Data backup and recovery in Windows 2000 is accomplished via the Backup program, ntbackup.exe. The new program includes the ability to backup up to different types of media (tape drive, CDR, zip drive, etc), as well as the ability to have backups span media (multiple zip drives, etc). Perhaps the greatest benefit is the ability to schedule a backup – something that was sorely missing (unless you wrote a batch file and scheduled it with the AT command) in NT 4 – in Windows 2000 this is done via integration with the Task Scheduler. Backup and restore operations can be carried out by explicitly choosing files and folders if you’re familiar with the process, or by a wizard if you are not.
In order to backup files and folders, you must have appropriate rights and / or permissions. Users may back up their own files, as well as those to which the have the NTFS Read permission. Users may only restore their own files or ones to which the have the NTFS Write permission. Administrators and members of the Backup Operators group have the right to backup and restore files (as do Server Operators on a server), including those to which they have no access.
There are 5 different types of backups you should know about. Note that some backups set or clear a ‘marker’. The marker is the archive attribute on the file or folder being backed up. The 5 types of backups are looked at below:
- Normal: Backs up all selected files and folders, and clears all markers.
- Differential: Backs up all selected files and folders that have changed since the last Normal backup, and does not clear markers.
- Incremental: Backs up all selected files and folders that have changed since the most recent Incremental or Normal backup. It does clear markers.
- Copy: Copies all selected files and folders, and does not clear markers.
- Daily: Backs up all selected files and folders that have changed on that day, and does not clear markers.
Remembering the backup types is easy. Using a Differential backup strategy means that backups take a little longer, but restores tend to be quicker. An Incremental backup strategy generally means faster backups and a lengthier restore period.