Why you shouldn’t copy the WindowsImageBackup folder to another location
We’ve actually written about this sort of thing recently. However; we experienced an issue with an MSP we help out when they run into backup and recovery problems. They were copying their WindowsImageBackup folder to a secondary location which led to some unfortunate consequences.
Our mutual customer is running an older server running Windows Server 2008. They were using a backup solution which runs Windows Server Backup in the background.
To be able to have an offsite backup; they were copying the WindowsImageBackup folder to a separate USB drive.
Copying the WindowsImageBackup folder from backups taken with Server 2008 causes them to be unusable in a recovery situation. The reason being is that the backups are tied to the SID of the backup destination used.
If these don’t match up – then the recovery process will fail with the error Error Details: Element Not Found (0x80070490).
The final outcome
Luckily; the original location (a Synology NAS) was still available and we were able to (eventually) recover from the backups located there. It was a bit touch and go for a while due to some issues connecting to the destination through the Windows Recovery Environment.
A lesson nearly learnt the hard way…
While everything eventually ended up roses…it could’ve been very different. It’s not common knowledge that copying the WindowsImageBackup folder can cause such issues on Server 2008. Microsoft did make a change so that the SID didn’t have such impact in later versions of Windows.
However that doesn’t mean copying the WindowsImageBackup folder is flawless – doing so with later versions of Windows will only copy the latest backup and all backup history and retention will be lost.
Let Test My Backups manage your businesses backup policies.
Before we even put anything in place at a client’s site – we’ve tested every possible angle to make sure that the backup strategy we implement is as close to flawless as it can be. Let us take the stress out of backup and recovery for your business!
Have you experienced an issue with your backups – but found some way out of it? Let us know in the comments!