It seems that Windows Backup Server on 2012 does not backup to tape, only to block storage devices.

Anyone know if there is a way of backing up to tape on server 2012, just like the old ntbackup used to do? We want it in the same .bks format as ntbackup because it will be restored to a disaster recovery site using ntbackup.


  • Tape? in 2014? What is this sorcery?! – Nathan C Jan 29 '14 at 14:41
  • Yes, with 3rd party apps like BUE or others (as Evan mentions below). – TheCleaner Jan 29 '14 at 14:41
  • Unfortunately BUE doesn't support server 2012 R2 – NickC Feb 3 '14 at 11:01

There is no built-in functionality to support backup to tape (and hasn't been starting with Windows Server 2008). You'll need to look at third-party software (of which there are plenty of commercial and some free/open source offerings) for that functionality.

NTBackup writes ".BKF" files, which are file-based representations of the Microsoft Tape Format. I know that Symantec Backup Exec has, historically, supported creating tapes in Microsoft Tape Format but, given that you won't be restoring the backups with NTBackup (seeing as how there isn't a Windows Server 2012 version of NTBackup) I'm not sure that Microsoft Tape Format compatibility is really all that important.

  • I'll have to get more details of how they do this at the moment. However from what I know they are currently backing up on a 2003 server using some sort of iomega USB connected dat drive and restoring it onto the offsite server 2008, but how they manage to do that when server 2008 doesn't support ntbackup I don't know. – NickC Jan 29 '14 at 14:53
  • They are restoring the tape onto server 2008 using 'Windows NT Backup - Restore Utility' which allows 2008 to do NTBackup but for restore only. – NickC Jan 31 '14 at 14:02

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