In the next exercise, we will format the hard disks and try to restore the system to see if our backup really works. In this example we use NT Backup with all its weaknesses. We demonstrate this because it comes with NT and we do not know which backup solution you will select.
You may choose to purchase a third-party backup system. A third-party backup system often will have different procedures. For example, some third party backup systems can backup open files and have their own floppy-based restore process. If you use a third party backup, follow those instructions.
Important: Regardless of whether or not you use NT backup, it is very important that you go through an complete backup-recovery cycle with a disk-format in between. Before you put the system into production, you must shake out the problems that you might encounter. There is no reason to complicate a stressful situation by completely losing all of your user's data after being down for two weeks.
Execute Start | Run | rdisk
Then press Update Repair Info.
This repair information contains the accounts and password for the system so the repair floppy and backup tapes need to be kept in a physically secure location.
It is not a bad idea to go into MS-DOS and do a directory listing on C:\WINNT\REPAIR\ to see how much information is in the directory and see whether or not it will fit on a floppy.
Quite often when you are repairing a system, the repair information can be used from the hard disk. The floppy is generally a last resort.
It would probably be a good idea to reboot your system right before starting this step.
Go to Start | Settings | Control Panel | Services
Stop the Content Index service
You may have noticed that you can stop the FTP, WWW, and IISADMIN services from the IIS console. We use the Services control panel here because we have to stop several other services as well.
Another reason that you might stop these services is to move their data directories, say from the C: drive to the D: drive. The pattern to move the directories is to stop the services, move the directories, reconfigure the servers, and then restart them.
You can also stop these services in an MS-DOS command window using net stop <service name> and net start <service name>
These services are down at this time - the system will not respond to web requests during this backup. The services must be restarted or the system must be rebooted before these services will be available.
If your drive supports it, select Hardware Compression
Then press OK to start the backup.
While you wait for the tape to spin, you should add an entry to your backup log. Later when the system has crashed, you won't want to spend hours scanning tapes to try and figure out which is/are the most "recent" tape(s).
Make sure to check the backup log by scrolling back when the backup is complete to determine if the files are essential at restore time.
Verify reads the tape, and for each file on the tape checks to see if it matches the disk copy of the file. Verify will not detect missing files. You must scroll through the backup log to find missing files.
Then insert the tape to be used for the backup of D:
Label the tape that you just backed C: up on to.
Perhaps this is not a good time to bring this up, but some DAT tape drives do not like you to keep pressing their buttons. For example, once you press the eject button wait a while. Don't just keep pressing it. It takes a few moments for the tape drives to respond to these requests. If you keep pressing the button (trying to hurry it up) you may get the tape drive hung. Usually a power cycle clears things up.. But why risk it?
The next exercise is to re-format your hard drive and restore the system from tapes. While it may be tempting to leave well enough alone, there is no time like the present to practice these skills.
Later when the system has been in production for a few months, folks won't have much of a sense of humor while you polish your restore skills.
It is good to do it once while not under pressure. Then when you are under pressure you at least know that you have done it once.