Category Archives: Operating System

Windows Server 2008 R2 Backup and Restore

Every admin should make backups. That’s just a fact. But what backup software should we use? Many administrators look for a third-party backup solution, however Windows Server ships with a solid and built-in solution – Windows Server Backup (the entirely new face of NTBackup).

To install backup functionality in Windows Server 2008 R2, go to Server Manager – Features, and select Windows Server Backup Features with additional components – Windows Server Backup

Select features screen – select all the Windows Server Backup features available.


After the installation of Backup features we can access them through the Start , in Administrative Tools under “Windows Server Backup”.


Inside the Windows Server Backup Management console, we can create a backup schedule, perform one-time backup, recover data that was previously configured for a backup, or configure performance settings.


In this walk-through we will create a scheduled job for backing up an entire operating system (including the registry), so we’ll go ahead and click on Backup Schedule option.

During the backup schedule plan creation, we can select what to backup (single files from our server, system state, folders, volumes or the entire server), as well as when and how often backups should occur, and finally where to store the backups. Before Windows Server 2008 R2, we could only keep our backups on a dedicated volume, which was a serious maintenance cost for system administrators who had become accustomed to the NTBackup tool from Windows Server 2003, which allowed backups to any storage (including local folders).

During the setup of a Backup Schedule job, we will have to decide what to backup. We can obviously select individual volumes, folders or files, but since Windows Server 2008 R2 we also have additional backup options:

  • Bare Metal Recovery – backup an entire operating system. This is not the same as full backup, which also backs-up your data.
  • System State – generally this option will backup all system-related settings, like registry, COM+ class registration database, Boot files (including system files), certificates, Active Directory Services, SYSVOL folder, IIS Meta-Directory, etc.



After we select data to backup, we can specify file types to exclude in the backup (such as mp3 files or temp files), and choose additional VSS settings. To do this, we click on the Advanced Settings button.

It is advisable to exclude certain files from the backups that are not necessary to restore. For example, when you manually create Full Server backup and store it locally on one of your volumes, you should perform that backup everyday, because it will surely take lot of disk space and impact server performance. Instead consider a less regular Full Server backup and more regular backups of the data which changes more frequently.


In the VSS Settings screen, we can choose what type of Volume Shadow Copy we want to create. Available options are VSS Full Backup, and VSS copy Backup. Normally we will want to use the VSS full backup when we do not use third party tools for backups.


On the next step of scheduled backup configuration, we need to decide when to perform the backups. This is a crucial step, since we have to choose a time when the server load is low and when performance isn’t the most important. For this reason , backup jobs are usually run during the night.

We can choose to backup once a day (and select an exact time when), or choose to perform backups more than once, then we can choose more than one hour for a backup.


In the next step we will decide where we’d like to store the backups. In previous version of Windows Server 2008, when I tried to configure backups as I am used to with NTBackup, I’ve encountered issues because Windows Server Backup wasn’t able to backup my data to local folders. I was forced to purchased a dedicated harddrive for backups despite space being available on existing data volumes. It was a real relief to see the Windows Server Backup in Windows Server 2008 R2 re-introduces this functionality!


In our example, I’ve used one of my local volumes to store my backups.


The final step is the summary, where we can review our settings and Finish the Backup Wizard. After a successfull setup, we’ll see our newly added backup job on the Windows Server Backup console.


If we decide to perform the backup right now, out of schedule, we should use Backup Once option in right pane. Then in the Backup Once Wizard screen, we can choose either one of our scheduled backups, or we can configure entirely new one.


Keep in mind, that when you create a backup of volumes hosting Virtual Hard Disk files (VHD), these files will be automatically excluded from the backup, as if they were mounted at the time backup was created.

So far so good, but what about Recovery ? To configure recovery go back to Windows Server Backup Console and select the Recovery option from the right pane.

We can use this option to recover specific files, entire volumes or the system state components from a backup we setup earlier. We will need to specify where our backup file is located, it can be either on a Local Server, or remote location (which is the normal and recommended location for any backup).


The last interesting option in our Windows Server Backup console are the Optimizations options. These options only apply to backups where we include entire volumes in our backup. We can choose Normal Backup, which is best for servers under heavy loads. Faster Backup is usually good when we perform backups at night or at close to zero server usage. We can also customize these settings for each volume on a server.


Thanks

 

Prashant Deshpande

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under Backup, Operating System

How to get better I/O performance with RAID for SQL SERVER

Dear All

How to get better I/O performance with RAID for SQL SERVER

—————————————————————————–
As SQL server ( any database server ) uses High Disk IOs we should align the Disks.
Would you like to know how to increase your servers I/O performance by up to 40%!? Well if so, then Disk alignment is one of Windows best kept secrets (or worse depending on how you see it.) If you’re running Windows Server 2000, 2003 or Windows XP with RAID, you are probably not getting the throughput you could if you had correctly aligned disks.

If you’re not familiar with the term disk alignment or sector alignment, in layman’s terms it goes like this. Windows like to write data to disk in 64k chucks. However Windows Server 2000, 2003 and Windows XP all incorrectly begin writing data at the 63rd sector. This means the first 1k of the chuck is written into one sector, and the remaining 63k in the next, and so on. The consequence of this behavior means that for every read and write, two sectors must be accessed from disk instead of one. This basically doubles your disk I/O.

Microsoft Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP are all plagued with this problem. Any new volumes created on these operating systems (if not set correctly with diskpart – more on that in a minute) will be aligned incorrectly. Microsoft has addressed this issue in Windows Server 2008 and Window Vista, but upgrading an existing installation will not correct a disk that was originally formatted on one of the affected platforms.

To verify that an existing partition is aligned, perform the calculation that is described in the “More Information” section.

To align a disk partition on a RAID that has a 2,048-sector offset, follow these steps:
At a command prompt, type diskpart, and then press ENTER.
Type the following commands at the DISKPART prompt, and then press ENTER:
list disk

Note You receive output that resembles the following:
Disk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt
——– ———- ——- ——- — —
Disk 0 Online 37 GB 8033 KB
Disk 1 Online 17 GB 8033 KB
Disk 2 Online 17 GB 0 B
Disk 3 Online 17 GB 148 MB *
Disk 4 Online 17 GB 8 MB *
Disk 5 Online 17 GB 8 MB *
Disk 6 Online 17 GB 8 MB *
Disk 7 Online 17 GB 8 MB *
Disk 8 Online 17 GB 435 KB *
Disk 9 Online 17 GB 8 MB *
Disk 10 Online 17 GB 8033 KB

The list disk command provides summary information about each disk that is installed on the computer. The disk that has the asterisk (*) mark has the current focus. Only fixed disks and removable disks are listed. Fixed disks include integrated device electronics [IDE] and SCSI disks. Removable disks include 1394 and USB disks.

select disk

Use the select disk command to set the focus to the disk that has the specified Microsoft Windows NT disk number. If you do not specify a disk number, the command displays the current disk that is in focus.create partition primary align=1024

Notes
When you type this command, you may receive a message that resembles the following:

DiskPart succeeded in creating the specified partition.

The align= number parameter is typically used together with hardware RAID Logical Unit Numbers (LUNs) to improve performance when the logical units are not cylinder aligned. This parameter aligns a primary partition that is not cylinder aligned at the beginning of a disk and then rounds the offset to the closest alignment boundary.

number is the number of kilobytes (KB) from the beginning of the disk to the closest alignment boundary. The command fails if the primary partition is not at the beginning of the disk. If you use the command together with the offset =number option, the offset is within the first usable cylinder on the disk.

exit

Type exit, and then press ENTER.

Click Start, click Run, type diskmgmt.msc, and then click OK.

In the Disk Management Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in, locate the newly created partition, and then assign it a drive letter.
Use the NTFS file system to format the new partition, and then assign a cluster size

Thanks

Prashant Deshpande

Leave a comment

Filed under Operating System

Business Objects Installation issue

Dear All

I was trying to Install Business Objects on windows 2003 server and i was getting error “Error 1920. Service ‘Crystal Reports Cache Server'(BOBJCrystalReportsCacheServer) failed to start. Verify that you have sufficient privileges to start system services” so i have tried to install Business objects on different system but getting same error.

Solution :- These error messages appear because of a new feature called Data Execution Prevention (DEP). DEP is a set of hardware and software technologies that perform additional checks on memory to help prevent malicious code from running on a system.
To add services to the DEP feature so the services can run:

Right-click ‘My Computer’ and click ‘Properties’.
Under the ‘Advanced’ tab in the ‘Performances’ section, click ‘Settings’.
Under the ‘Data Execution Prevention’ tab click the ‘Add’ button
and specify the teh service file name along with Path

Thanks

Prashant Deshpande

Leave a comment

Filed under Business Objects, Operating System

Tweaks to make Login Fast in Domain

Dear All

Today faced one problem that some of the systems were taking time at “Applying Computer Settings “ after specifying Login Credentials in Domain environment. so searched on many blogs and forums and found that it happens because of Group policy , but at my end no such scenario of group policy.
So done a little R & D as follows
Procedure executed

Step 1) Start –> Control panel –> Network Connections

Step 2) Advanced Menu –> Advanced settings

Step 3) go in Provider Order Tab

Step 4) move Microsoft Windows network to Upside
Step 5) now in services stop “ Web Client “ service and make it manual
Step 6) now close the Msoutlook.
Step 7) Start run  c:\program files\Microsoft Office\Office12\scanpst.exe
Step 8 ) provide the path of PST file (currently configured as data file)
Step 9) wait till PST scan gets complete
Now every thing is ok and from next time PC will boot Fast

Thanks

Prashant Deshpande

4 Comments

Filed under IT Support, Operating System

Install Windows 2003 Compatible Applications on Windows 2008

Dear All

Here we have upgraded one Windows 2003 Server to 2008 and I was trying to install Business objects on it.

While Installation it was giving error when installation wastrying to start each service of Bussines Objects

so i have checked Evenet log and following error has been shown in Event viewer
Evenet Log
by Reading this event log nothing has been cleared that becuase of which it was services are not getting started.
Please find the soultion which has resolved the issue and Bussines Object has installed and running fine.

As Bussines Obejcts XI is a Windows 2003 Comaptible Application it was giving that error

Step 1
Right click setup and select Properties

Step 2
Click in Compatibility tab

Step 3
Select Windows 2003 service pack 1 and check run as Administrator

AFter doing these steps double click on Setup. Will get installed and run smoothly.

Thanks,

Prashant Deshpande

Leave a comment

Filed under IT Support, Operating System

Enhance the Windows 7 performance

Dear All

Please check for 63 Tips to enhance Windows 7

Download Document

Thanks

Prashant Deshpande

Leave a comment

Filed under IT Support, Operating System

Create a new Domain Controller with the same domain

Dear All

Please downlaod and read the attached document whcih shows how to create a new Domain Controller with the same domain in existing forest.

I have used this technique when my Domain controller is crashed with all FSMO roles.

Download the document

Thanks
Prashant Deshpande

Leave a comment

Filed under Active Directory, Operating System, Uncategorized