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Back up system state

Updated: June 8, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Ntbackup.exe provides simple and advanced options for backing up Active Directory components. When you back up system state, you can choose to include or exclude system-protected boot files. System-protected boot files are not used for installations from restored backup media. When the backup file that you create is to be used for additional domain controller installations, you can clear the advanced option to back up system-protected files. Clearing this option decreases the size of the .bkf file, as well as the time required to back up, restore, and copy the system state files.

Use these procedures to back up the system state only. These procedures do not back up the system disk or any other data on the domain controller except for the system-protected files.

Use the first procedure, "To back up system state including system-protected files," for routine system state backup. Use the second procedure, "To back up system state excluding system-protected files," if you want to create a smaller backup that is effective for installing domain controllers from restored backup media.

noteNote
To back up system state, you must log on locally to the domain controller, or Remote Desktop must be enabled on the remote domain controller so that you can connect remotely.

Administrative credentials

  • To perform the following two procedures, you must be a member of the Domain Admins group or a member of the Backup Operators group.

To back up system state including system-protected files

  1. To start the Windows Server 2003 backup utility, click Start, click Run, type ntbackup, and then click OK.

    This procedure provides steps for backing up in Wizard Mode. By default, the Always Start in Wizard Mode check box is selected in the Backup or Restore Wizard. If the Welcome to the Backup Utility Advanced Mode page appears, click Wizard Mode to open the Backup or Restore Wizard.

  2. On the Welcome to the Backup or Restore Wizard page, click Next.

  3. Select Back up files and settings, and then click Next.

  4. Select Let me choose what to back up, and then click Next.

  5. In the Items to Back Up window, double-click My Computer.

  6. In the expanded list below My Computer, check System State, and then click Next.

  7. Select a location to store the backup:

    • If you are backing up to a file, type the path and file name for the backup (.bkf) file (or click Browse to find a folder or file).

    • If you are backing up to a tape unit, choose the tape that you want to use.

      noteNote
      You should not store the backup on the local hard drive. Instead, store it in a location, such as a tape drive, away from the computer that you are backing up.

  8. Type a name for this backup according to the recommendations in Backing Up Active Directory Components, and then click Next.

  9. On the last page of the wizard, click Advanced.

  10. Do not change the default options for Type of Backup. Normal should be selected, and the check box for Backup migrated remote storage data should remain cleared. Click Next.

  11. Select Verify data after backup, and then click Next.

  12. In the Backup Options dialog box, select a backup option, and then click Next.

  13. If you are replacing the existing backups, select the option to allow only the owner and administrator access to the backup data and to any backups that are appended to this medium, and then click Next.

  14. In the When to back up box, select the appropriate option for your needs, and then click Next.

  15. If you are satisfied with all of the options that are selected, click Finish to perform the backup operation according to your selected schedule.

    noteNote
    The system state can also be backed up by using Ntbackup from a command line with appropriate parameters. For more information, at a command prompt type ntbackup /?.

The following procedure produces a smaller .bkf file that does not include system boot files. By using this procedure, you can reduce the time that is required to perform the backup and subsequent restore, as well as the amount of disk space that is required. This method is recommended when the restored backup is to be used for installing additional domain controllers.

To back up system state excluding system-protected files

  1. To start the Windows Server 2003 backup utility, click Start, click Run, type ntbackup, and then click OK.

  2. On the Welcome to the Backup or Restore Wizard page, click Advanced Mode, and then click the Backup tab.

  3. In the console tree, select the System State check box.

  4. In Backup media or file name, type a name for this backup according to the recommendations in Backing Up Active Directory Components.

  5. Click Start Backup, and then click Advanced.

  6. Clear the Automatically back up System Protected Files with the System State check box, and then click OK.

  7. Click Start Backup.

See Also

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