VSS Writers with corresponding services

VSS Writers with corresponding services

Each VSS writer corresponds to a service. Instead of rebooting the whole server, when we need to register VSS Writers or get it out of Failed state,  we can only restart the relevant service. I haven’t seen a complete list so far so we will add them one by one :

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb968827%28v=vs.85%29.aspx#system_writer

VSS Writer

Service Name

Service Display Name

ASR Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
BITS Writer BITS Background Intelligent Transfer Service
COM+ REGDB Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
IIS Config Writer AppHostSvc Application Host Helper Service
IIS Metabase Writer IISADMIN IIS Admin Service
Microsoft Exchange Writer MSExchangeIS Microsoft Exchange Information Store
Microsoft Hyper-V VSS Writer vmms Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management
Registry Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
Shadow Copy Optimization Writer VSS Volume Shadow Copy
System Writer CryptSvc Cryptographic Services
WMI Writer Winmgmt Windows Management Instrumentation
WIDW Writer WIDWriter Windows Internal Database
HYPER-V VMMS Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management Service
Data Deduplication Writer DFSR Distributed File System Replication
SPSearch4 VSS Writer SPSearch4 Sharepoint Foundation Search V4

Restore Exchange database with Windows Server Backup

Restore Exchange database with Windows Server Backup

Restoring Exchange Database with Windows Server Backup is quite easy and straight-forward.

I will not write down a guide as there is a perfect one on the internet. It’s from Paul Cunningham from http://exchangeserverpro.com. I will just give a link to it so whoever is looking for this information on my blog can have a look at his guide:

Here is the link. Enjoy – http://exchangeserverpro.com/exchange-2010-mailbox-database-backup-restore-windows-server-backup

Configure Windows Server Backup to Backup Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0

Windows Server Backup can indeed backup and effectively restore WSS 3.0

This is because Windows Server Backup can be configured to backup Applications.

Registering an application to be backed up by Windows Server Backup can be found in this article – Link

If you want to use Windows Server Backup with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, you must configure the following registry keys:

  1. Click Start, click Run, and in the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. In the User Account Control dialog box, click Continue to open the Registry Editor.
  3. Navigate to the following path:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\
  4. On the Edit menu, click New, and then click Key.
  5. Type WindowsServerBackup and then press ENTER.
  6. Select the WindowsServerBackup key, and then on the Edit menu, click New, and then click Key.
  7. Type Application Support, and then press ENTER.
  8. Select the Application Support key, and then on the Edit menu, click New, and then click Key.
  9. Type {c2f52614-5e53-4858-a589-38eeb25c6184} as the key name, and then press ENTER.This is the GUID for the WSS Writer.
  10. Select the new key, and then on the Edit menu, click New, and then click String Value.
  11. Type Application Identifier as the new value name, and then press ENTER.
  12. Right-click the Application Identifier value, and then click Modify.
  13. In the Value Data box, type Windows SharePoint Services, and then click OK.
  14. On the Edit menu, click New, and then click DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  15. Type UseSameVssContext as the new value name, and then press ENTER.
  16. Right-click the UseSameVssContext value, and then click Modify.
  17. In the Value Data box, type 00000001, and then click OK.

Register Applications in Windows Server Backup

Register Applications in Windows Server Backup

Have you ever wondered if Windows Server Backup can backup applications like Exchange, SQL , Sharepoint and etc. ? Yes it can and it’s done in the registry.

Application Support

The Application Support registry key is used to register the application’s VSS writer ID.

If the Application Support registry key does not exist, the application should create it under the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WindowsServerBackup

Create a subkey with the name Application Support. Do not set a value for this key. Under the Application Support key, create a subkey with the name WriterGUID, where WriterGUID is the writer class ID for the application’s VSS writer. Do not set a value for this key.

Application Identifier

The Application Identifier registry key is used to register the application identifier to be used in the Windows Server Backup user interface and command-line interface to identify the application.

If the Application Identifier registry key does not exist, the application should create it under the following registry key, where WriterGUID is the writer class ID for the application’s VSS writer:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WindowsServerBackup\Application Support\WriterGUID

Create a subkey with the name Application Identifier and type REG_SZ. The value should be a string that end users will recognize as the name of the application whose data is to be backed up and recovered. The application identifier string can contain a maximum of 256 characters and must be unique. If two applications register using the same application identifier string, the second registration is ignored. This string will not be localized.

You can use a batch script to set the Application Support and Application Identifier registry keys. To do so, create a file with a .bat file name extension that contains a reg add command in the following format, where:

  • WriterGUID is the writer class ID for the application’s VSS writer
  • ApplicationDisplayName is the application identifier string

reg add “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\windows nt\currentversion\WindowsServerBackup\Application Support\WriterGUID” /v “Application Identifier” /t REG_SZ /d ApplicationDisplayName /f

In the following example script:

  • {CE4EF7DC-18CE-4A11-B4C9-D7A668637D1B} is the value of WriterGUID
  • “My Application” is the value of ApplicationDisplayName

reg add “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\windows nt\currentversion\WindowsServerBackup\Application Support\{CE4EF7DC-18CE-4A11-B4C9-D7A668637D1B}” /v “Application Identifier” /t REG_SZ /d “My Application” /f

CLSID

An application that implements an add-in using the Windows Server Backup API interfaces must set the CLSID registry key in addition to the Application Support and Application Identifier registry keys. An application that does not include an add-in should not set the CLSID registry key.

If the CLSID registry key does not exist, the application should create it under the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WindowsServerBackup\Application Support\WriterGUID

Create a subkey with the name CLSID and type REG_SZ. The value should be the GUID of the COM coclass that implements the add-in.

Backup a server with Windows Server Backup on 2008 R2

Backup a server with Windows Server Backup on 2008 R2

Windows Server Backup is actually a good backup. Not very smart of course but still good. Here is what you get:

– Backup to Hard Disk ( external or not ) and to a network location. Have in mind that if you go for a network location it can only store 1 backup copy and every next backup will always overwrite it. No Tapes support.

– Imaging type of backup. That means that you can restore your whole server very fast and like it has never been off.

– Schedule appears not to be very flexible but it gets better if you play around with Task Scheduler. Windows Server Backup uses a task in the Task Scheduler to run the backup.

– You can force it go create incremental backups. Reporting for the backup result is quite poor. If you use this backup on an SBS it’s a whole different story but on a simple 2008 or R2, just forget it.

– It can actually restore only your SQL or Exchange databases. This is a very good guide on how to do it.

Here is a video of how to backup your server with Windows Server Backup. It’s fairly easy and in the video you can see how to backup on a network location which first comes as unavailable. ( Firewall )