Server 2008 Imaging and VSS Application Support – registry keys

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Hi all,

Today I was asked how we provide VSS application support (eg. Exchange, SQL, SharePoint, Hyper-V) for Windows Server Backup.

It’s standard practice to add in the GUIDs of each VSS writer to the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT
\CurrentVersion\WindowsServerBackup\Application Support\{Insert_GUID_Here}

However, when our user went to this key, he discovered that it was “missing”, and wondered how BackupAssist could provide VSS application support without the keys.

The answer is:

  1. BackupAssist creates the key before the backup, and deletes it afterwards, so it will not interfere with any other settings that may exist on your system. If the key already exists, then we won’t touch it (or delete it). You can see an example of the key that BackupAssist creates, and subsequently deletes, in the screenshot below.
    Windows Server Backup VSS Application Support
  2. If you try to do a restore, you’ll be able to see your VSS applications listed if you try to restore the application, as shown below.
    Windows Server Backup Restore VSS Application
    Windows Server Backup Restore VSS Application List
  3. Looking at the backup report, in the Backed Up Items section, you’ll see the VSS applications listed as being backed up.
    Windows Server Backup Backed Up Items

I hope that explains the situation, and gives everyone an understanding of how we achieve VSS application backup support in Windows Server Backup – and how to verify that it’s working!

Cheers,

Linus

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