By Ailsa / Last update June 23, 2021


WBAdmin (WBAdmin.exe) is as a part of Windows Backup and Restore (previously known as Windows Backup), which displaces the NTBackup (the previous built-in backup application for Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003). WBAdmin is a backup command-line utility built-into Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows Server 2008 (R2), and Windows Server 2012.

WBAdmin allows you to backup and restore your Windows operating system, volumes, files, folders, and applications from a command prompt or its interface. You could use the simple way to access WBAdmin backup command line utility:

  • Click Start and type cmd and hit enter;

  • Right click Command Prompt and choose Run as Administrator.

  • Then run WBAdmin commands to backup.

In order to show all the supported backup and restore commands of WBAdmin in your Windows version, input this command: wbadmin/? .

WBAdmin Supported Commands Windows Server 2008

★ Important: To perform all the backup tasks, you must be a member of the Backup Operators or the Administrators group, or you must have the appropriate permissions.

How to use WBAdmin start systemstatebackup command?

Typically, the WBAdmin start systemstatebackup command applies only to Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 according to Microsoft. To backup Windows Server 2008 (R2) system, you could enter the below syntax of WBAdmin system state backup command to realize:

Wbadmin start systemstatebackup –backuptarget:{volumename} [-quiet]

★ Notes:
1. {} are the required parameters; [] are the optional parameters.
2. The volumename requires a drive letter, a GUID-based volume name, or network share.
3. Quiet means execute the backup without prompts.

Here is the WBAdmin start systemstatebackup example:

WBAdmin start systemstatebackup –backuptarget: D: -quiet

WBAdmin Start Systemstatebackup

How to use WBAdmin start sysrecovery command?

After using WBAdmin start systemstatebackup command to get a backup copy for your Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 system. Then you might need to do Windows Server 2008 (R2) system state recovery in the future, the syntax listed below just in case:

After using WBAdmin start systemstatebackup command to get a backup copy for your Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 system. Then you might need to do WBAdmin system state/bare metal recovery in the future, the syntax listed below just in case:

wbadmin start sysrecovery -version:-backupTarget:{|}[-machine:][-restoreAllVolumes] [-recreateDisks] [-excludeDisks] [-skipBadClusterCheck] [-quiet]

Tip: If you don’t know the version Identifier, you could use wbadmin get versions.

For example, to start recovering the information from the backup that was run on Jun, 1, 2016 at 06:48 A.M., located on drive E: for WIN-9814GD4FH95:

Wbadmin start sysrecovery –version: 6/1/2016-06:48 –backuptarget:E: -machine:WIN-9814GD4FH95

Perform bare metal backup with WBAdmin backup commands

If you want to create a bare metal backup in Windows 7/8/10, or in Windows Server 2008, Server 2012, input the WBAdmin start backup command:

Wbadmin start backup –backuptarget:{/} –allcritical [–systemstate] -quiet

★ Important:
1. The target volume for a critical-volume backup can be a local drive, but it cannot be any of the volumes that are included in the backup.
2. If you save a backup to a remote shared folder, that backup will be overwritten if you use the same folder to back up the same computer again. In addition, if the backup operation fails, you may end up with no backup because the older backup will be overwritten, but the newer backup will not be usable.

WBAdmin start backup example:

Wbadmin start backup –backuptarget:H: –allcritical –systemstate -quiet

WBAdmin commands limitations

WBAdmin could backup and restore Windows operating system and data for you. However, you may find:

  • It’s quite complex for general users who was not familiar with WBAdmin or command line.

  • Not all computers support all the WBAdmin’s functions.


Best WBAdmin alternative - AOMEI Backupper

To backup your Windows system and data efficently and easily, it’s highly recommended to try WBAdmin alternative - AOMEI Backupper Server, which enables you to backup Windows system with simple clicks. And the supported OS includes Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7 and Server 2003, 2008(R2), 2012(R2), 2016, 2019. 

Furthermore, it provides you either command line or graphic users interface (GUI) to backup data, and supports you restore system in Windows environment or without Windows (AOMEI Backupper Recovery Environment).

Here are the steps to create system backup via AOMEI Backupper Server:

1. Please download the best system state backup software - AOMEI Backupper Server 30-day free trial. Install and execute it.

Download Free Trial Windows PCs & Servers
Secure Download

2. Click Backup -> System Backup on the main window.

System Backup

3. Enter a task name and choose a destination to save your system state backup image.

Select Backup Destination

★ Tip: The program will select the system partitions accociated with system files automatically, you don’t have to select manually.

4. Press the Start Backup button to create system state backup for Windows PCs and Servers.

Start Backup

★ Tips:
✍ You could enable Schedule option to backup your system daily/weekly/monthly/event trigger/USB plug in; You could set comment, compress, encrypt(paid) or split system state backup, etc.
✍ Scheme allows you to delete old backup images automatically when meet the retention policy to manage disk space.

Schedule Settings General

Enable Backup Scheme

AOMEI Backupper is quick-acting for Windows backup and restore that you could rely on.


Create system backup with WBAdmin start systemstatebackup command or the WBAdmin alternative - AOMEI Backupper Server. It’s easy to create a system image backup for Windows PCs and Servers.

Besides, you could use AOMEI Backupper to backup dynamic disk volume, create automatic backup, full backup, incremential/differential backup, sector-by-sector backup, file sync, dissimilar hardware restore, command line utility(AMBackup.exe), etc to protect your important data.

If you would like to protect unlimited computers, please try AOMEI Backupper Technician Plus.