I've done a lot of research and it seems that the built in Windows Backup utility cannot backup to an RDX drive without it thinking it is a DVD drive.

So, that said.

I currently backup a remote server using the Windows 2008 R2 backup utility to an iSCSI drive on that server.

For offsite storage, I would like to then copy the backups that are created there onto the RDX drive each night for DR purposes.

Questions are:

  1. Can I copy the "WindowsImageBackup" folder and all of its contents to another device like the RDX and then if a restore is required from that offsite device would the backup utility be able to read that copy as if it were a valid backup? I'd assume it would require me to do a restore with the option of "a backup stored on another location" and then browse to it so that it catalogs it, etc.??

  2. If #1 is possible, I'm guessing since the vhd file changes each night I'm looking at a full copy to the RDX "tape" each night. Correct?

  3. Any other options you think would work better? 3rd party programs that work correctly with RDX devices that aren't costly?


question 1 I can't answer. I've only ever restored from backup at a file level (including .VHD)

Question 2 you're correct, copying VHD to a networked/removable drive is full backup only, no increments.

Question 3 there's a product called Altaro which is especially geared towards SMBs looking to backup Windows onto removable drives. It is hardwired to encourage to removable media rotation (which is what you want to be doing with RDX right?) and I believe it to do so incrementally. AFAIK it works with 2008 R2 file servers and Hyper V VHDs, I don't know what it does with other roles like host installed SQL, but worth a look.

In terms of price, if it's used to backup up two VMs it's free, beyond that limit the paid for version cost is still very reasonable.

I've not used it myself but it has been promoted by Aidan Finn who is a Hyper V and SC MVP.

  • Thanks..I'm not backing up a vhd, I was referring to the backup file that the built-in Window backup creates being a VHD file. However, the Altaro File Server backup product looks promising and might be my workaround and answer to #3. I'll report back. – TheCleaner Nov 8 '11 at 20:00

When you're stuck with using Windows Backup and have no other options, a workaround which I've implemented before is to share the RDX drive and then set Windows Backup to write backups to that share. You're effectively writing your backups to \\localhost\RDX, but it keeps Windows Backup happy if you're happy to put up with Windows Backup's even more limited options when writing to a share.

Many RDX drives come with a cut down version of some vendor's backup software that can be used in simple situations. For example, the Dell RD1000 comes with Symantec Backup Exec "light" (the name escapes me). Check the media that came with the drive (or the server if it came with it) if you're not sure.

Mark makes a good point about other payware software vendors that offer free versions of their products for small deployments. Veeam also do a free edition of their product, but not sure on the limitations of it off the top of my head. Again, this is assuming everything you want to back up is virtualised, which you hinted at by mentioning VHDs.

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