How to backup SharePoint Services on Server 2008 for imaging

Hi all,

If you’re running Server 2008 and imaging the system using the block-level backup, then you can actually backup any VSS aware applications as well. (n.b. Exchange is handled separately – see my other blog posts).

To tell Windows Server Backup that you want to back up individual applications, you need to add a registry key.

To do this – find out the application’s VSS writer GUID by typing “vssadmin list writers” and looking for the relevant writer. For example, in the case of SharePoint Services:

Writer name: 'SharePoint Services Writer'
Writer Id: {c2f52614-5e53-4858-a589-38eeb25c6184}
Writer Instance Id: {c7275e0d-fa15-44a8-ad4d-ff6ecfd8d9c2}
State: [1] Stable
Last error: No error

The writer ID is {c2f52614-5e53-4858-a589-38eeb25c6184}

Now go to the registry, and under the key HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WindowsServerBackup\Application Support create a new key with the name of the GUID (and include the curly braces). Then under that new key, create a REG_SZ value with the name “Application Identifier” and value “SharePoint Services” (or the name of your application).

This will now tell Window Server Backup that whenever an image backup is initiated, contact the application’s VSS writer to commit itself for the backup.

You can also perform restores of the application through the Windows Server Backup restore console, as detailed here:

We’ll be building this into the BackupAssist UI shortly [so all you need to do is click a checkbox to select if you want an application backed up] but in the meantime, this registry mod will get the backups working!



2 thoughts on “How to backup SharePoint Services on Server 2008 for imaging”

  1. In Windows Small Business Server 2008, this reg entry is already in place. The problem is that when we review the backup assistant logs, they do not show any reference to Sharepoint. There appears to be a disconnect between small business server 2008 and the instructions posted here.

    Any thoughts?

  2. Hi Michael,

    Windows itself doesn’t provide any logs to say that SharePoint was backed up, but I do appreciate that you’d want to know!

    It is possible to find out what was backed up by using the command line:

    wbadmin get versions -backupTarget:X: [where X: is your backup device]

    This will get you a list of versions.

    Pick your last version, and then type in:

    wbadmin get items -version:03/24/2009-04:00 [substitute with your version]

    That will give you a reading to show you what volumes were backed up, and what applications were backed up.

    What I’ll do is to automate this in BackupAssist so that in the backup report, you get a listing of what was actually backed up, and what you can restore. We are planning a release in a fortnight (before Easter) so I’ll try to get it into this release.

    Hope this helps!



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