Windows systems consider USB hard drives fixed disks, which means they’re automatically included when you select the entire file system for backup. If you know the drive letters that will be assigned, then you can adjust your selections to only backup specific volumes, or you can set exclusions to restrict specific drive letters. However, since USB drives are pluggable, you may not know the drive letter. If that’s the case, you’ll need another approach to dynamically identify and exclude them from your backups. With this goal in mind, I’ve designed a sample PowerShell script you can use to inventory a system and set exclusions or registry keys to help prevent the drive from being backed up. If you’re interested in exploring this, please feel free to contact me via social media.
Preventing backups of backups
You might think having multiple backup applications on the same system doubles your level of protection. But in many cases, it actually costs you more time, money, and bandwidth—and it can actually reduce the chances of a successful backup. This is due to factors such as overlapping schedules, conflict VSS snapshots, improper log handling, and double processing of backup files. Typically, if you have one backup solution working, I recommend you disable the second. At the very least, set schedules to help prevent overlap and exclude the other solution from processing and backing up the backup destination files. You should investigate your backup devices, looking for legacy backup applications, dump disks, tar files, native Windows, SQL .BAK and .BKF files, and disk backup images created by competing commercial backup products and disk imaging solutions.
Eric Harless is the Head Backup Nerd at SolarWinds MSP. Eric has worked with SolarWinds Backup since 2013 and has over 25+ years of data protection industry experience in sales, support, marketing, systems engineering, and product management.
You can follow Eric on Twitter at @backup_nerd