By Delia / Last update June 24, 2021

Why to run Wbadmin start backup for all drives?

For many programs have rights to write data to your hard disk and some data are not stored in file or folder type, some users may want to back up their entire hard disk to keep all information backed up. In Windows Server, you can use Windows Server Backup to manually add all drives in the backup. However, Windows Backup and Restore (for PC) only allows you to add drives with a drive letter in a backup except critical volumes. 

Actually both Windows PC users and Server users can use Wbadmin utility to backup an entire disk from command line. Although Microsoft doesn’t provide a Wbadmin backup disk full switch, you can use "–include: [drive letter]" switch to add all drives in the backup. For the drives without drive letter, you can use volume GUID when specifying drives.

How to backup an entire disk with Wbadmin?

To use Wbadmin, you need to open an elevated command prompt with administrator privileges. You can type “CMD” in the search box, right click the top listed result, and click "Run as administrator". Then run the following command:

wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:{|} -include:-allCritical

Example 1:

To create a computer backup including C: drive, D: drive, E: drive, and the recovery partition to a shared folder over NAS, use the following command:

wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:\\\Public\backup -allCritical -include:C:,D:,E:,\\?\Volume{95b895b8-0000-0000-0036-223470000000}\ 

Backup to NAS

Tips: For the recovery partition does not have a drive letter, you must use volume GUID to specify this drive. You can use “mountvol” command to get the volume GUID information.


Example 2:

If you do not want to be prompted to run the backup, you can add the "–quiet" switch. To backup an entire disk containing system reserved partition, C: drive, E: drive to an external hard drive (F: drive), use this command:

wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:F: -include:C:,E:,\\?\Volume{d4192b6f-0000-0000-0000-804c0c000000}\ -allCritical –vssCopy -quiet

Tips: Running this command, the backup will start right away without prompt. The "–vssCopy" switch is optional because it makes no difference on the items included in the backup.

Now you know how to backup an entire disk with Wbadmin. However, if you have too many partitions on one disk that you want to backup, to specify the partitions one by one, not to mention the hidden partitions, would be cumbersome. In this case, you may look for a way to use one simple command to backup hard drive from command line.

More efficient way to backup an entire disk from command line

AOMEI Backupper is a Windows backup tool that can be used to create multiple types of backups including system backup, disk backup, partition backup, and file backup from command line or graphical user interface. It is designed to serve all Windows users with different editions. Both PC users and Server users can find it quite convenient as backup solution.

To create disk backup from command line using AOMEI Backupper:

1. Download and install the right version of AOMEI Backupper. AOMEI Backupper Pro is for PC users and AOMEI Backupper Server for Server users.

2. Run a CMD command prompt as administrator.

3. Input the path of the installation directory of AOMEI Backupper (here is cd C:\Program Files (x86)\AOMEI Backupper) and press Enter.


4. Run the following command to create a disk backup:

AMBackup.exe /b new /t disk /s [source disk] /d “[target location path]” /n “[task name]”

For example: AMBackup.exe /b new /t disk /s 0 /s 1 /d “d:\disk” /n “Backup Two Disks”. This command is to backup disk0 and disk1 to D:\disk folder with a task name as "Backup Two Disks".


Compared with running Wbadmin start backup for all drives, AOMEI Backupper is quite efficient for backing up an entire hard drive. Besides backup and restore, you can also clone hard drive via Command Prompt using AOMEI Backupper. Learn more AOMEI Backupper command lines here. Additionally, the intuitive interface of AOMEI Backupper has really made things regarding backup and restore much easier.