Add another drive to Windows Backup

Backing up to one drive is just silly.  Everyone knows you have to rotate your backups, so why does Windows Backup make this so difficult?  Command-line to the rescue, it’s actually really easy…

Using WBadmin

First of all, make sure the additional disk you want to backup to is connected to the server/computer in question.  Now, open an elevated command-prompt (i.e. “run as administrator”) and type the following:

wbadmin get disks

You’ll get a list of disks attached to the system formatted as follows:

Disk name: xxxxxxxxxxx
Disk number: x
Disk identifier: {xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx}

Look through the list for the disk you’d like to add as a backup destination and make a note of the “Disk identifier” as pictured above. Now, type the magic command:

wbadmin enable backup -addtarget:{xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx}

You’ll receive a prompt asking you if you want to enable the backup with the above settings, type “Y”. You’re done!

Special Considerations

Remember that Windows Backup will look for any and all your backup locations to run the backup.  This doesn’t mean they all have to be connected, but it does mean that at least ONE must be connected or the backup will fail.  So, if you’re like me and are using a hot-swap bay for removable hard disks, make sure that your system actually recognizes the drives being switched! Doing this allows you to swap out different disks whenever you feel like it and Windows Backup will always have a spot to store your backups.  Cool, right?  Now, why it’s not easier/GUI driven…

This works for all versions of Windows and Windows Server. However, in Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 and newer you should actually be able to do all this in the GUI.

Thanks for reading my techie-thoughts on this issue. Have any comments or suggestions? Want to add your tips? Things you want me to cover in a future article? Comment below!