Category Archives: Windows 2008 R2

Creating a bootable USB to install Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

This will quickly run through the steps necessary to create a bootable USB to install Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2. Most likely adaptable for Windows Vista & Windows Server 2008 as well.

Required to proceed

  • USB Flash Drive (4.5GB+).
  • Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2 installation medium.
  • Computer already running Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2.

Step 1 – Formatting and creating a boot partition on the USB flash drive

  • Plug in your USB Flash Drive.
  • Open a command prompt as administrator (Right click on Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt and select “Run as administrator”.
  • Find the drive number of your USB Drive by typing the following into the Command Prompt window, “diskpart”.
  • DISKPART> list disk

    The number of your USB drive will listed. You’ll need this for the next step. I’ll assume that the USB flash drive is disk 1. Format the drive by typing the next instructions into the same window. Replace the number “1” with the number of your disk below.

    DISKPART> select disk 1
    DISKPART> clean
    DISKPART> create partition primary
    DISKPART> select partition 1
    DISKPART> active
    DISKPART> format FS=NTFS QUICK
    DISKPART> assign
    DISKPART> exit
    

    Your drive is now formatted and marked bootable.

    Step 2 – Copy the files from the Windows 7/Windows 2008 R2 ISO over to the USB stick

    Start up cmd.exe again or use Windows Explorer to perform the same action. I prefer robocopy for this. Drive D is the mounted ISO image. Drive E is the bootable USB stick.

    robocopy D:\ E:\ /MIR

    Parameter reference

    /MIR :: MIRror a directory tree (equivalent to /E plus /PURGE).

    Step 3 – Make the USB flash drive bootable

    • Insert your Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2 DVD into your drive.
    • Open a command prompt as administrator (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt and select “Run as administrator”.
    • Change your directory to the DVD’s boot directory where bootsect.exe is located.
    E:
    cd E:\boot
    

    Use bootsect to set the USB as a bootable NTFS drive. I’m assuming that your USB flash drive has been labeled disk E:\ by your computer.

    bootsect.exe /nt60 e:

    You can now close the command prompt window.

    Step 4 – Use the USB flash drive to install your chosen operating system

    Now you can either enter the BIOS commonly by pressing “F2” on boot and choose “USB HDD” as your first boot medium. Or press “F12” and select the USB flash drive interactively.

    At this point you can run through the installation as you ordinarily would.

    // CrashMAG

Windows Server Backup Notifications

This will describe what you will need to do to get your Windows Server to email you alerts when Windows Server Backup either succeeds or fails.

The article contains 2 sections, one for creating a task to notify you on failures. And one for notifying you on success. It does require access to an SMTP server.

Notify on failure

  1. Open Task Scheduler
  2. Create a task
  3. Tick the “Run whether the used is logged on or not” option
  4. Go to the trigger tab, press “New”, choose “On an event”, select “Custom” and then “New Event Filter”
  5. Select “By log”, then navigate to “Applications and services logs”, then “Microsoft, then “Windows” then find “WindowsBackup” and tick it
  6. Use the following Event ID’s
    5,8,9,17-22,49,50,52,100,517,518,521,527,528,544,545,546,561,564,612
  7. Save your changes and navigate to the actions tab of the task
  8. Press “New” and select “Action: Send an email”. Fill out the details to you liking and save

If you want to test your email notifications, be sure to check the “Allow task to be run on demand” option under the Settings tab.

Notify on success

  1. Open Task Scheduler
  2. Create a task
  3. Tick the “Run whether the used is logged on or not” option
  4. Go to the trigger tab, press “New”, choose “On an event”, select “Custom” and then “New Event Filter”
  5. Select “By log”, then navigate to “Applications and services logs”, then “Microsoft, then “Windows” then find “WindowsBackup” and tick it
  6. Use the following Event ID’s
    4
  7. Save your changes and navigate to the actions tab of the task
  8. Press “New” and select “Action: Send an email”. Fill out the details to you liking and save

If you want to test your email notifications, be sure to check the “Allow task to be run on demand” option under the Settings tab.

Refrence

TechNet listing of Event ID’s

// CrashMAG

Windows Server Backup Powershell Script

This is a small Powershell script that will use the command line version of Windows Server Backup (wbadmin). It has the ability to email you upon failure or success. It will also include the log as an attachment to the script.

The variables that needs to be edited should be obvious.

I’ve found parts of this script while googling, but I’ve added a small logic that will create the backup location if it does not exist already.

#—————————————–Start script—————————————————-

function SendEmail($To, $From, $Subject, $Body, $attachment, $smtpServer) 
{ 
        Send-MailMessage -To $To -Subject $Subject -From $From -Body $Body -Attachment $attachment -SmtpServer $smtpServer 
} 
$emailto=”email@address.com” 
$emailfrom=”email@address.com” 
$day=(get-date -f dd-MM-yyyy)
$hname="HOSTNAME"
$backuplocation="\\BACKUP-SERVER\SHARE\$hname\$day\" 
$backuplog="$backuplocation"+(get-date -f dd-MM-yyyy)+"-backup-$hname.log" 
$emailserver="EMAIL-SERVER" 

function Out-FileForce {
PARAM($backuplocation)
PROCESS
{
    if(Test-Path $backuplocation)
    {
        Out-File -inputObject $_ -append -filepath $backuplocation
    }
    else
    {
        new-item -force -path $backuplocation -value $_ -type file
    }
}
}

Write-Output ("———————– Backup started on – $(Get-Date –f o) ————————-") | Out-FileForce "$backuplog" 
$Error.Clear() 
wbadmin start backup -backupTarget:$backuplocation -include:c: -systemstate -allcritical -vsscopy -quiet | Out-FileForce "$backuplog" 
if(!$?) 
    { 
        Write-Output ("———————– An error has occurred! Check it please!. – $(Get-Date –f o) ————————-") | Out-File "$backuplog" -Append 
        SendEmail -To "$emailto" -From "$emailfrom" -Subject "backup failed" -Body "The backup has failed! Please check attached log." -attachment "$backuplog" -smtpServer "$emailserver" 
        break 
        
    }

Write-Output ("———————– Everything is OK! – $(Get-Date –f o) ————————-") | Out-File "$backuplog" -Append 
SendEmail -To "$emailto" -From "$emailfrom" -Subject "backup $hname ok" -Body "The backup has succeeded!" -attachment "$backuplog" -smtpServer "$emailserver" .

#——————————————–End script——————————————————

// CrashMAG