By Ivy / Last update July 19, 2019

Why make a system state backup of Windows domain controller?

When it comes to system state backup of Windows 2012 R2 domain controller, we must figure out what a system state backup is at first. System state is a data collection in Windows Server computers (physical or virtual). Usually it consists of the following files:

  • Boot files, including system files and all files protected by Windows File Protection (WFP)

  • Active Directory (on a domain controller only)

  • Windows registry

  • Sysvol (on a domain controller only)

  • Certificate Services (on certification authority only)

  • Cluster database (on a cluster node only)

  • Performance Monitor counter configuration data

  • Component Services Class registration database

Domain controller (DC), a server computer, responds to security authentication requests (logging in, checking permissions, etc) within a Windows domain. The loss of a domain controller can cause a denial of service (DoS). Then your network service can't work normally as before.

Therefore, it is very important to make a Windows 2012 R2 domain controller system state backup.

Creating a system state backup for Windows 2012 R2 domain controller

How to create a system state backup of domain controller in Windows Server? There are two efficient methods for your reference:

Solution 1. Backing up domain controller with Windows built-in tool

Windows has its own built-in backup tool. If you want to use it, you can refer to the following steps:

Step 1. Open Windows Server Backup from administrative tools in Start menu.

Step 2. Click Backup Once. You can also create a schedule task by clicking Backup Schedule. Then click Next.

Step 3. You can choose Full server or Custom in the Select Backup Configuration interface. Then click Next.

Step 4. Click Add Items to select System State. Then press OK.

Step 5. Verify the data to be included in a backup and click Next to continue.

Step 6. In the Specify Destination Type interface, you can choose one type of storage for the backup. You can select Local drives or Remote shared folder from the list. Then click Next.

Step 7. The interface shows the total space and free space available of the selected drive. Then click Next.

Step 8. If all things are right in the Confirmation console, you can click Backup.

Step 9. Wait for the Backup Progress to be completed. Then you can choose Close.

Solution 2. Backing up domain controller with AOMEI Backupper Server

Although Windows built-in tool is efficient, the backup process is too complicated, especially for some non-technical users. Is there an easier way? AOMEI Backupper Server, the professional backup and restore software, can be your best choice.

Various operating systems can be supported by this software including Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012, 2016 (including R2), SBS 2003, 2008, 2011 and Windows PC systems. If you want to get a system state backup of Windows 2008 R2 domain controller, the useful software can also give you a hand.

You can set up schedule tasks by choosing daily, weekly, monthly, event triggers, USB plug in or real-time sync. What’s more, other practical features like incremental backup and differential backup are also available in this software.

Want to use this software? Here are detailed steps. The good news is that these steps also apply to Windows Server 2008 R2 domain controller system state backup.

Step 1. Download, install and launch this software.

Step 2. Select Backup from the left side. Then click System Backup.

System Backup

Step 3. The Task Name can be modified by your needs. The required system partitions are selected by default in Step 1. Select a destination path (E:\) in Step 2. Then click Start Backup.

Start Backup

Step 4. After backing up, you can click Finish.



  • In Step 3, there are six options under Backup Options: General, Compression, Splitting, Intelligent Sector, VSS or Other. These options can be set by your needs. You also can click Enable encryption for backups under General tab to create a backup encryption.

  • You can create scheduled tasks by clicking Schedule in Step 3.

  • You can enable Scheme to delete older backups automatically.

  • If you click Check backup integrity on completion in Step 4, the program will check the data integrity of the backup after completing the backup.

  • After backing up, you can select Shut down PC, Restart PC, Hibernate or Sleep in Step 4.


Windows built-in backup tool and AOMEI Backupper Server can help you make a system state backup of Windows 2012 R2 domain controller efficiently.

It is worth mentioning that the backup process in AOMEI Backupper Server will be running in the background and won’t interrupt your work. Don't hesitate to use AOMEI Backupper Server to protect your system and precious data!