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Backup and Recovery Operations

Updated: January 27, 2011

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

The Windows Server Backup feature consists of a snap-in (Wbadmin.msc) and a command-line tool (Wbadmin.exe) that provide a complete solution for your day-to-day backup and recovery needs.The snap-in has four wizards that guide you through running backups and recoveries.

For syntax and examples for the wbadmin command, see the Command Reference (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=93131).

You can use Windows Server Backup to back up a full server (all volumes), selected volumes, or the system state. You can recover volumes, folders, files, certain applications, and the system state. And, in case of disasters like hard disk failures, you can perform a system recovery, which will restore your complete system onto the new hard disk by using a full server backup and the Windows Recovery Environment.


The following is a list of all aspects that are part of this managed entity:

Name Description

Application Recovery

You can use the wbadmin start recovery command or the Recovery Wizard in Windows Server Backup to recover applications and related data from a backup. To enable applications to be recovered, you need to install recovery plug-ins. For more information, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=93493.

Backup Operations

You can use the Windows Server Backup snap-in or the wbadmin command to create and manage backups to protect your operating system, volumes, files, and application data. Backups can be saved to single or multiple disks, DVDs, removable media, or remote shared folders. They can also be scheduled to run automatically or manually.

However, system state backup is only available for the command line and is not available in the Windows Server Backup snap-in user interface. Also, you cannot configure a scheduled backup to create system state backups—but you can script the wbadmin start systemstatebackup command to run backups on a schedule.

In addition, you can use the Local Group Policy Editor snap-in (Gpedit.msc) to allow or disallow certain types of backups or backup locations. Policy settings for Windows Server Backup are located at: Local Computer Policy\Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Backup\Server.

Backup Service Availability

For Windows Server Backup to be able to perform backups and recoveries, the Block Level Backup Engine service (wbengine) must be able to start and the global or local catalogs must not be corrupted. Wbengine enables Windows Server Backup to perform block-level backup and recovery operations. The global catalog is a file that Windows Server Backup uses to store the details about all of your backups (what volumes are backed up and where the backups are located). The local catalog is a file that Windows Server Backup creates to store details about the backups that are stored on a specific backup destination.

File Recovery

You can use the wbadmin start recovery command or the Recovery Wizard in Windows Server Backup to recover files and folders for a server.

System State Recovery

You can use the wbadmin start systemstaterecovery command to recover the system state for a computer.

Volume Recovery

You can use the wbadmin start recovery command or the Recovery Wizard in Windows Server Backup to restore a volume. When you restore a full volume, all contents of the volume are restored—you cannot selectively restore individual files or folders.

In addition, you can use a Windows Setup disc or a separate installation of the Windows Recovery Environment to perform a full server (all volumes) recovery.

Related Management Information

File Services

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