Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Server 2008 System State Backups

In Server 2008 they removed ntbackup and replaced it with Windows Server Backup Utility. Unfortunately this doesn't backing up the systemstate to a network share anymore. In addition you can't backup to volumes listed as critical volumes (ie the OS volume).

First off, you can disable the inability to backup to critical volumes: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/944530/en

With this method you could backup to your C: drive and the use scheduled tasks to copy the backup to another location.

wbadmin start systemstatebackup -backupTarget:C: -quiet


If you have access to an iSCSI SAN you can give the server a new drive attached to the SAN which it will detect as a valid local disk. At this point you can dump the backup to this volume (which isn't local so less risk of loss) and then backup using your remote backup solution.

Note that for Windows 2008 R2 the commands are different

Also plan ahead for the size of the backup. I found that my total System State backup on a 2003 server was only 700MB, but on my 2008 servers it increased to over 10GB!

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