I have a server running Windows Server 2016 Essentials. (Usually try and avoid the SBS type versions although I was hoping they hadn't hobbled things in 2016, ... but yes, they have)

This customers previous server backed up to a NAS using Symantec System Recovery, which we've always had good success with

On this system I'm trying to use the built in Windows Server Backup, which should be great right?

Unfortunately on Essentials it seems you can't backup to a network location. You can try and access Server Backup directly (rather than using the dashboard), but that wants matching accounts on both the system & NAS, and still complains about permissions issues. It also breaks the backup option in the dashboard.

I decided in the end it was easier to just follow the Essentials options and use a USB drive, however I'd rather not rely on that completely for the backup storage.

I would like to sync the backup files to the NAS, which I'm happy using RoboSync for. However, getting at the files seems to be a problem. I've already assigned a drive letter to the USB disk so I can see the backup folder - hoping that isn't already enough to upset the backup process.

It's still not possible to copy some of the data though, running RoboSync as an administrator with backup mode enabled.

It will access some of the files, and is currently copying the main image file (.vhdx) but is showing errors on other files like the following -

New File 18.7 g {faa21756-730f-11e7-be75-901b0ed00c98}{3808876b-c176-4e48-b7ae-04046e6cc752} 2017/07/28 09:23:43 ERROR 5 (0x00000005) Copying File F:\System Volume Information\{faa21756-730f-11e7-be75-901b0ed00c98}{3808876b-c176-4e48-b7ae-04046e6cc752} Access is denied.

Is there any way I can easily create a duplicate of the backup data without jumping through hoops? I've avoided changing permissions on the backup folders so far as I wouldn't be surprised if that breaks future backups.

Edit: Looking at this again, the only files that won't copy are in the System Volume Information folder, which is on the root of the USB drive. I don't think this is actually anything to do with the backup... Can anyone confirm that the WindowsImageBackup folder is all I should need to be able to recover the full machine in the future?

  • One thing you might look into; if the NAS supports iSCSI you could create an iSCSI target on the NAS for the server, connect the server to the iSCSI target (which will present itself to the server as a local block device), and select that as the backup target. That essentially puts the backup on the NAS directly and natively. You could then look into duplicating the backup from the NAS rather than from the server. – joeqwerty Jul 28 '17 at 14:04
  • Unfortunately the NAS doesn't have an iSCSI option, I did think about that when I was first trying to get network backup to work before moving to USB. I've updated the question though as I think I may have made a simple mistake and not need the files that won't copy. – USD Matt Jul 28 '17 at 15:46
  • Based on your edit, you're correct that the WindowsImageBackup folder is the only folder related to the backup and is the only folder you need. The System Volume folder is a default Windows folder on all Windows volumes and isn't specific to nor related to the backup. – joeqwerty Jul 28 '17 at 15:56

Looks like I was being a bit stupid. The backup was configured to store in the root of the USB drive (F:\), which creates a WindowsImageBackup folder. When syncing the backup, I was just using F:\ as the source. Because of this it was trying to copy system directories on the root of the drive which don't really have anything to do with the backup.

It seems that running RoboCopy as administrator in Backup Mode is enough to be able to copy all the relevant files.

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