By Lily / Last update January 12, 2023

Why backup Windows Server 2016 to external hard drive?

The importance of server backup needs no further elaboration, but there are still many different opinions on the choice of backup destination. One of the most widely accepted ideas is that you should keep at least one backup somewhere other than your local disk. For example, you can backup Windows Server 2016 to an external hard drive.

There are a number of benefits to doing so:

  • First, it can protect your data’s safety from hard drive failures. Once the hard drive broken, all the data on the disk would be lost, and that would make a large damage. But the backup data on the external hard drive is safe and sound. Thus, you can use this external hard drive with the backup image to instead of the broken one. 
  • Second, if you are going to install a new computer with Windows Server 2016, you can use this external hard drive to do a universal restore instead of installing a brand-new system and applications, which would save a lot of time. 
  • Third, business secret is important to companies. If it is stored on the computer's directly, it is more likely to be damaged, stolen or tampered. Thus, it's more secure to keep it on an external hard drive.

server 2016

Windows Server 2016 backup to external hard drive with built-in tool

Windows Server 2016 has a backup tool called Windows Server Backup (WSB). It is not installed by default, to make use of its backup features, you can try the following path:

Server Manager -> Manage -> Add Roles and Features -> Role-based of feature-based installation -> Select a server from the server pool -> Windows Server Backup -> Install

Add Windows Server Backup

After installing it, you can open Start menu, choose Tools in Server Manager and select Windows Server Backup to get started.

Windows Server Backup

Then, choose Backup schedule or Backup Once at the Actions pane according to your requirements.

Select Backup Type

Follow the wizard to back up step by step. To backup Windows Server 2016 to external hard drive, you can select the destination as the device you need.

Backup Destination

After all the settings, you can backup your Windows Server 2016 to an external hard drive. But with so many operations, don’t you think it is troublesome? The next chapter will introduce an easier way.

Easier way to backup Windows Server 2016 to external hard drive

AOMEI Backupper Server is a reliable backup & restore software designed for Windows Server systems including Server 2016, 2012, 2008, and newer versions like Server 2019, 2022.

✪ It supports backing up files, partitions, OS or entire disk as you want.
✪ It allows you to save backup images to various devices, including internal/external drive, USB flash drive, NAS, network share and cloud drive. So you can create on-site and off-site backups to implement 3-2-1 backup strategy easily.
✪ Multiple backup schedules are available, like Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Event Triggers.

To backup Windows Server 2016 to external hard drive, first you need to prepare an external hard drive, which is large enough to store the backup image, and make sure it can be detected. If not, you should initialize the disk or format it into NTFS file system. Then, you can use this software to backup Windows Server 2016 to it. The same steps apply to Windows Server 2019 backup to external hard drive.

Step 1. Click the download button below to install AOMEI Backupper Server and then launch it. It will show you its deep-blue GUI. Click Backup, and you will see the backup types here. Select System Backup.

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System Backup

Step 2. The System Backup will select the source part by default, so here, you just need to select the external hard drive you plugged in before as the destination space to store the whole data on the system drives.

Select Backup Destination

Tip: If you'd like to perform Windows Server 2016 backup to USB drive, plug in the USB drive and select it as the backup destination here.

Step 3. Click Start Backup to submit the pending operations.

Start Backup

>> Options: You can add a comment for your backup, set email notifications and make password protection for your backup, etc.
>> Backup Schedule: You can set up an automatic backup in Windows Server 2016 for daily, weekly, monthly, or based on events, etc.
>> Backup Scheme: Choose to create incremental or differential backup for Windows Server 2016. Or enable automatic backup cleanup to auto delete old backup images.

Final words

This article offers 2 useful ways to backup Windows Server 2016 to external hard drive. You can choose the built-in tool Windows Server Backup, but the operation is complicated, and you need to operate it carefully to avoid data loss. You can also choose the professional backup software AOMEI Backupper Server to easily backup Windows Server 2016 to an external hard drive. It provides a variety of backup functions to help you protect your data in all aspects.

Besides backing up Windows Server 2016 to external hard drive, AOMEI Backupper Server also enables you to clone hard drive on Windows Server, create Windows Server repair disk, and create recovery environment, etc. It should be the best software for keeping your data safe.