By Ailsa / Last Updated April 30, 2020


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.

WBAdmin supported backup commands

WBAdmin has a number of associated subcommands, including:

WBAdmin start backup, WBAdmin stop job, WBAdmin get versions, WBAdmin get items, Wbadmin get status. All the above commands applied to Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows Server 2008 (R2), and Windows Server 2012.

WBAdmin enable backup, WBAdmin disable backup, WBAdmin start recovery, WBAdmin get disks, WBAdmin start systemstatebackup, WBAdmin delete systemstatebackup, WBAdmin start sysrecovery, Wbadmin start systemstaterecovery, Wbadmin restore catalog, Wbadmin delete catalog. These subcommands apply only to Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

The WBAdmin command has a little difference in different Windows operating system. 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.

WBAdmin start systemstatebackup command in Windows Server 2008 (R2)

Typically, the WBAdmin start systemstatebackup command applies only to Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 according to Microsoft. To backup your Windows Server 2008 or 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]


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.

WBAdmin start systemstatebackup examples:

WBAdmin start systemstatebackup –backuptarget: D: -quiet

WBAdmin Start Systemstatebackup

WBAdmin start sysrecovery/bare metal recovery command in Windows Server 2008 (R2)

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

WBAdmin bare metal backup commands in Windows PCs and Servers

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


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

More reliable Windows backup and restore software

On the one hand, WBAdmin could backup and restore Windows operating system and data for you. On the other hand, It’s quite complex for general users who was not familiar with WBAdmin or command line. If you have used it before, you should have been aware that it’s too obtuse to use. Only the advanced users can use it smoothly. Moreover, not all computers support all the WBAdmin’s functions.

Another reliable and powerful way to backup your Windows system and data is using AOMEI Backupper, which enables you to backup, clone or restore system, disk, partitions, file/folder, in Windows 7/8/8.1/10 and Server 2003/2008(R2)/2012(R2)/2016. You are allowed to store the backup copy to local hard drive, external drive, USB flash drive, NAS/network and cloud drive depending on your needs.

Furthermore, it provides you either command line or graphic users interface (GUI) and supports you restore system in Windows environment or Windows PE environment, it’s quite simple even for a newbie.

Here are the steps of System backup via AOMEI Backupper Standard GUI:

1. Free download the best free system state backup program - AOMEI Backupper Standard (it’s for Windows PC, download server edition if required). Install and execute it.

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

System Backup

3. Enter a task name for your system backup task in Windows 7/8/10. Choose a destination to save your system state backup copy.

Name The Task

Select 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 backup your Window 7/8/8.1/10 system state.

Start Backup

Tip: you could enable Schedule option to backup your system daily/weekly/monthly/event trigger; You could set comment, compress, or split backup copy, etc. Furthermore, you could enable disk space management.

Schedule Settings General

After it’s done, you have backup your system with a success. AOMEI Backupper is quick-acting for Windows backup and restore that you could rely on.

Besides, its Professional edition offers you the advanced functions like merge/split backup images, create PXE boot tool, backup/restore dynamic disk volume, automatic backup, full backup, incremential/differential backup, sector-by-sector backup, file sync, dissimilar hardware restore, etc.

Or you may want to refer to command line utility (Only the paid version supports command line utility – AMBackup.exe) built-in AOMEI Backupper to clone, restore or manage your backups.

Or you could try AOMEI Backupper Server or Technician Plus for your server computer if required.