By Ivy / Last update September 22, 2022

Windows Server 2008 (R2) End of Support

According to Microsoft, Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 support has been ended on January 14, 2020. It means that you can’t get Windows security updates, drivers, and other patches. In this case, you are about to face the question of whether to upgrade and data security. How should you decide?

  • If you would like to protect your critical data on Windows Server 2008, you could upgrade to Windows Server 2012, 2016, or 2019 to get the free security updates to keep them protected.
  • If you cannot upgrade to the higher Windows Server systems, please backup Windows Server 2008 on a regular basis because there may be a system crash, data corruption, virus attack, human error, etc. Keep everything protected.

Many administrators would like to do incremental backup in Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 to get the latest data copy while using less disk space. And it applies to both situations above.

What is Incremental Backup?

In general, there are 3 backup types, namely, Full backup, incremental backup, and differential backup, and the first backup is the basis of the last two backups. Thus, both backup only changes after the first full backup, but with the different rule: 

Incremental backup: It backs up the newly changed, added, or deleted data based on the last backup, and it can be a full backup or incremental backup. On the basis of the last backup, there will be a mutually dependent relationship between these backup image files. The last image file of incremental backup is based on the previous image file. This means, if you delete a previous image file, all the subsequent image files will be invalid.

Differential backup: Similarly, it backup all the changes, but it is based on the last full backup. With this in mind, it is relatively independent, so you just need one full backup and any differential backup in recovery. Note that data is different in each differential backup, to keep data intact, it's suggested to use the latest one.

Incremental Vs Differential

By comparison, incremental backup takes less backup time and disk space. It's worth trying if you want the most effective methods with the least disk space, please be sure of the security of the backup drive. Also, you can choose to use differential backup as a backup method, it's easy to manage and safer, so you don't need to worry about the backup image being damaged. Click here to learn the differences between incremental and differential backup.

Is Windows Server Backup Incremental?

"Hi, I encounter a problem. My computer system is Windows Server 2008, there are large of data stored on my computer. I backed up some important files and folders, and then, add new files, there is a warning to tell me my disk is running out. I need to back up all of them. Is Windows Server Backup incremental or any idea to do it? I am urgent. Please help me."

The answer is yes, Windows Server Backup enables you to create an incremental backup in Windows Server Backup, and it says it will, by default, create an incremental backup that behaves like a full backup, but only occupy space needed for incremental backup, and delete old backup automatically

Then, how to do it successfully? Please continue to see below.

Perform Windows Server 2008 (R2) Incremental Backup Step by Step with Built-in Tool

Windows Server Backup in Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 would help you a lot to create an incremental backup with the least disk space. Please note that this tool is not installed by default, you need to install it manually in Server Manager. Then, follow the steps below: 

1. Click Start > Administrative Tools > Windows Server Backup.

2. Select Configure Performance Settings in the Actions column.

3. Tick Faster backup performance (incremental backup), and press OK.

Faster Backup Performance

4. Then press Backup Schedule... at the Actions column, and then click Next >.


5. Tick Full Server (Recommended), and press Next >.

Select Backup Configuration

6. Choose Once a day and specify the time you would like to backup, and hit Next >.

7. Select Back up to a hard disk that is dedicated for backups (recommended), and press Next >.

8. Add the external storage device to save the backups, and click Next >.

9. Confirm the settings of Windows Server 2008 (R2) incremental backup, and press Finish.

And then you will get the incremental backup in Windows Server 2008. By the way, you could perform incremental backup with WBADMIN command if you are familar with command line.

However, there are some limitations of Windows Server Backup:

  • You can only schedule backup once a day or more than once a day. 

  • Windows Server Backup in Windows Server 2008 (R2) and Windows Server 2003 (R2) could not backup volume larger than 2 TB.

  • Removable storage media not supported, like Tape, CD, USB flash drive, etc.

  • There is only the latest backup if you back up to the remote shared folder.

If you happen to encounter these problems or think the steps are quite complicated, you still can create Windows Server 2008 (R2) incremental backup with third-party reliable software in the next part. You can complete the backup task in simple steps and it's easy to set schedule backup and incremental backup, even backup retention policy.


Simple Way to Create Windows Server 2008 Incremental Backup

As the best Windows Server Backup alternative, AOMEI Backupper Server owns the best performance and powerful features to create incremental backups in Windows Servers and PCs. It supports Windows Server 2003 (R2), 2008 (R2), 2012, 2016, 2019, 2022, SBS 2003, 2008, 2011, and Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1,10 and 11. 

  • All-in-one backup solutions: system backup, disk backup, partition backup and file backup. 

  • Complete backup types: full backup, incremental and differential backup. And the incremental backup is default option, so you don't even need to select it manually in a scheduled task.

  • More schedule backup settings: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers, USB plug in. And, you still can set a specific backup date, time, or interval. Click here to learn more about schedule backup

  • Flexible backup retention policy: By quality, By time, By daily/weekly/monthly. You can delete backup files with one of them, to keep old backup longer, select the last one. 

  • Rich backup storage: local disk, external hard drive, USB flash drive, CD/DVD, Network share or NAS, even the cloud.

Please download the AOMEI Backupper Server 30-day free trial, and follow the steps listed below to learn how to take incremental backup in Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 step by step. To do it in a company, try AOMEI Backupper TechPlus edition.

Download Free TrialWin PCs & Servers  
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Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Server, click Backup, and choose Disk Backup. Or choose System Backup, Partition Backup, or File Backup if you prefer.

Disk Backup

Step 2. Click Add Disk to choose Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 hard disk. Rename the Task Name if required.

Add Disk

Note: You can backup multiple hard drives at the same time by clicking Add Disk to select the disk you want to backup. But you can only restore disk one by one.

Step 3. Press the inverted triangle icon to select a local path or add a share or NAS device. If it's an external disk, please connect it in advance. If it's a network location, you need to have access permission for it. 

Select Backup Destination

Step 4. Click Schedule Backup and enable it, then select Daily, Weekly Monthly settings. And, by default, it will enable incremental backup automatically. Also, you can choose to use differential backup under the Backup Scheme tab.

Configure Backup Method

Besides, you still enjoy other useful features:
Options: It allows you to comment on the incremental backup in Windows Server 2008 R2, split, compress, or encrypt the backup image, enable email or SMS notification, use Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS), etc.
Backup Scheme: It not only supports different backup methods but also enables you to automatically delete old backup images to free up space on your hard disk. To keep old backup as long as possible, try By daily/weekly/monthly, which is a hierarchical deletion method.

Step 5. Hit Start Backup >> button to perform Windows Server 2008 R2 incremental Backup automatically.

The first time you execute the task, it will create a full backup, and then create incremental backups when changes happen. Therefore, to restore all of your Windows Server 2008 R2 data, you will need not only the last full backup but also all the chained incremental backups created based on the full backup.

If you did not set up the scheduled backup and incremental backup during the backup process, you still can run it manually in the Home tab.

Go to Home > Find the backup task, and click the more options icon > Backup > Incremental Backup. That is, you could also perform a full backup or differential backup.

Home Incremental Differential


Compared with Windows Server Backup, It’s easier to create an incremental backup in Windows Server 2008 R2 with AOMEI Backupper Server. If you just want to get all the files and folders from the Windows Server 2008 (R2), you could try file backup or real-time sync to keep all the data and changes to be synced to the destination once the changes occur.

The difference is that the previous method uses block-level backup while the second method use a file-level backup method, which will sync all the files as long as the modification time or file size is changed.