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I have a MS Sql server 2008 SP1 running on a Windows server 2008 SP1, I would like to get these upgraded to the latest service packs. Specifically we are seeing performance issues related to "Full text indexing" and upgrading the service pack level of Sql and applying some cumulative updates should fix it.

My question is: I want to make a full image backup of the whole server before updating and just wanted to get some input on the best method to achieve this. We are already taking regular sql backups but I would like a full image to roll back to if the updates make something go sideways.

Can I use Windows Server Backup Services to make this image? I have made many images this way, but never for a server that also runs Sql, any caveats or considerations here? I am also considering Acronis, but would prefer a quick free solution.

The only caveats that I know of is that I should shut down the sql service and any related sql services... anything else?

Many thanks!

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You don't need to shutdown the service, but you do need to quiesce the instances. – Chopper3 Jun 14 '11 at 17:28
Thanks Chopper3! – lysdexic Jun 14 '11 at 19:01
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you shut down all SQL Server related services you should have no problem with that. The important things is to ensure that the SQL data (.mdf) and log (.ldf) files are all closed and not in use when the backup is taken.

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Doing it this way should avoid VSS borking your native SQL backup chain. – Holocryptic Jun 14 '11 at 18:02
Thanks for your input guys! – lysdexic Jun 14 '11 at 19:02

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