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70-210 Windows 2000 TechNotes
Backup, Restore, Repair, and Recover

- Windows 2000 Backup
- Backup
- Restore
- Emergency Repair Disk
- System State Data
- Ntbackup.exe
- Last Known Good configuration
- Safe Mode

Recovery Console

Windows 2000 Backup    Back to top

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.

Backup    Back to top

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 is selected.

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 data.

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:

Normal/Full Backs up every selected file, regardless of the archive attribute setting, and clears the archive attribute.
Copy Backs up every selected file, regardless of the archive attribute setting. Does not clear the archive attribute.
Daily Backs up every selected file that has changed that day, regardless of the archive attribute setting. Does not clear the archive attribute.
Incremental 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.
Differential 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 backup.

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.

Restore    Back to top

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 be enabled.
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 from backup.

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    Back to top

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    Back to top

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.

Ntbackup.exe    Back to top

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 about NTbackup.exe:
How to Use Command Line Parameters With the "Ntbackup" Command

Last Known Good configuration    Back to top

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.

Safe mode    Back to top

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 Menu.
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% folder.
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.

Recovery Console    Back to top

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 startup.
• Copy files from the Windows Setup CD or other removable media.
• Create a new boot sector and new master boot record (MBR).
• Create and format partitions on drives.

The following limited set of commands is available in the Recovery Console:

• Attrib
• Batch
• Bootcfg
• CD (Chdir)
• Chkdsk
• Cls
• Copy
• Del (Delete)
• Dir
• Disable
• Diskpart
• Enable
• Exit
• Expand
• Fixboot
• Fixmbr
• Format
• Help
• Listsvc
• Logon
• Map
• MD (Mkdir)
• More/Type
• Net use
• Rd (Rmdir)
• Ren (Rename)
• Set
• Systemroot

For more information about how to use the Recovery Console:
- Description of the Windows 2000 Recovery Console


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Current related exam objectives for the 70-210 exam:

Monitoring and Optimizing System Performance and Reliability

Restore and back up the operating system, System State data, and user data.

- Recover System State data and user data by using Windows Backup.
- Troubleshoot system restoration by starting in safe mode.
- Recover System State data and user data by using the Recovery console.

Click here for the complete list of exam objectives.

Discuss this TechNote here Author: Johan Hiemstra


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