Windows Tips & Tricks UPDATE--December 1, 2003

Windows Tips & Tricks UPDATE, December 1, 2003, —brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network and the Windows 2000 FAQ site
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1. Commentary

2. FAQs

  • Q. How can I back up the Microsoft IIS metabase in Windows 2000 and later?
  • Q. How can I restore the Microsoft IIS metabase backup in Windows 2000 and later?
  • Q. How can I back up the Microsoft IIS metabase from the command line in Windows 2000 and later?
  • Q. How can I use the Windows 2000 and later Netdom command to specify an organizational unit (OU) when I join my computer to a domain?
  • Q. How can I create a file of a certain size in Windows XP and later?

3. Announcements

  • New White Paper on Exchange 2003 Deployment
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4. Event

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5. Contact Us

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

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1. Commentary
by John Savill, FAQ Editor, [email protected]

This week, I tell you how to back up and restore the Microsoft IIS metabase in Windows 2000 and later and how to back up this metabase from the command line. I also explain how to use the Win2K and later Netdom command to specify an organizational unit (OU) when I join a computer to a domain and how to create a file of a certain size in Windows XP and later.


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2. FAQs

Q. How can I back up the Microsoft IIS metabase in Windows 2000 and later?

A. IIS configuration information resides in a metabase that consists of an XML document. If you're hosting several Web sites that have separate configurations, backing up the metabase is vital. To back up the IIS metabase, perform the following steps:

  1. Start the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Internet Information Services (IIS) snap-in (go to Start, Programs, Administrative Tools, then click Internet Information Services Manager).
  2. Right-click the name of the machine that hosts the IIS services, then select Backup/Restore Configuration from the All Tasks menu.
  3. Click Create Backup.
  4. Enter a name for the backup as this figure shows.
  5. Optionally select the "Encrypt backup using password" check box and enter a password to protect the backup.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click Close on the main Backup/Restore Configuration window.

The OS will create a metabase backup in the \%windir%\system32\inetsrv\metaback folder. The backup consists of two files: "name of backup".MDx and "name of backup".SCx. You should ensure that you back up this folder as part of your routine system backups. The .MDx file contains the actual metabase information, and the .SCx file contains the schema. In both cases, "x" is the version of the backup.

Q. How can I restore the Microsoft IIS metabase backup in Windows 2000 and later?

A. You should be aware that you can't restore an IIS metabase backup from another computer; however, Microsoft provides utilities for copying IIS configuration information between machines. To restore an IIS metabase backup, perform the following steps:

  1. Start the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Internet Information Services (IIS) snap-in (go to Start, Programs, Administrative Tools, then click Internet Information Services Manager).
  2. Right-click the name of the machine that hosts the IIS services, then select Backup/Restore Configuration from the All Tasks menu.
  3. Select the backup you want to restore, then click Restore, as this figure shows.
  4. When the system asks whether you're sure that you want to continue, click Yes.
  5. If the backup is password protected, you'll need to enter the password.
  6. After the backup restoration is finished, click OK to close the confirmation window.

Q. How can I back up the Microsoft IIS metabase from the command line in Windows 2000 and later?

A. Win2K includes a Visual Basic (VB) script called metaback.vbs for performing a command-line backup of the IIS metabase. The script resides in the \inetpub\iissamples\sdk\admin folder. To run the script, open a command prompt and type

cscript metaback.vbs 

where "backup name" is the name of the backup file you want to create.

Windows Server 2003 includes a VB script called iisback.vbs that resides in the system32 folder for performing a command-line backup of the IIS metabase. To run the script, open a command prompt and type

cscript iisback.vbs /backup /b 

The /b switch specifies the backup name. Type

cscript /iisback.vbs /backup /?

to see other available options (e.g., automatic versioning) for the iisback.vbs script.

Q. How can I use the Windows 2000 and later Netdom command to specify an organizational unit (OU) when I join my computer to a domain?

A. If you add a computer to a domain from the Computer Name tab of the Control Panel System applet, Active Directory (AD) will place the computer in the default Computers container. However, the most recent versions of Netdom (2.0 and later) let you specify an OU when joining a computer to a domain. To specify an OU and the OU's distinguished name (DN) when using the Netdom command, type

netdom join  /domain:name> /userd: /passwordd:password> /OU:

For example,

netdom join neutron /domain:savilltech.com /userd:john 
/passwordd:youwish /OU:"OU=LONDON,DC=SAVILLTECH,DC=COM"

joins computer Neutron to domain savilltech.com in the London OU. (Although I've included quotes in my example, you need to use quotes only if the OU's DN contains spaces; however, adding the quotes doesn't hurt.)

Two optional switches, /UserO and /PasswordO, are necessary only if the logged-on user doesn't have administrative rights on the computer that's joining the domain. In such a scenario, you can add these switches to specify a local administrative account to use while running the command.

Q. How can I create a file of a certain size in Windows XP and later?

A. If you need to create a file of a certain size and the file contents don't matter, you can use the Fsutil command as follows:

fsutil file createnew 

For example,

fsutil file createnew d:\temp\1mbfile.txt 1000000

creates a 1MB file named 1mbfile.txt in the d:\temp folder. I've successfully used this command to create a large file to reduce the amount of free space that a buggy installation program had problems addressing.

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