Hacks #90-100

Backing up systems and configurations for services is your first line of defense against a disaster. Unfortunately, this is often more complicated than it sounds. Restoring an entire system from scratch is usually a complex and time-consuming procedure, and it is usually not necessary when only one component or feature has become corrupted or lost.

This chapter looks at the backup process and examines how to back up specific entities, such as your System State, certificate authority (CA) information, Encrypting File System (EFS) keys, and Distributed File System (DFS) namespace. We also look at how to back up something as simple as an individual file from the command line, to something as complicated as an entire system using the new Automated System Recover (ASR) feature of Windows Server 2003. Also included is a script that can be used to collect disaster recovery files and event logs from remote Windows 2000 servers.

We also map out procedures you can use to recover a failed system, short of restoring everything from backup, navigating through a maze of options (such as Safe Mode, Emergency Repair, Last Known Good Configuration, and the Recovery Console). Finally, we mention a few services you can call on when your worst nightmare happens and you need to recover your business data from a failed disk that has no backup.