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Steps to configure CLient backup

connect clients computer to the server

You can connect your computers to the Windows Server Essentials server by using the Connector software. The Connector software is installed when you connect a computer to the server by using the Connect a Computer to the Server Wizard. You can start this wizard by typing http://<servername>/connect, where <servername> is the name of your server.

You can obtain your network user name and password information from the person who manages your server. You can use these credentials to connect your computer to the server and access information from the server. For more information about connecting your computer to the server, see Connect computers to the server.

If you are the server administrator, you can create the network credentials by adding a user account from the Users tab of the Dashboard.

Configure the backup option
To set up backup for a client computer
  1. Open the Dashboard, and then click the Devices tab.

  2. Click the name of the client computer that you want to set up backup for, and then in the Tasks pane, click Set up Backup for this computer.

    If backup is already set up for the client computer, Customize Backup for this computer is listed in the Tasks pane instead of Set up Backup for this computer.
  3. In the Set Up Backup Wizard, you can choose to back up all of the folders or select certain folders that you want to back up. Follow the instructions in the wizard.

  4. Click Close when backup is set up for the computer.

Critical system files

When you install the Windows operating system, the Setup program creates folders on your system drive where it places files that the system requires to start and run. Critical system files include files with .dll, .exe, .ocx, and .sys file extensions. Some of these files are True Type fonts. In addition, system state files, such as the system’s registry, are required for the operating system to run properly.

Find the file you are looking for

You can restore all the folders for a computer, multiple files and folders, or a single file or folder from an existing backup.

After you select the backup that you want to use to restore from, the backup file is read and all the files and folders are displayed. You can drill down to the specific file or folder to restore by double-clicking the top level folder, and then drilling down through the hierarchy of folders until you locate the file that you are looking for.

Why am I unable to select some items?

The check box on the selection menu of the Select which items to back up page can indicate different status for each folder. When the check box is:

  • Selected, the associated folder and the folder contents are selected for backup.
  • Unselected, the associated folder and the folder contents are excluded from backup.
  • Solid, the associated folder is selected for backup, but one or more items within that folder are excluded from the backup.

If you cannot select a specific folder:

  • The volume may be configured for backup, but it may be offline. This is common for removable USB drives. Volumes that are offline are shown in grey text.
  • You can only back up data from a local drive that is formatted as an NTFS file system. Drives formatted as FAT (including FAT32) or ReFS file systems do not appear in the list of drives to back up.
Service needed on Client PC

Windows Server Essentials Client Computer Monitoring Service

If this service is not running, the client side connector software may notify you can not connect to the server.


  • Net.TCP port Sharing Service
  • SSDP discovery

To change the time that backup is scheduled to run

  1. Open the server Dashboard, and then click Devices.
  2. In Devices Tasks, click Customize Computer Backup and File History settings.
    System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg Note
    In Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, this task has been renamed Client computer backup tasks.
  3. In Client computer backup settings and tools, on the Computer Backup tab, you can change the start and end times to meet your needs.
  4. Click Apply, and then click OK.

After backup is configured for client computers, you can specify a different window of time for the backup to occur. Similarly, you can specify a longer or shorter backup retention time than the default.

The Restore to defaults option lets you reset the backup window and retention policy to the defaults provided during initial backup configuration.

The defaults are:

Backup setting Default Description
Start time 6:00 PM Specifies the time that the daily backup starts. It is recommended that you set this to a time when users are not using their computers.
End time 9:00 AM Specifies the time that the backup must be finished. If the backup does not require the duration specified, it uses only the time required to successfully backup the computer.
Retain daily backups 5 days Specifies the number of days that daily backups are retained. For example, using the default setting, 5 daily backups are retained. On the 6th day and each day thereafter, the oldest daily backup file is deleted.
Retain weekly backups 4 weeks Specifies the number of weeks that the last backup of the week is retained. For example, using the default settings, 4 weekly backups are retained. On the 5th week and each week thereafter, the oldest weekly backup is deleted.
Retain monthly backups 6 months Specifies the number of months that the last backup of the month is retained. For example, using the default setting, 6 months of backups are retained. On the 7th month and each month thereafter, the oldest monthly backup is deleted.