By Delia / Last update June 24, 2021

What is system state backup for?

The system state backup, including all the operating configuration files, can be used for a disaster recovery for the same server or another server with similar hardware. From Microsoft, the system state backup contains boot files, active directory, sysvol, certificate services, cluster database, the registry, performance counter configuration information, and component Services Class registration database. You don’t have to choose these components manually. Windows Server Backup/Wbadmin will do this automatically if you perform a system state backup. The easy way to run system state backup is to use Wbadmin, and you only need a start systemstatebackup command.

How to start system state backup with Wbadmin?

In order to create system state backup with Wbadmin.exe command-line utility, you need to install the Windows Server Backup in Server Manager on your Server first. You must run Wbadmin.exe as an administrator from an elevated command prompt. To open an elevated command prompt, enter “CMD” in the search box, in the listed results, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

To perform system state backup, you can input the following Wbadmin system state backup command syntax:

wbadmin start systemstatebackup -backuptarget:X: -quiet


In this command, X should be replaced with the drive letter of the partition to store the system state backup image. The -quiet parameter is not generally needed, but if you don't want to be prompted to enter the letter Y to confirm this operation before the backup starts, make sure this parameter included. For example, to backup system state to E: drive, you can use the following command:

wbadmin start systemstatebackup -backuptarget:E:

System state backup command only available for Windows Server 2008/2008 R2/2012/2012 R2/2016. If you want to backup Windows 10/8/7 system state, you can use Wbadmin start backup command. For example, to backup system drive to D: drive including all critical volumes, you can use the command: Wbadmin start backup -backupTarget:D: -allcritical -include:C: -quiet

To backup system state with Wbadmin is quite convenient and it will be really helpful if your system crashes. However, system state backup can only backup to volumes formatted with NTFS, and sometimes it just mysteriously fails with a hard-to-understand error message. In this case, you may want to try another way to create backups from command line.

Another way to backup system from command line

AOMEI Backupper Server is a professional backup and restore tool for Windows Server OS. It allows you to create system backup either from graphic user’s interface (GUI) or command prompt. To create system backup from command line with AOMEI Backupper:

1. Download and install this software.

2. Open an elevated command prompt with administrator privilege.

3. Type in the path of the installation directory of AOMEI Backupper Server and press Enter. The path is generally as, “cd C:\Program Files (x86)\AOMEI Backupper”.

AB Command

4. Input the right command of AOMEI Backupper and press Enter. For example, to create a system backup to “system backup” folder on F: drive, use the following command:

AMBackup.exe /b new /t system /d “f:\system backup”

If you want to name the backup file as “System Backup”, you can run the command: AMBackup.exe /b new /t system /d “f: \system backup” /n “System Backup

System Backup

AOMEI Backupper gives you more options when configuring a backup and it runs far more effectively. You can create multiple types of backup with AOMEI Backupper rather than start systemstatebackup. You can create many scheduled backups followed with full/differential/incremental backup tasks to any paths that File Explorer detects, you can enable Disk Space Management to automatically delete previous backups in your own fashion, and you can restore your Server when not working via AOMEI PXE or bootable rescue media effortlessly. For those who are not familiar with command line, AOMEI Backupper also provides an intuitive interface.

Main Interface