backup data to save space allows you to compress tape
backups. This option is only available if you have a tape
drive attached to your computer that can handle compressed
The option Automatically back up system
protected files with the System State allows you to include
all system files that are in your systemroot directory (i.e.
c:\Windows) in addition to the files that are included with
the System State data by default.
Select one of the following under Backup
Type: copy, daily, differential, incremental, and normal.
To understand the various common backup types, first you'll
have to know about the archive file attribute. If
a file has this attribute it means it has changed since the
previous the archive attribute was turned off. An archive
attribute can be turned off by performing certain types of
backup, or manually by using the 'attrib' command line utility
or Windows Explorer for example. The table below lists the
most common backup types:
||Backs up every selected file, regardless
of the archive attribute setting, and clears the archive
||Backs up every selected file, regardless
of the archive attribute setting. Does not clear the archive
||Backs up every selected file that has
changed that day, regardless of the archive attribute
setting. Does not clear the archive attribute.
|| Backs up only those files created or
changed since the last normal or incremental backup, and
clears the archive attribute. This method is used in combination
with a periodic full backup. For example, a Normal/Full
backup on Mondays and an incremental backup on the remaining
days of the week. In case of a restore, you will need
the last normal backup as well as all incremental backups
since the last normal backup.
||Backs up only those files created or
changed since the last normal or incremental backup, but
does not clear the archive attribute. This method is also
used in combination with a periodic full backup. For example,
a Normal/Full backup on Mondays and a differential backup
on the remaining days of the week. In case of a restore,
you will need the last normal backup and the last differential
Click OK after setting the advanced options
to return to the Backup Job Information dialog box
where you can either start the backup immediately or schedule
it to run at a future date and time. When you schedule the
backup job, you will be prompted to save the current selection
of files and folder, and you will need to provide a user account
and password to run the job as. This account must have sufficient
permissions to backup the selected files and folders and will
become the owner of the backup. The Scheduled Job Option
dialog box will open where you can provide a name for the
job and one or more schedules. The Task Scheduler
service will schedule and run the backup job. When the backup
job is completed you will be able to view a report that shows
a summary log of the backup job performed.
Backup jobs can also be created and scheduled
from the Schedule Jobs tab of the Backup. It provides
a large calendar where you can select a day and click the
Add Job to start the advanced Backup Wizard
allowing you to backup the entire computer, a file and folder
selection or the System State Data.
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The Restore and Manage Media tab of the Backup
allows you to restore backups and manage backup media. The
latter includes formatting, erasing, and naming tapes as well
as maintaining catalogs.
To restore a backup, select the backup on
disk, tape, or other media, select the Restore Location and
press the Start Restore button. You can choose to restore
the files to their original location, an alternate location,
or a single folder. When you choose to restore the backup
to a single folder, the directory structure will be lost,
thus all files will be placed in the same folder.
When you click the Start Restore button,
the Confirm Restore dialog box appears as depicted below:
In most cases you'll click ok to start the
restore, but in some situations you may want to set Advanced
Restore Options by clicking the Advanced button.
The Restore security option is enabled
by default and only available if the backup is from an NTFS
volume in Windows 2000 and you are restoring it to an NTFS
volume in Windows 2000. If you disable this option, security
settings for files and folders, such as permissions, ownership,
and audit entries, will not be restored.
The option Restore Removable Storage
database restores the information Removable Storage database
file ntmsdata in the /systemroot/system32 folder.
The option Restore junction points, and restore file and
folder data under junction points to the original location
restores the junction points on your hard disk and the data
that the junction points point to. If you are restoring a
backup of a mounted drive and the data on it this option must
The option When restoring replicated data sets, mark the
restored data as the primary data for all replicas allows
you to ensure that restored File Replication service (FRS)
data is replicated to your other servers to ensure that other
server participating in the replicated data set do not overwrite
the restored data because it is older.
The option Preserve existing volume mount points
prevents any volume mount points you have created on the partition
or volume prior to the restore from being overwritten. Disable
this option if you want to restore the volume mount points
After you have set the advanced options, click OK, and then
click OK again to start the restore. At the end of the restore
you will be able to view a report showing a summary log of
the restore operation.
Emergency Repair Disk
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An Emergency Repair Disk (ERD) can be used
to repair the system in case it won't startup. It can repair
system and startup files and the boot sector. Missing or corrupted
files are replaced with files from the original Windows 2000
CD, hence you will need to reinstall Service Packs after the
repair process. You can create an Emergency Repair Disk by
clicking the button on the Welcome tab of the Backup
utility or by selecting the option Create an Emergency
Repair Disk from the Tools menu. It requires
a blank 1.44 MB floppy disk. The ERD is based on the contents
of the \systemroot\repair folder.
Choosing Also back up the registry to the repair directory
will save your current registry files in a folder within your
systemroot/repair folder. This is useful if you need to recover
your system in the event your registry becomes corrupted.
To repair your system by using the Emergency Repair Disk,
start Windows 2000 Setup and press R at the Welcome to Setup
screen to select the option to repair a Windows 2000 installation.
Setup will examine the disks and prompt you to repair by using
the recovery console or by using the ERD. Press R to select
the option to repair a Windows 2000 installation by using
the repair process.
Next you will need to choose between Manual repair or
Fast repair. Press F for Fast repair if
you want to automatically repair system files, the partition
boot sector, and the startup environment. The registry created
when you first installed Windows 2000 will be restored. This
will likely require you to reinstall applications. If you
selected the option to backup the registry to the repair folder
when you created the ERD, you may be able to restore it without
having to reconfigure and reinstall the software.
Press M for Manual repair if you want to selectively
repair system files, the partition boot sector, or the startup
environment. If you choose Manual repair, the registry
will not be repaired.
When you select continue, press Enter if you have an ERD and
insert the floppy disk when prompted. If you don't have an
ERD, you can still use the ERD process to check your disk
for corrupted files. If the system cannot be repaired by using
the Emergency Repair Process, you will probably have to reinstall
Windows. Update the ERD floppy by using the Backup Utility
every time you've made significant changes to the system.
System State Data
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The System State Data includes the
registry, COM+ Class Registration database, and boot files.
As mentioned earlier, the Advanced Options of a backup
job allow you to include all system files under Windows
File Protection that are in your systemroot directory
(i.e. c:\Windows) with the System State Data. This allows
you to create a comprehensive backup of ‘just’
the operating system.
To create a backup of the System State Data you can either
run the Backup Wizard or use the Backup. On the Backup of the Backup tab, select the System State Data as
depicted below, and click Start backup.
You must be an administrator on the local
computer to back up and restore System State data, and you
can only backup the System State data on a remote computer,
not on a remote computer.
In case you want to restore the System State
Data on a running computer, you should go for the Backup
and perform the restore like you would perform a basic restore.
Just select the System State Data from the backup file or
media and click Start restore.
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Windows 2000 also includes the command-line
utility Ntbackup.exe. This utility can only be used
to backup data, not to restore data. It can be used to create
backups by running it from the command-prompt, but more often
it is used in batch files.
Click the following link for more information
to Use Command Line Parameters With the "Ntbackup"
Last Known Good configuration
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There are several other methods available
to repair your system without having to perform a restore
from backup. The Last Known Good configuration is
one of them. Those who took CompTIA’s A+ OS, Windows
NT 4, the 70-270, or the 70-215 exam, know the Last Known
Good configuration very well. It is one of Microsoft’s
favorites exam topics.
The Last Known Good configuration is a backup
copy of the current configuration stored in the registry key
HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet and is updated when a user shuts
down the system after successfully logging on. Restoring the
information from this registry key can repair your system,
for example when you added a driver causing the operating
system not to load.
So when you changed the configuration of
your system and the OS fails to load after you restart the
computer, you should press F8 when you see the message Please
select the operating system to start, and select the Last
Known Good Configuration from the Windows Advanced
Options Menu. The Last Known Good configuration is only
useful if you have not logged on yet. When you logon and shut
down or restart the system, the current configuration will
become the Last Known Good configuration.
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If you still cannot start Windows, you already
tried the Last know Good configuration, you can try to boot
Windows in Safe Mode. In Safe mode, Windows loads
only the mouse, monitor, keyboard, mass storage, and base
video drivers. Only the default system services are started
and there is no support for networking. This allows you to
troubleshoot the system if it does not start normal. For example,
you can remove installed drivers and devices, view log files,
repair the registry, and run System Restore. A common situation
in which you should start in Safe Mode is when Windows 2000
doesn't start because of incorrect video drivers or settings.
The default VGA driver (vga.sys) is used with display settings
640 x 480 with 16 colors.
Many services and programs are not available
in Safe Mode. For example the Removable Storage services which
is used to provide access to tape devices and other storage
devices, cannot be started in Safe Mode, hence you cannot
perform a backup from tape. Only accounts with administrative
permissions on the local machine can be used to log on to
Windows 2000 in safe mode.
To use a Safe Boot option, you need to choose
the appropriate type of Safe Mode from the Windows Advanced
Options Menu, which can be accessed by pressing F8 when the
computer starts, or when the boot menu appears. Besides the
standard Safe Mode option, there are several other
types of Safe Mode available from the Windows Advanced Option
The option Safe Mode with Networking loads all of
the essential services and drivers required to support networking.
This can be useful if you need to download drivers or tools
to repair the system.
The option Safe Mode with Command Prompt is the same
as safe mode but starts the command prompt (cmd.exe) instead
of the GUI.
The option Enable Boot Logging: This option enables
logging when the computer is started in a Safe Mode. The information
will be stored in the Ntbtlog.txt file in the %SystemRoot%
The option Use Last Known Good Configuration, starts
Windows by using a previous good configuration, as described
earlier, is available from this menu.
The option Enable VGA Mode starts Windows with a
resolution of 640 x 480 using the current video driver, instead
of the standard Vga.sys driver which is normally used in safe
mode. This option can be used if you changed the display settings
and set the resolution too high for your monitor.
The option Debugging Mode starts Windows in debugging
mode, which allows you to sent debugging information across
a serial cable to another computer running a debugger.
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If the computer hangs during or after startup
and you cannot boot in safe mode, you can try to repair the
system by using the Recovery Console. If you haven’t
added the Recovery Console to the boot menu by using the winnt32.exe
/cmdcons command, you need the Windows 2000 Setup CD and choose
Recovery Console by pressing R when prompted during text-mode
setup. Use the local Administrator account’s password
to gain access.
You can perform any of the following tasks in the Recovery
Console to repair your computer:
• Enable or disable drivers or services to start at
• Copy files from the Windows Setup CD or other removable
• Create a new boot sector and new master boot record
• Create and format partitions on drives.
The following limited set of commands is available in the
• CD (Chdir)
• Del (Delete)
• MD (Mkdir)
• Net use
• Rd (Rmdir)
• Ren (Rename)
For more information about how to use the
of the Windows 2000 Recovery Console