I've got a bit of an issue and need some professional advice. One of our servers ended up crashing and I have a backup of the said server (Windows Server 2008 R2). The backup routinely backed up the OS onto an external HDD that sat on a separate server. Once the server crashed I began to go through the normal restoration steps; boot into recovery mode, enter the repair, and then try to browse for the directory via the network.

Here lies the problem. The backup automatically backed up on the external hard drive to the directory: G:\Backups\WindowsImageBackup\COMPUTER-NAME

When ever I try to browse to that location, I am unable to find any backups. I did some more digging around online and found out that windows doesn't like a directory to sit in front of the WindowsImageBackup folder. I tried using the network to backup as well as manually connected the hard drive to the machine and both did not work.

I have tried using wbadmin to restore as well. Now here is the interesting part. I copied the WindowsImageDirectory up above one directory so it sits as G:\WindowsImageBackup\COMPUTER-NAME. When I run wbadmin get versions -backupTarget:H: I can see the computer name as well as another machine that is backed up. However, once I run wbadmin get versions -backupTarget:H: -machine:COMPUTER-NAME I get ERROR - No backup was found.

I have checked the directory and can verify that the backup is there. I also looked through the XML files and couldnt find a place to change the directory to restore from. I'm thinking this is an issue with wbadmin but I am not so sure. I am certain the backup will work because I had another backup done without a folder in front of it and it backed up correctly.

So is there another restoration tool other than wbadmin I can use for Windows backups? Or perhaps a way I can edit the XML files to look in the correct directory?

Let me know if anyone needs any more info. Your help is always appreciated.


Alright, well I am going to go ahead and answer this for anyone else caught in a similar situation in the future.

So I took my Windows backup located in the WindowImageBackup folder and used a program similar to Paragon Backup And Recovery Suite 10 convert the file to a VDI file (Usable by Virtualbox). I then loaded the the VDI as the hard drive in Virtualbox, however, it stated that my boot manager was missing.

It was at this point that I mounted a Windows Server 2008 R2 ISO onto the DVD drive of Virtualbox and went into Repair and opened up the command prompt. I ran diskpart to and list volumes to check what the volume name was (In this case it was C:)

Once in command prompt I ran the following command: C:\windows\system32\bcdboot C:\windows /s C:

And voila! The image initially created from a WindowsImageBackup that is not is not bootable.

  • as a test.. try running ShadowExplorer against your backup disk and see what it finds. Not sure at the moment but i believe windows server backup stores backups as VSS snapshots. shadowexplorer.com – goofology Mar 20 '16 at 22:14

Trying to restore a backup from an external USB drive from Windows Server 2008 Small Business Server Edition.

When running Windows Backup at first I kept getting the 'backup has taken longer than 10 minutes' something or another.

So I tried running it as administrator and that seemed to get past that issue.

Then when I tried to do a restore, it kept saying no backups found. As if it couldn't find the catalog. Tried giving the USB drive a drive letter (Windows Server Backup does not assign a drive letter when using a USB drive by default) and then sharing the drive. Then using a UNC path to restore from a network drive. Still kept getting the same error. Tried every subfolder, etc. Anyway.

  1. ran ntdsutil

  2. type snapshot

  3. type list all and it should return a list of all backups.

(I did this from the C: prompt and apparently it found the backup drive). I chose the backup from the date I wanted and typed mount 855 (or whatever the number is).

This will mount a folder in the C drive named $SNAP_somethingblahablahVOLUME$

This drive will have the backup for that date. It might take a few to mount. Once inside, you will find the VHD files for each drive backed up. In my case 3 VHD, one for the C: drive, one for the bare metal backup and one for the D: drive.

Since you can't mount a VHD in the storage/disk management console in some versions of Windows Server (in my case 2008 SBS), you have to install the 2005 Virtual Server from Microsoft. When installing, you only need to choose the VHD installations.

After it's installed you can mount and access the VHDs as actual drive letters.

Go to the vhdmount.exe folder (c:\program files\microsoft virtual server\vhdmount) etc. the command line is

vhdmount.exe /m "c:\$SNAP_stuff$@#$@#$VOLUME$\23490drivewhatever.vhd"

the /m mounts it and adding /f as well will let you edit it. I recommend just mounting it and getting your files.

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