SBS 2011 How To Backup Your EFS Recovery Agent Certificate

Backup your EFS what? That is the reaction I have had from most people I mentioned this to.

I am working on a document to walk through migrating Active Directory from SBS 2011 to Windows Server 2016. As part of that document I wanted to include backing up the EFS Recovery Agent Certificate. Only I couldn’t because on my SBS Server, something had broken.

First off, a bit of background. If you don’t know, EFS is the Encrypted File System that is built into Windows. It allows anyone to encrypt a file.

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Windows 7 VSS Error–Essentials Backups Failed

WindowsVistaBackupIconThis issue came up on our own internal accounts machine, so it was pretty critical to get it resolved.

Seemingly out of the blue, the machine decided to stop backing up. There was nothing particularly helpful in the logs on the Essentials Server. Checking the logs on the client itself revealed a string of VSS related errors.

I decided to abandon the Client PC backup at this point, because if the underlying cause was VSS, then what we need to do was fix VSS and then this would also fix the client backups. Read more of this post

You cannot restore files from Windows Server Essentials

LogoYou may be aware that a recent update broke the restore wizard that is a key component of client PC backup in Windows Server Essentials.

A hotfix was released that fixed the issue for Windows 7, but Windows 8 was not included.

Yesterday Microsoft updated the Hotfix to now include a Windows 8 version. Great news if you are waiting on file recovery. Slightly disappointing it has taken quite so long, but who knows maybe it was harder to fix on Windows 8!

SBS 2011 Essentials & UEFI Client Backups

sbse-conI have been reinstalling my lab over the last week or so, moving away from a GUI based Server 2012 running Hyper-V, to the Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 OS. I am also now no longer having to swivel in my chair 90 degrees to manage the VMs, as i have installed the Hyper-V tools on my Desktop PC.

Anyway, as part of the rebuild i trashed all of my existing VMs and have built new ones. Starting with SBS 2011 Essentials. I installed, along side it, 2 clients. Windows 7 and Windows 8. I took advantage of the new Gen2 VM for Windows 8.1 and of course ran into an issue with the client backup.

There has been a hotfix available for this issue since at least 2013, so it was no surprise that i needed to download it. Read more of this post

Windows Server Essentials–Client Backup Monitoring

powershell2xa4Just a quick post to say i have posted a script that works with GFIs RMM platform to monitor Client Backups for Windows Server Essentials.

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Essentials 2012 R2 – Client Restore

Logo1Congratulations on the purchase of your brand new Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Server. I’m sure she will give you years of trouble free.. er.. serving.

No doubt one of the features that attracted you to Essentials R2 over its predecessor was the unique way it can be licensed in Hyper-V. No?

Regardless of that, you may well be familiar with the Client PC Backup Service that comes as part of this OS. You may also know that you create a USB key to boot the client PC from in order to launch Bare Metal Restore. Something i documented with real aplomb on YouTube. 

However, if you have decided to virtualise your Essentials server – how are you going to get that USB disk plugged in? Assuming you do already have a USB key what if your NIC is not supported?

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Windows Server 2012–Failed Backup Disk

WindowsVistaBackupIconThis is a quick post just based on something i have done this morning for a charity i do some volunteer support for. This year i installed a new server for them running Windows Server 2012, and two Hyper-V guests as a Domain Controller and Exchange server. Due to budget restraints they only had a single USB drive available for backups, and of course, recently that failed.

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