Vista Complete-PC backup to network share
The real magic of the new Vista backup tool is the second option Complete-PC backup. This feature takes advantage of the HAL independence of Vista and allows you to backup your entire system at one time using the magic of volume shadow copies to backup open files. The backup is also stored in a virtual machine file which means that you can boot, run, and extract files from your backup using Microsoft Virtual PC. This is a really neat feature! If the previous feature isn’t enough for you Microsoft will let you restore your pc by booting to the Windows Vista install DVD and selecting the restore option. This is the greatest reason to use the new Windows complete-pc backup feature over other third party backup solutions. As it lets you restore you pc intact with all software serial codes and files ready to rock.However Microsoft in their wisdom has added some obstacles to using what would otherwise be a great tool. When you select the complete pc backup feature you are not given the option to backup to a network drive. This is a big problem as most people do not have a spare hard drive sitting in their desktops waiting for a backup. It is also a problem from an IT administrative viewpoint. As an administrator I would like to have 1 centralized location to store all of my client PC backups. This is also a problem for people at home with nas storage devices as they may have opted for 1 drive without partitions as they expected to keep all backups and data files on the nas drive. In order to get around this problem Microsoft has provided a command line version of the windows backup utility called wbadmin.exe. This version of the utility is far more powerful than the generic GUI version intended for typical users and allows you to backup to a network drive among other things. Remember that although you can backup to a network drive the backup file must be on a local drive it is to be used by the Windows bootable CD to restore the drive!Lets take a quick look at the switches available to us on the CLI version of the utility, but first lets cover a few caveats.