Backup for Files - How do I backup SQL Server databases?

Written By Tami Sutcliffe (Super Administrator)

Updated at March 31st, 2021


We support live backup of SQL Server 2000 (or better) databases on Windows Server 2003, Server 2008, or Windows XP. For these configurations backup is done natively using the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). On older versions of SQL Server or Windows you must use the SQL Enterprise Manager (or other backup software) to backup your databases to a file on a regular basis and use our software to backup these backup files remotely.

SQL Server 2000 (or better) on Windows Server 2003 or XP:

  1. Create a sub-account for each database server.
  2. Login to each database server as a user that has rights to read the database files.
  3. Install and configure our software on each database server.
  4. Use the Folders page to add the folder (directory) containing your database files (*.mdf and *.ldf) to the backup.
  5. Change the database recovery model to Simple. More information on why this is required is available here.
  6. With the database recovery model set to Simple you do not need to use the backup functionality of SQL Server as long as our software is successfully backing up your database on a regular basis.
  7. On the Folders page, right click the folder containing the SQL databases, choose Properties, and then change the "Always Check Block Fingerprints" option to "On." This ensures that even if SQL Server does not update the modification date/time of the database file (which can happen with some configurations), the backup will still scan the file for changes.

We will automatically perform differential, live backups of your database. Our server will always store the most current version of the database, and historical versions are stored using backwards deltas. This is safer than forward deltas because it does not rely on the integrity of all of the deltas in order to recover the most recent version.

If you cannot use the SQL Server Simple recovery model then you must backup your database using SQL Server's tools (or some other software) and then have our software backup the SQL Server backup files.

Steps to change the database recovery model to Simple:
  1. Start SQL Server Enterprise Manager.
  2. Navigate to each database that you are backing up.
  3. Right-click each database and choose Properties.
  4. Click the Options tab.
  5. Under Recovery, set the model to Simple.

Older versions of SQL Server or Windows:

Use the SQL Server Enterprise manager to backup your database(s) to a file. You should periodically schedule full backups and perform incremental backups frequently in between (at least once or twice daily). For full backups, because the backup dump files are created from scratch each time, our software must backup the entire file to the server (it cannot detect incrementals between database dumps). As a result, how often to perform a full database backup is a balance between bandwidth/disk space (if you perform a full backup more often) and reliability (because SQL Server uses forward deltas). Note that we employ end-to-end integrity mechanisms to ensure 100% integrity of the data that is backed up, so the increased risk only comes from errors introduced on the local hard drive before remote backup is performed.

You may want to override the number of historical versions you store for your SQL Server database dumps. To do this, go to the Folders page in the Backup Manager and right click on the folder containing your SQL Server database files. Change the Data History settings to limit how much historical data to store.

If your databases are large and you need incremental, live backups of your databases with our software, you should upgrade to the latest versions of SQL Server and Windows Server.


If useing another program to perform incremental backups of SQL Server then change the "Volume Shadow Backup Type" option on the Backup tab of the Options page to be "Copy." This prevents our software from truncating SQL Server transaction logs after a successful backup (which would interfere with the incremental backups of your other backup software).