By Ailsa / Last update December 1, 2020

Wbadmin in Windows Server 2016

WBAdmin is a command line tool of Windows Server Backup in Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10, Windows Server 2008 (R2), Server 2012, Server 2016, Server 2019 to backup and restore Windows opreating systems, drive volumes, files, folders and installed programs, etc.

In the above mentioned Windows systems, you have two ways to create backups and restore data: WBAdmin and Windows Server Backup. Here we will show you the main features of WBAdmin in Windows Server 2016.

Input cmd in Windows Server 2016 search box, choose command prompt and selet Run as administrator.

WBAdmin Syntax in Server 2016

Type Wbadmin/? to see the supported WBAdmin commands.

Supported Commands

And the whole WBAdmin syntax listed below:

Wbadmin enable backup

Create 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 the items included in a backup.

Wbadmin start recovery

Runs a recovery.

Wbadmin get status

Shows the status of the currently running operation.

Wbadmin get disks

Lists disks that are currently online.

Wbadmin get virtualmachines

Lists current Hyper-V virtual machines

Wbadmin start systemstaterecovery

Runs a system state recovery.

Wbadmin start systemstatebackup

Runs a system state backup.

Wbadmin delete systemstatebackup

Deletes one or more system state backups.

Wbadmin delete backup

Deletes one or more backups.

How to Use Wbadmin in Windows Server 2016?

Here is how to use the WBAdmin to create backups and restore data in Windows Server 2016.

Create Backups with WBAdmin

To create a system state backup, use the command: Wbadmin start systemstatebackup –backuptarget:[backup location] [-quiet]

  • The backup location should be a drive letter, volume GUID, or network address.

  • The switch –quiet means to execute the backup without prompt.

For example: WBAdmin start systemstatebackup –backuptarget: E: -quiet

Wbadmin Start Systemstatebackup

To create a bare metal backup in Windows Server 2016, please use the WBAdmin bare mental backup command line: Wbadmin start backup –backuptarget:[backup location] –allcritical [–systemstate] -vssfull

For example, to create a bare metal backup to E: drive, use the command:

wbadmin start backup -backupTarget:E: -allcritical –systemstate -vssfull

Wbadmin Bare Mental Backup

  • -vssfull: Performs a full backup using the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS)

  • -allCritical: Specifies that all critical volumes (volumes that contain operating system's state) be included in the backups. This parameter is useful if you're creating a backup for bare metal recovery.

  • -systemState: Creates a backup that includes the system state.

A system state backup can only be restored to the same server where the backup was taken while a bare metal backup can be restored to any servers with similar or dissimilar hardware.

To create a schedule daily backup in Windows Server 2016, use the wbadmin enable backup.

For example: wbadmin enable backup -addtarget:E: -schedule:01:30 -allcritical -systemstate -vssfull

Wbadmin Schedule Daily Backup

Besides, you might want to create a WBAdmin incremental backup.

Restore data with WBAdmin

When your server 2016 does not work properly due improper changes in System Settings, you can perform a system state recovery to restore system settings. For a system state recovery, use the command: Wbadmin start systemstaterecovery -version: versionIdentifier --backupTarget:[backup location] –quiet

You could run the command Wbadmin get versions to list all the version identifiers (backups) that can be recovered.

For example, to perform a system state recovery from network shared folder \\\Public\backup, use the command:

Wbadmin start systemstaterecovery -version:11/11/2015-01:09 -backupTarget: \\\Public\backup -quiet

System State Recovery

Windows Server 2016 WBAdmin Backup Limitations

However, WBadmin utility does have its limitations:

  • Only volumes formatted with NTFS can be protected.

  • You can only create one scheduled backup job.

  • System state backup not a system backup, and WBAdmin does not backup or recover registry user hives (HEKY_CURRENT_USER).

  • Only one backup on network while using WBAdmin.

WBAdmin ALternative - AOMEI Backupper

To protect Windows Server 206 more safer, it’s highly recommended to use the WBAdmin alternative - AOMEI Backupper Server, which designed for Windows Server 2019, 2016, 2012, 2008, 2003, including R2, and Windows PCs. It overcomes all the limitations of WBAdmin to protect Server 2016 and provides you the command line AMBackup.exe and its GUI for flexible usage.

Please download the 30-day free trial to have a try:

Download Free Trial Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

How to Create a System Image for Windows Server 2016?

Below we will show you the easier way to create a system image for Windows Server 2016, it’s quite simple for everyone, the detailed steps listed below:

1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Server, choose Backup > System Backup in turn.

System Backup

2. Select a destination to save the Windows Server 2016 system image backup file.

Select Backup Destination

3. (Optional)Tick Schedule, choose a mode: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers, USB plug in in General tab, Choose Incremetal Backup in Advanced tab, click OK.

Schedule Settings General

Schedule Settings Advanced

Tips: you could create full backup, and differential backup as well in Advanced tab.

4. Click Start Backup > Add the schedule only or Add the schedule and run backup now to create a system image for Windows Server 2016.

Start Backup

Restore Windows Server 2016

If you found the Windows Server 2016 unbootable, you could create bootable media to boot server 2016, and the AOMEI Backupper will automatically running, then restore Server 2016 like the below:

1. Click Restore tab, Select the Server 2016 system image to restore.

Select Backup Image

2. Tick Restore this system backup, and press Next >>.

Restore Entire Backup

3. Press Start Restore >> to restore Windows Server 2016 easily.

Preview Restore

Tip: The Universal Restore will help you to restore to new computer or restore to dissimilar hardware without any issues.

Further Reading: Windows Server 2016 WBAdmin.msc Missing

Sometimes, you will find the Windows Server 2016 WBAdmin.msc is missing. There are two causes: Not Installed Windows Server Backup, or Not installed Network Load Balancing (NLB).

To install Windows Server Backup:

1. Open Server Manager > Manage > Add Roles and Features.

2. Choose the default settings until go to Select Features window, scroll down and select Windows Server Backup, and click Next.

Install Windows Server Backup

3. Press Install.

If you installed Windows Server Backup and run as administrator, and the WBAdmin.msc still missing, please uninstall Windows Server Backup, restart the server, and install the Network Load Balancing (NLB) along with the Windows Server Backup.

Install Network Load Balancing

The Epilogue

You will find the syntax of WBAdmin in Windows Server 2016, and learn how to create system state backup, bare mental backup, etc. To protect Server 2016, you could try the WBAdmin alternative - AOMEI Backupper Server to try command line tool -AMBackup.exe or its GUI to perform Windows Server 2016 backup and restore.

Besides, you could try real-time sync feature to sync files between Windows Servers for continous protection, clone entire disk to protect full server for Server 2016, etc.

For IT technicians, who would like to create centralized backup for all clients on one mangement console in your company without efforts, please try the centralized backup software.