Windows Server 2019: Bare Metal Backup and Recovery

Creating a bare metal backup of Windows Server 2019 is very important for those Windows Server users. When something unfortunate happens, such as a virus or ransomware attack, you can easily perform a bare metal recovery from it.


By Yuka Updated on November 1, 2022

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Overview of Bare Metal Backup and Recovery

Bare Metal Backup (BMB) is a process of backing up all the critical volumes including system partition, boot partition, and other partitions (if you have applications installed on elsewhere besides boot partition) to ensure all the applications are in a consistent state. It is highly useful for migrations and disaster recovery. Bare Metal backups support Full and Incremental backups. Differential backups are not supported.

Windows Server 2019 Bare Metal Backup

Bare Metal Recovery (BMR) is a technology that allows you to recover a PC or Server without the need for previously installed software and operating system. The "bare metal" here refers to a completely blank hard drive. Bare metal recovery is also very safe. It removes all existing partitions on the system disk and recreates all partitions, before restoring software onto the PC.

No one wants to suffer a catastrophic server failure, but if this happens, usually the only solution is bare metal recovery. But the prerequisite for bare metal recovery is that you have a bare metal backup. Next, I will introduce three methods for creating bare metal backups in Windows Server 2019.

How to Create Bare Metal Backup and Recovery in Windows Server 2019

Windows Server 2019 provides you with two helpful utilities to create bare metal backup and recovery, namely using Wbadmin and Windows Server Backup (WSB). If you want more flexible backup settings, try Wbadmin command line. But if you are novice or not familiar with command line, try WSB, which is based on a graphic user interface and much easier.

Method 1: Create bare metal backup and Recovery with WBAdmin 

WBAdmin enables you to back up and restore your operating system, volumes, files, folders, and applications from a command prompt. You must run WBAdmin from an elevated command prompt by right-clicking on the command prompt and selecting Run as administrator.

In Windows Server 2019, the WBAdmin command line utility has a little difference, the subcommands listed here:

  • WBADMIN ENABLE BACKUP: Creates or modifies a daily backup schedule.
  • WBADMIN DISABLE BACKUP: Disables the scheduled backups.
  • WBADMIN START BACKUP: Runs a one-time backup.
  • WBADMIN STOP JOB: Stops the currently running backup or recovery operation.
  • WBADMIN GET VERSIONS: Lists details of backups that can be recovered from a specified location.
  • WBADMIN GET ITEMS: Lists items contained in a backup.
  • WBADMIN START RECOVERY: Runs a recovery.
  • WBADMIN GET STATUS: Reports the status of the currently running operation.
  • WBADMIN GET DISKS: Lists the disks that are currently online.
  • WBADMIN GET VIRTUALMACHINES: Lists current Hyper-V virtual machines.

Perform Windows Server 2019 bare metal backup via WBAdmin

To create bare metal backup for Windows Server 2019, please input the following command and press “Enter”:

Wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:e: -allcritical -vssfull -quiet

WBAdmin Start Backup

-allcritical: Creates a backup that includes all critical volumes.
-vssfull: run a full backup using Volume Shadow Copy service (VSS).
-quiet: run the command with no prompts to the user.

Perform Windows Server 2019 bare metal recovery via WBAdmin

To perform wbadmin start backup bare metal recovery, you can use wbadmin start recovery command line, just type the following commands and hit Enter:

  • wbadmin get versions -backuptarget:E: (E: is the drive that contain backup)
  • wbadmin get items -versions:09/11/2019-03:48 -backuptarget:E:
  • wbadmin start recovery -version:09/11/2019-03:48 -itemtype:App -items:Registry -recoverytarget:F:\(F: is the path to save your backup)

Method 2: Create bare metal backup and Recovery with Windows Server Backup

Windows Server Backup (WSB) is the built-in backup and recovery tool for Windows Server environments. In Windows Server Backup, you can configure it to perform a full or incremental backup when setting up a scheduled backup. How to create a bare metal backup in Windows Server 2019 via WSB? Steps are as follows:

Install Windows Server Backup

Step 1. Click Start in the lower left corner of the computer. Type Server Manager in the search box and then open it.

Step 2. Click Add Roles and Features under Manage tab. Then press Next.

Add Roles and Features

Step 3. Under Select installation type, choose “Role-based or feature based installation” and click Next.

Step 4. Select the destination server. Then press Next.

Step 5. Under Select server roles click Next.

Step 6. Select “Windows Server Backup” feature from the list, and then click “Next”.

Windows Server Backup

Step 7. Confirm the installation selections. Then click Install to install this tool on the destination computer.

Create bare metal backup with Windows Server Backup

Step 1. To create a backup, launch the Server Manager, and select “Tools” and then “Windows Server Backup”.


Step 2. To have an automatic backup on a schedule configured, select Backup Schedule.

Backup Schedule

Step 3. This will open up the backup schedule wizard. On the getting started window, click on Next.

Getting Started

Step 4. In the backup configuration window, you will have to select a backup configuration type. Select “Full server” to create a bare metal backup and click “Next”.

Full Server

◑ Full server (recommended): This will back up all server data, applications, and system state.
◑ Custom: This Will allow you to define your backup need by selecting certain volumes or files to be backed up.

Step 5. In the “Specify Backup Time” window, you can decide to select “Once a day” and select your desired time or select the second option “More than once a day backup”.

Specify Backup Time

Step 6. Choose a destination for storing the backup – that can be other volumes on the server, a network folder path or even an external HDD attached to the server.

Step 7. Backup schedule successfully configured click on Close.

Perform Windows Server 2019 bare metal recovery from installation disk

Note✍: Make sure you have given same or bigger storage space on the physical server you gonna perform the restore.

Step 1. Connect the Drive that contains backup files to the server.

Step 2. Boot from the “server 2019 media” and choose “Repair your computer” option.

Repair Windows Server 2019

Step 3. Click on “Troubleshoot” -> “Advanced options” -> “System Image Recovery

System Image Recovery

Select a System Image Backup

Re-image Your Computer

Step 4. Your server will restart automatically after succeeding the Windows server 2019 OS image restore.

Method 3. Best Way to Create Bare Metal Backup and Recovery for Windows Server

Although the above two methods can perform bare metal backup and recovery for Windows Server 2019, but they have some limitations. For example, the Wbadmin command-line is difficult for technical novices, and you can't even mistype a single parameter. If you use WSB, the schedule setting is limited t o once or day or more than once a day.

Therefore, I recommend to you the best Windows server backup software - AOMEI Backupper Server. It is designed for Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10 (all editions, 32-bit and 64-bit) and Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019, 2022 (including R2). And has more flexible backup settings in the following.

❀ Complete Backup Solutions: It supports System Backup, Disk Backup, Partition Backup and Files Backup. 
Flexible Backup Settings:  It supports daily, weekly, monthly schedule backup, and more specific, you can set backup date, time and interval corresponding. 
 Smart Backup Strategy: It intelligently manages the backup space by automatically deleting old backups, and saves disk space through intelligent incremental and differential backup methods.  What’s more, it gives the possibility to realize the 3-2-1 backup strategy plan.
Bare Metal Recovery: You can use a bootable USB or CD/DVD to restore the Windows Server Backup image to a non-system computer with different hardware. Or you can use it to minimize business losses when the OS crashes or other unexpected disasters occur.
Complete Cloning Approach: It also has useful cloning utilities for migrating operating systems to SSDs, replacing HDDs with SSDs, and cloning hard drives on Windows Server.

Download this software and create bare metal backup and recovery for the server!  

Download Free Trial Windows Server & PC
Secure Download

(Note the free trial version is only available within 30 days. It's suggested to upgrade sever trial version if you do not only want to create a bare metal backup. )

Step by Step Guide to Create Windows Server 2019 Bare Metal Backup

Let's take the system state backup in Server 2019 as an example. If necessary, connect the external storage to your computer in advance.

Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Backupper Server. Click Backup and then System Backup.

System Backup has backed up operating system files and its related partitions. You can use file backup to back up other important user data on "non-critical volumes"

System Backup

Step 2. The system drive and its related partitions are selected by default. Now, you need to select the destination path to store the backups. External drive, NAS, network share, cloud drive, CD/DVD, and flash drive are supported.

System Backup Destination

Step 3. Click Schedule Backup beneath to set a backup mode, you can choose daily, weekly, monthly, event-triggers, and USB plug in. The last one is recommended if your target drive is a USB device and you don't want to always keep it connected. 

Schedule Settings General

Step 4. (Optional) You can clickBackup Scheme”  to set cleanup methods, you have 3 options, including By quality, By time, By daily/weekly/monthly.

By default, the backup method for scheduled task is incremental Backup, which backup only changed since last backup, whether it's full backup or incremental backup. In view of this rule, it's more demanding on backup intact and recovery. It's suggested to try differential backup

Enable Backup Scheme

Step 5. Click Start Backup to decide whether back it up now or later.

Start Backup

Restore Windows Server 2019 from the backup

When your Server 2019 fails, you can restore it using the previously created backup by navigating to "Restore"> "Select Task/Select Image File". If your server fails to boot, you can boot from the Server 2019 bootable USB, and then perform system recovery under Windows PE.

Server 2019 Restore

Also, the created system image can be used on unlimited PCs or servers as long as you activate the image deployment software in the technician or techplus edition of AOMEI Backupper. With it, you are able to deploy system image to multiple computers simultaneously over network.

And you can enable dissimilar hardware feature and preset IP address in advance, so you can boot all the client computers successfully and be sure it's connected to a network.

AOMEI Image Deploy


This page provides three ways to create Windows Server 2019 bare metal backup. Compared with the third-party software-AOMEI Backupper, the first two built-in tools are a bit more difficult. Considering simplicity and efficiency, the third one will be a better choice for performing bare metal backup and recovery.

As the best backup tools for Windows Servers, it provides you with more powerful functions. It enables you to migrate server to new hardware easily, to do System/Disk/Partition Clone and File Sync to transfer and protect your data. Why not give it a try right now?

Yuka · Editor
Yuka, our dedicated editor at AOMEI Technology, is committed to bringing you valuable insights and guidance in data protection. Her mission is to empower everyone with her knowledge in computer backup and recovery, disk cloning, file synchronization, and more. Yuka's goal is to do her best to make complex tech tasks simple and ensure that your digital world remains safe and secure.