Vol. 17, #46 - November 12, 2012 - Issue #905


Hyper-V Backup and Restore

  1. Editor's Corner
    • From the Mailbag
    • Hyper-V Backup and Restore
    • Tip of the Week
    • Recommended for Learning
    • Quote of the Week
  2. Admin Toolbox
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
  3. Events Calendar
    • Americas
  4. Webcast Calendar
    • Register for Webcasts
  5. Tech Briefing
    • Hyper-V Resources
    • The Microsoft Premier Field Engineer (PFE) view on Virtual Desktop (VDI) Density
    • Real World with Cloud Services: Interview with Doug Herrick, Chief Information Officer for Thomas Jefferson University
    • Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 8.0 Beta Now Available
    • Planning deployment for Windows Server 2012 (Part 3) - Installing Features in an Offline VHD
    • Windows Azure Poster
    • Windows 8 Jump Start
    • Windows 8 Demonstrations
  6. Windows Server News
    • Optimizing the cloud for the BYOD movement
    • Mapping out an error-proof storage migration process
    • Application virtualization Q&A: Streaming and remote app delivery
    • VMware Workstation 9 upgrades benefit IT admins and educators
  7. WServerNews FAVE Links
    • This Week's Links We Like. Fun Stuff.
  8. WServerNews - Product of the Week
    • Hyper-V Backup for WServerNews subscribers


Free Hyper-V Backup for WServerNews subscribers

Altaro Hyper-V Backup is a powerful Hyper-V aware backup solution that easily backs up Microsoft Hyper-V Virtual Machines. Take the guesswork out of backing up Hyper-V, you won’t find an easier to use or quicker to configure solution. Altaro are giving WServerNews subscribers a free version so take advantage of the offer. 

More info & download your FREE Backup for Hyper-V


Editor's Corner

This week's issue of WServerNews is about backing up and restoring Hyper-V hosts and their virtual machines. But as Dilbert once demonstrated in this classic strip, data isn't the ONLY THING you might need to back up:

From the Mailbag

Eye on VDI (Issue 904)

In the previous issue I asked readers whether there were any other VDI solutions they think I should have mentioned. Mike, who is a Technical Architect in the UK, found this one:

Not that we’re actually using it but Oracle as well:

Another reader asked if we were familiar with Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 and mentioned it as a VDI solution designed for education:

Actually Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 uses session-based virtualization not VDI, but the upcoming version Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 currently in beta does support virtual desktops in addition to session-based desktops. For more information on this see the following two posts on the Windows MultiPoint Server Team Blog:


Another popular VDI solution is 2X ApplicationServer XG which can securely deliver virtual desktops and applications to any desktop or mobile device. For more information on this solution see:

Once again, if you know of any other VDI solutions you want to recommend, email me at [email protected]

Some questions from a reader - ANSWERS

We also mentioned in our last issue that a reader named Aaron had sent us several questions and we tossed these out to our readership for their expert insight. We received quite a few responses to one of Aaron's question, specifically this one:

As an IT Administrator for a small to mid-sized company I'm always looking for cost-effective ways to handle IT job tracking. Solutions like Blue Ocean's Track It are over-the-top for an operation our size and I'm wondering what others may be using. Ideally I would like to find a solution that can be accessed from a desktop on the company's windows network, as well as via a smartphone app. Not necessarily a billing application but more of a categorical time/resource-based application that can be used to track what IT jobs/projects/requests you're working on during the day, how much time was spent on each, what category it falls into (customizable categories available), and then some form of monthly/quarterly/annual reporting built in. I've custom developed a work order system in the past but do not want to re-create the wheel when there may be other solutions out there. Maybe even a cloud-based and/or pay-for-service type solution exists? The ultimate goal is to report to upper management and drive IT workforce sizing decisions.

Kurt from Washington State responded as follows:

I too am an Administrator for a Small to Mid-sized company. I saw the comment on Track-It! To be honest, that is exactly what I use. For the features you are asking for, you will be hard pressed to find something that doesn’t cost at least some amount of money. I chose Track-It! years ago because it was the most economical solution and it has great coverage. I use it for Helpdesk tracking. I use the Purchasing module for all my hardware and software purchases which feed directly to the inventory module. The Inventory module keeps a scheduled audit so my equipment records are up to date. There is great reporting. I even use the software license tracker in it (which they incorporated into the main program a couple of versions back). You can keep a solutions database in it. For the price, you can’t beat it. I use the standard version and I am thrilled with all the things it does for the cost.

The Track-It! family of products is available from BMC Software:

Dan, a Senior Systems Engineer in Virginia, recommended another product:

We use Autotask for that that function. Works very well. Haven’t used it too much on the phone, but it is web-based so I can’t imagine it would be a problem on the phone.

For more information about Autotask see their website:

Another reader named Alan commented as follows:

I have been installing E2 Shop tech for a SMB. While not cheap, it does do the job and customer service is super. Support is the key to a successful implementation. You can probably buy a cheap shrink wrapped solution, but it will drive you mad trying to generate all the stuff that management will eventually want. I once implemented a system with PC bar code stations dumping data in to excel spread sheets. Cheap, quick and easy, but I spent a lot of time digging out the data management eventually wanted. All in all it comes down to management. If they want fancy answers, they are going to have to spend some money.

Here's link to the product:

A reader named Dave who works in the government sector had the following recommendation:

Regarding the question below: About 15 years ago I was working at a different organization and needed a similar tracking solution for a two-man help desk. I ran across a shareware solution using MS Access at a very reasonable price that ended up being very simple to implement. I don’t use it anymore as I’ve moved on and am with a much larger organization, but the product looks like it is still there with both MS Access and SQL backend options. Check it out at:

Finally, a LOT of our readers recommended Spiceworks as a possible solution. For example, a reader named Jeff said:

SpiceWorks! It is free and keeps on growing and getting better. Also it is another answer to where to discuss MS Server topics, what better way to ask 2 million IT folks how they solve a particular problem!

Another reader named Colin who is a Computer System Consultant at a university in Canada said:

Checkout Spiceworks.

And a reader named Craig who also is a Spiceworks Trainer said:

For question number 2 regarding IT job tracking, I would recommend a product called Spiceworks. It is a completely free helpdesk and inventory system. It is integrated with an extremely helpful online community where you can find answers to just about any question you may have... I have been using their product for years and recommend it whenever I get the chance. Here is a link to my profile on their site:

Here is a link to download the software:

If you haven't looked at this product and would like more information...please let me know.

If any of our readers would like to reach out to Craig for more information about Spiceworks, send me an email at [email protected] and I'll put you in touch with him.

Hyper-V Backup and Restore

Let's begin with a quick list of some products certified for backing up Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V:

If you have hands-on experience using any of these products and want to share your thoughts about them, email me at [email protected]

Are there any in-box tools for Hyper-V backup?

You can use Wbadmin.exe (the command-line version of Windows Server Backup) running on the host to back up virtual machines on the host. This will work with the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) provided you first register Hyper-V as an application for Windows Server Backup. You can do this as follows:

  1. Open Regedit on the host and navigate to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion
  2. Create a new registry key named WindowsServerBackup
  3. Create a new registry key under the WindowsServerBackup key named Application Support
  4. Create a new registry key under the Under the Application Support key named {66841CD4-6DED-4F4B-8F17-FD23F8DDC3DE}
  5. Now select the {66841CD4-6DED-4F4B-8F17-FD23F8DDC3DE} key and create a new REG_SZ registry value with the name Application Identifier and assign it a value data of Hyper-V.

Note that {66841CD4-6DED-4F4B-8F17-FD23F8DDC3DE} is the GUID for the Microsoft Hyper-V VSS writer.

For more details concerning this, see the blog post from AskCore in the Tech Briefing section of this newsletter.

Note however that Windows Server Backup can't back up CSV volumes.

Are there any other in-box tools for backing up Hyper-V?

Well you could use Xcopy with DiskShadow as described in the following posts from John Kelblye's blog:


Can you back up a virtual machine to tape?

Of course. If your Hyper-V host is running Windows Server 2008 R2 or earlier, you can configure an iSCSI client in the guest operating system to allow the guest to directly access iSCSI-based tape drives. And if your Hyper-V host is running Windows Server 2012, you also have the additional option of using virtual fibre channel to allow the guest to directly access tape drives on your fibre channel SAN fabric.

Can you use snapshots as backups?

Don't do this. The official reason why can be found on this TechNet FAQ

For some other tips and gotchas regarding snapshots, see Issue 891 of WServerNews:

Where can I find more guidance about Hyper-V backup?

Start with this TechNet page:

Tip of the Week

You're Hyper-V host has crashed. You've managed to recover all the virtual machine files for the virtual machines that had been running on the host. These files include the base VHD files, the Virtual Machines directory with XML BIN and VSV files, and the Snapshots directory with XML BIN VSV and AVHD files. You want to import these files onto a new Hyper-V host to recover the virtual machines to the state they had before the original host died. How can you do this?

You can do this in two ways, First, you can manually re-registering the virtual machines on a new host running Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 as explained in the following blog post:

And second, if your new host is running Windows Server 2012 then you can simply import the virtual machines onto the new host.

Got tips of your own that you'd like to share with our readers? Email me at [email protected]

Recommended for Learning

This week we have two titles from Microsoft Press that advanced sysadmins will want to have for handy reference on their bookshelf:

Windows Internals Part 1, 6th Edition

Windows Internals Part 2, 6th Edition

I remember reading the fourth edition of this book (which is now two books) some years ago and learning a LOT about how Windows operating systems work under the hood. The knowledge I gained helped in several difficult troubleshooting scenarios I encountered over the years, making them a good investment for my time and money. I won't be reading this sixth edition from cover to cover but will instead be using it mostly as a reference, though I do plan on reading through the chapters on features that were added to the platform since the fourth edition. One small caveat: the sixth edition covers up to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. As a result, the new Storage Management API, the v2 WMI namespace, Kerberos armoring, and other new under-the-hood features in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 are not covered in these books. For coverage of these features you'll likely need to wait for a seven edition of this masterpiece, if there ever is one. But if you plan on running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 for the foreseeable future, don't wait--get the sixth edition now.

Quote of the Week

I was re-reading a copy of Robert Kennedy's REPS Magazine from a few years ago and came across the following story about fitness icon Jack LaLanne's childhood that touched me deeply:

"I was prone to fevers and they came frequently. Once when I was about 13, I became seriously ill and out of my head with a fever of 104 for about 14 days... By the end of the 14th day, the doctors said I probably wouldn't live through the night."

Miraculously enough, Jack did survive. Shortly after, one of Jack's neighbors, knowing how prone to sickness he was, gave Jack and his mother tickets to a Paul Bragg seminar in Oakland, California. That simple act of kindness changed Jack's life forever.

"When I attended that lecture, I remember Paul Bragg saying that anything in life was possible if you made it happen," says Hack. "I wanted to have a good body and be strong, and not be sick all the time. So I got home that night and got on my knees and prayed. I said, 'Dear God, give me the willpower to start training and eating right.' The next day, I joined the Berkeley, California WMCA. The rest is history. Within 2-3 weeks my life had changed. I never had headaches after that. It saved my life."

You can find REPS Magazine online here:

BTW feel free to follow me on Twitter and/or friend me on Facebook


Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

To backup Hyper-V, try Altaro's free backup software

Hypervisor Independent VDI & Application Publishing from a Single Platform with 2X ApplicationServer XG. 30-day fully featured trial version.

Download SolarWinds free NTFS Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory and get complete visibility into the effective permissions and access rights for a specific file folder or share drive.

Test Drive the StealthAUDIT Management Platform for Exchange. SMP provides superior Exchange Auditing, Exchange Reporting, Analysis, and Remediation capabilities all wrapped into a single solution. Request A Free Trial.

Need a single solution for performance monitoring and capacity management of complex VMware ESX and Hyper-V environments?


Events Calendar


Add your event

Contact Michael Vella at [email protected] to get your conference or other event listed in our Events Calendar.


Webcast Calendar

Register for Webcasts

 Add your Webcast

Contact Michael Vella at [email protected] to get your webcast listed in our Webcasts Calendar.


Tech Briefing

Here are a few Hyper-V backup resources you may want to take note of:

And here are some threads on this topic from the TechNet Forums:

The Microsoft Premier Field Engineer (PFE) view on Virtual Desktop (VDI) Density

How many VDI guests can we stuff into a host with performance and user experience still at acceptable levels? Here is a script created by Carl Luberti, Tanner Slayton, and Jeff Stokes, three Premier Field Engineers at Microsoft, that makes an image fast and learn but still supportable:

Real World with Cloud Services: Interview with Doug Herrick, Chief Information Officer for Thomas Jefferson University

An interview with Doug Herrick, Chief Information Officer for Jefferson Information Technologies at Thomas Jefferson University, about why the university chose to replace its existing on-premises email system with Microsoft Exchange Online through Microsoft Office 365:

Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 8.0 Beta Now Available

The Solution Accelerators team is pleased to announce the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 8.0 Beta. You can join the Beta here (logon required):

Planning deployment for Windows Server 2012 (Part 3) - Installing Features in an Offline VHD

From WindowsNetworking.com comes this article that explains how you can install or remove features for a Windows Server 2012 installation on an offline VHD:

Windows Azure Poster

Want to learn more about how Windows Azure works? Download this free poster from the Microsoft Download Center:

Windows 8 Jump Start

Free, online, fast-paced training courses designed specifically for experienced IT professionals with jobs that demand that they know how to best leverage the emerging features and technologies in Windows 8:

Windows 8 Demonstrations

Demonstrations of key Windows 8 features and tutorials on compatibility, device management, migration, deployment, and other common IT tasks:


Windows Server News

Optimizing the cloud for the BYOD movement

While bring your own device (BYOD) programs and cloud computing can both greatly benefit your organization, when the two are put together, challenges can arise. Find out how to optimize your cloud environment so that you can embrace business mobility without limiting the cloud’s capabilities.

Mapping out an error-proof storage migration process

To ensure a successful storage migration, it is critical to consider and plan out all aspects of the move – especially its effect on virtual machine (VM) performance and backups. In this valuable tip, learn how to simplify and accelerate the storage migration process without compromising VM availability.

Application virtualization Q&A: Streaming and remote app delivery

Many organizations are taking advantage of application virtualization to optimize application delivery and improve end-user satisfaction. Access this resource to review answers to your peers’ most pressing questions regarding remote and streamed apps and discover what these technologies can offer.

VMware Workstation 9 upgrades benefit IT admins and educators

While VMware Workstation 9’s optimization for Windows 8 is appealing, this feature alone is not enough to convince most IT pros to upgrade. However, there are a number of additional – and often overlooked – benefits and functions that this advanced tool delivers. Find out more in this essential tip.


WServerNews FAVE Links

This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff 


A closer look into Top Gear - one of the world's most widely watched television programs:

Sound travels at about 760 miles per hour and going close to that speed can cause some unusual effects.

Filmmaker Casey Neistat biked into deserted Lower Manhattan during the height of Hurricane Sandy to film this documentary.

Helicopter pilot spots a model plane stuck in trees. What he does next makes one little boy's day.

Master magician Marc Paul performs the legendary "Any Card at Any Number" miracle on the Parkinson Show (BBC):


WServerNews - Product of the Week

Free Hyper-V Backup for WServerNews subscribers

Altaro Hyper-V Backup is a powerful Hyper-V aware backup solution that easily backs up Microsoft Hyper-V Virtual Machines. Take the guesswork out of backing up Hyper-V, you won’t find an easier to use or quicker to configure solution. Altaro are giving WServerNews subscribers a free version so take advantage of the offer. 

More info & download your FREE Backup for Hyper-V


WServerNews - Editors

Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press and has published hundreds of articles for IT pros. Mitch is also a seven-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com

Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also Head of Research for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.