Perform a System State Backup of a Domain Controller by Using the Command Line (Wbadmin)

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

You can use this procedure to back up system state on a domain controller.

Membership in Builtin Administrators or Backup Operators, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at Local and Domain Default Groups ( In addition, you must have write access to the target backup location.

To perform a system state backup of a domain controller

  1. Click Start, click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

  2. If you are prompted, in the User Account Control dialog box, provide Backup Operator credentials, and then click OK.

  3. At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:

    wbadmin start systemstatebackup -backuptarget:<targetDrive>: -quiet

    Where <targetDrive> identifies the local volume or the letter of the physical disk drive to receive the backup. You cannot store a system state backup on a network shared drive.

    If you do not specify the -quiet parameter, you are prompted to press Y to proceed with the backup operation.

Additional considerations

Be aware of the following issues when you perform a system state backup:

  • To use Wbadmin.exe, you must install Windows Server Backup. For more information about installing Windows Server Backup, see Installing Windows Server Backup (

  • The target volume for a system state backup can be a local drive, but it cannot be any of the volumes that are included in the backup by default. To store the system state backup on a volume that is included in the backup, you must add the AllowSSBToAnyVolume registry entry to the server that you are backing up. There are also some prerequisites for storing system state backup on a volume that is included in the backup. For more information, see Known Issues for AD DS Backup and Recovery (