Windows Server Backup

Oh I love Windows Server Backup not!  Yesterday, I had a pain of a job getting Windows Server Backup for Windows Server 2012 to connect to one of our RKive units.

Windows Server Backup Problems

Even though this backup software has been around for a few years now, if you try to connect to a remote share using a UNC path, ie to one of our RKive units, it tries to either connect to that share using a guest account or as the “registered” Windows Server Backup account you give it during the final stages of the setting up of the backup process.  If you give it the Administrator account during the backup configuration process, it fails to connect as the RKive unit is outside the clients domain.  Arrrgghhh….!

The trick is to create a local admin account on the server with the same username as the RKive unit you are backing up to, as well as the same password you have set in the RKive unit’s control panel, then give the Windows Server Backup configuration this username/password combination.  It has to be an admin account in which to be able to read all of the files, and their permissions, on the server during the running backup process.

The steps would be:-

  1. Create an account with the username RKiveXXX where XXX is your RKive unit number.
  2. Set the password of the RKiveXXX account to be the same as the one on the RKive units control panel.
  3. Give the new RKiveXXX account local admin rights, and set the password never to expire.
  4. Return to Windows Server Backup, and your UNC path is \\RKiveXXX\data
  5. During the backup configuration process, Windows Server Backup will ask for a username/password, the username is RKiveXXX and the password is as set in your RKive unit.

If your server is still connecting to the RKive unit as a guest, it will be because it is remembering the persistent connection to the UNC path with either the guest or Administrator account from your server.  The problem is with persistent connections on the server, and specifically remembering a persistent UNC connection with the wrong credentials.  To resolve this, close all Explorer windows to the RKive unit, fire up a cmd (command prompt), and type:-

net use \\RKiveXXX\data /d /y

net use /p:no

and reboot the errant server.  Re-run the Windows Server Backup configuration step 5 above.

Older NT Backup

In the older software, NT Backup, you could set the username/password to connect to the UNC path separately from the account that Windows NT / Server 2003 would use to run the backup process as.  I think that by Microsoft combining the two in the new backup software has potentially made things not simpler as probably intended, but, more complex.  Seasoned Administrators like ourselves will have already know and understand the difference between the username to run the process under and the username in which to connect to a remote share.  Many times, and I guess most times, the two usernames need to be separate/different for a variety of network topology reasons.  Why oh why Microsoft have you made it so hard for Windows Server Backup to connect to a share outside of a domain.  I guess in the Microsoft world in Redmond, there is nothing, or rather no network devices outside of a domain.

Now that I have had my rant, and the client is happy that their Windows 2012 server is nicely backing up to our RKive unit and that is now replicating to our off-site data backup vault, I thought that I would share the woe, so that other Administrators don’t have the same issue that I did.

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