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This is a question for someone who has had hands-on experience with this. Mainly I'm wondering whether this is a straight-forward process that can be achieved with the backup utility included with Windows 2003.

Of course, we would prefer to maximise our Recovery Point and minimise our Recovery Time.

Currently, regular full, differential and log backups are done for the SQL Server. However, we want to avoid having to a do a full software/update install and server reconfiguration in the event of disaster.

The plan is to do the full computer restore and then restore the latest full, differential and log backups for the database. i.e. the full computer backup might be a week old but because of the db backups we can still recover the data to within the last 15 minutes before disaster strikes.

It would be great to have someone with experience in this area to provide guidance. Thank you.

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You'll need some backup software like Backup Exec to handle the backups of the Windows OS. The native Windows Backup can do the job, but that isn't very scalable (when you have several servers to backup). You are backing up the SQL Server to another machine right? Backing the SQL Server up to the local machine won't do you much good if the server fails.

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Yes, another machine. Only need to backup/restore 2 physical machines. No need for large scale. However, having trouble restoring to VM. vSphere 4 VMs do not accept USB HDD that has backup media (it might work with passthru capability but our vSphere server doesn't have it). Of course the USB support is a side issue, however, I have been unable to verify Windows Backup does the job yet because of "side issues". –  Darren Campbell Feb 9 '11 at 0:48
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