It's quite easy to backup a real drive to VHD, e.g. with Sysinternal's Disk2VHD on XP or with Windows Image Backup on Windows 7. But how do I copy that file back?
It's possible by booting a recovery CD or the Windows installation DVD. But can it also be done from a running operation system? Can it be scripted?
We want to clone a drive to another drive daily using this.
There are at least two similar questions that got accepted answers:
Vdisk (vhd) to physical
But you can't do it from a running OS.
It would be a hard thing to script this. Following the Linux dd aproach one could say that everything is possible. Boot from PXE, locate the VHD, locate the physical disc, dd from V to P, when finished reboot.
Not aware of a free way but I know one of Acronis's products ('True Image'?) can do this.
qemu-img command which is part of the QEMU emulator package supports VHD according to its manual page (though I have never needed this myself). I do not know if this works on Windows but on Linux at least it does (I suppose it does not matter as you did not tag your desired platform?).
I want to use the new block level incremental imaging capabilities of Server 2008 for my primary backup. Specifically, I'm backing up Hyper-V R2 and guests from the host. Thus my backups mostly consist of large VHD files from the guest systems.
What I like about imaging is that I can keep a long history of backups without using a lot of disk space. File replication techniques using SIS are less ideal because the bulk of my backups are large VHD files.
So anyway, I've got backups using imaging working fine. What I want to do now is have multiple copies of my backups; one to direct attached storage, one to an iSCSI target, and one to removable media.
It is my understanding that windows imaging backups are not "copyable". I believe this means that I can't copy backup history, and if I copy the backup files from the destination device to another device, I may not be able to restore (easily) from the copy.
Is there a way to mirror or replicate these backups so that I can have two or more copies of the backup image, with history, that I can easily restore?
The Windows Backup service does not support replication of backup instances to different media.
However, as far as I know, you should be able to restore a WindowsImageBackup instance from copies of all the files in that folder. I've done it before by copying all image backup files to a removable disk and restoring from the PE. Worst case you may have to do a boot repair of a restored instance.
What I would probably do in your situation is first test the image copy and restore process, then if that works, use a file synchronization program to synchronize the backup files to different mediums on an automated schedule correlating with the regular backups.