System state restore from a Windows Image

Using Windows Server backup on Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2012, you can restore your system state using the command line. A system state backup includes a backup of the Registry; COM+ Class Registration database; Boot files, including the system files; Certificate Services database; Active Directory service; SYSVOL directory; Cluster service information; IIS Metadirectory; and System files that are under Windows File Protection.

Before attempting to complete a system state restore from a drive image backup created with BackupAssist, make sure of the following:

  • Make sure the drive image backup you are restoring from includes a backup of the Windows system partition (ie. the drive where Windows was installed).
  • To recover the system state you must be a member of the Backup Operators or Administrators group, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority.
  • Incorrectly restoring a machine’s System State can make the computer unusable.
  • We recommend that the System State be restored when recovering the entire computer as part of a disaster recovery.
  • The System state data can only be restored on a local computer: you cannot restore the system state data remotely.

To restore the system state on Windows Server 2008:

  1. To open a command prompt with elevated privileges, click Start, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

  2. To obtain the Version identifier text for the backup containing the system state:

    1. In the command prompt, type:
      wbadmin get versions -backupTarget: <BackupDriveLetter>:
      For example: C:\Users\Administrator>wbadmin get versions -backupTarget:d:

      This should produce a result similar to the following:
      wbadmin 1.0 – Backup command-line tool
      (C) Copyright 2004 Microsoft Corp.
      Backup time: 25/08/2008 4:45 PM
      Backup target: 1394/USB Disk labeled Daily 1(D:)
      Version identifier: 08/25/2008-06:45
      Can Recover: Volume(s), File(s), Application(s), Bare Metal Recovery, System State

    2. Make a record of the Version identifier

  3. Now type: wbadmin start systemstaterecovery –<Version Identifier>:
    For example: C:\Users\Administrator>wbadmin start systemstaterecovery -version:08/25/2008-06:45

  4. Input Y to the prompt Do you want to start the system state recovery operation?

  5. The system state restore will now take place.

To learn about recovering a Windows Server using specialist software, visit BackupAssist.

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