Once you have a site up and running in IIS 5.0, one of the smartest things you can do is make a proper backup copy to stave off possible disasters. This involves more than just copying the files served by IIS (the .ASP and .HTM files); this also involves backing up IIS's internal settings, which are held in the Metabase.

The Metabase is a repository of settings that is structurally similar to the Registry, but is stored apart from it in a separate file. To back up the Metabase, you need to export its settings to a file and then back up that file. Just copying out the files served by IIS will not back up the Metabase.

To make a complete backup of an IIS installation, do the following:

  1. Back up all files served by IIS. This can be done any number of ways, either through the NTBACKUP utility or by simply copying out files by hand.

  2. Open the IIS management console. Right click on the site being backed up in the left-hand pane and select Backup/Restore Configuration.

  3. Click on Create Backup. Type a descriptive name for the Metabase backup you're about to make and click OK.

  4. Open the folder Winnt/System32/Inetsrv/MetaBack. In that folder should be a file with the name you just provided and the extension .MD0.

  5. Copy the .MDO file out and save it with your IIS backup.

To restore a backed-up copy of Metabase information, simply copy the file back into the same directory, open the IIS management console, and choose Restore from the Backup/Restore menu. Note that doing this will force IIS to be stopped and restarted and may take some time.

Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter.

This was first published in October 2002

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