Hacking ntbackup.exe and bkprunner.exe for better performance in Windows Server 2003 SP1

I was perusing Susan’s blog today and came across her link to Chris’s great description of how to modify the bkprunner.exe process to improve backup performance in Windows Server 2003 SP1.

Chris details how to use a hex editor and modify the registry to increase ntbackup performance. He also mentions that you can now use the /FU switch with SP1’s ntbackup, which according to KB 814583 enables a “file unbuffered” setting to bypass the cache manager. This change provides a number of benefits during the disk-to-disk backup process:

  • Sustainable throughput over time
  • Reduction in processor utilization: on average, peak utilization is reduced to 30 percent
  • Elimination of impacts to the system process during the backup job

If for some reason you are running a pre Service Pack 1 version of Windows Server 2003, KB 839272 describes a hotfix version of ntbackup.exe you can download that supports the /FU switch.

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