By Teresa / Last update December 23, 2019

Benefit from Windows 7 backup command line

Windows provides graphical backup utilities for its users, such as Windows 7 Backup and Restore for Windows 7 and Windows 10, File History for Windows 8 and Windows 10. However, some users preferred Windows 7 command line backing up. What are the advantages of Windows 7 command line operation?

Comparing to GUI backup tools, command line operation saves times and efforts of tedious clicking. For advanced users, it is more convenient with less interrupting information listed. In addition, command prompts operation supports unattended task with wbadmin backup script executing.

Command line backup, along with command line restore, even allows users to backup and restore system image or data backups without booting Windows operating system. In other words, you can restore the system state even when the system meltdown.

When talking about backup command in Windows 7, we usually refer to using wbadmin command line. You may want to have a brief understanding about the tool before learning how to use it.

Things you need to know about wbadmin in Windows 7

wbadmin, inbuilt backup tool available in Windows Server 2008 (R2)/2012 (R2)/2016 (R2) and all Windows PC operating systems, allows you to back up files, folders, volumes, partitions, system state, etc. to target location. Two kinds of wbadmin restore operations are supported. One is bare mental restore. The other is individual file and folder, and system state restore.

What different is the wbadmin command in Windows 7 has less available functions comparing to the tool in other operating systems. In general, five commands which can be listed with “wbadmin /?” command are supported by Windows 7 wbadmin tool.

wbadmin Windows 7

  • START BACKUP – Runs a one-time backup.

  • STOP JOB – Stops the currently running backup or recovery operation.

  • GET VERSIONS – List details of backups recoverable from a specified location.

  • GET ITEMS – Lists items contains in a backup.

  • GET STUTUS – Reports the status of the currently running operation.

Fortunately, the backup command line operation is supported in Windows 7. Then, let’s get to know how to backup system state in Windows 7 with wbadmin.

wbadmin command line examples of system state backup

This part will take backing C drive to E drive including system state with no prompts to the user for example. It can create a bare metal backup used to restore the Windows operating system to similar or dissimilar hardware. Connect the target disk to your Windows 7 if necessary.

Note: To start command prompt without booting Windows 7, please boot the machine with Windows installation drive or system repair disk. Next, press Shift + F10 at the where-to-install page. Then, run following command to backup.

1. Click Start and type command prompt in the search box. Right click Command Prompt from the list and select Run as administrator to open an elevated command prompt.

2. Type this command at the prompt and press Enter. Change to the correct drive letter in your case.

wbadmin start backup -backupTarget:E: -include:C: -allcritical -systemstate –quiet

wbadmin backup Windows 7 command line

3. Wait for the process completes, and type exit.


  • -backupTarget: specifies the storage location for this backup.

  • -include: specifies the items to include in the backup.

  • -allcritical: specifies that all critical volumes (volumes that contain operating system's state) be included in the backups.

  • -systemstate: creates a backup that includes the system state in addition to any other items that you specified with the -include parameter.

  • -quiet: runs the subcommand with no prompts to the user.


  • You can schedule a task from the command line with the same command. If you use Task Scheduler, you must configure the task to run with administrative privileges, by providing an administrative user account and selecting the Run With Highest Privileges check box on the General tab of the task's Properties dialog box.

  • To configure a regularly scheduled backup, you must be a member of the Administrators group. To perform all other tasks with this command, you must be a member of the Backup Operators or the Administrators group, or you must have been delegated the appropriate permissions.

  • The target volume for a critical-volume backup can be a local drive, but it cannot be any of the volumes that are included in the backup.

To backup Windows 7 files from command prompt when Windows fails to start, notepad is helpful as well. Firstly, type notepad at the prompt and press Enter. Secondly, click File and then Open. Then, you’ll access to the Libraries interface. Next, you can find the files you need to back up.

Windows 7 command line backup and restore with an easier way

It is convenient to backup Windows 7 with wbadmin. Nevertheless, you may encounter wbadmin cannot start, wbadmin cannot find backup when restoring, or wbadmin systemstate backup fails, etc. If you unlucky to facing one of those troubles, it is wise to turn to another powerful Windows 7 command line backup tool.

AOMEI Backupper Professional, an all-around command line backup tool, brings you AMBackup.exe utility to backup Windows 7 with command prompt. It is easier to use and allows you do incremental backup with command line. Differential backup and full backup are available as well. You have choices to create system backup, partition volume backup, disk backup, files/folders backup to external storage, network path, etc. Backup image compression, splitting and encryption as well as sector by sector back up are supported.

Command line restore is also quite easy to operate with the help of AOMEI Backupper. You can create bootable media and perform system restoring to a machine with similar or dissimilar hardware. Let’s take a closer look.

Command line backup Windows 7 step by step

1. Install AOMEI Backupper on your computer. Keep a note of the installation path because you’ll need it later. Connect the target storage to your Windows 7 if necessary.

2. Open an elevated command prompt as instructed. Type cd + installation path of AOMEI Backupper, e.g. cd C:\Program Files (x86)\AOMEI Backupper and then press Enter.

3. At the prompt type the Windows 7 system image backup command line AMBackup.exe /b new /t system /d "d:\sys" /n "Backup System" to perform system backup and assign a task name, and press Enter to start.

AMBackup Command Line Backup Windows 7

4. Wait for the process completes and type exit.


  • /b new: create a new backup task.

  • /t system: backup your system.

  • /d “d:\sys”: destination path for saving the backup image.

  • /n “Backup System”: named it Backup System.


  • Above steps also apply to Windows 10 backup command line.

  • Please refer to AOMEI Backupper command line operations for more information.

Restore Windows 7 from Command Prompt

In case you’ll need to restore system image one day, it is suggested to create a bootable device as covered. Make sure you can access the backup image or you know the exact location of the backup image.

1. Open an elevated command prompt.

2. Type cd + AOMEI Backupper installation path e.g. cd C:\Program Files (x86)\AOMEI Backupper and press Enter.

3. Type AMBackup /r /t system /s “J:\system backup\systembackup1.adi” /d 1 and press Enter. This will restore the system backup saved in J:\systembackup1 to disk 1.

AMBackup Restore Windows 7 Command Line

4. Wait for the process completes.


  • /r: restore the backup image.

  • /t system: restore system image type.

  • /s “J:\system backup\systembackup1.adi”: specify the path of the image file.

  • /d 1: specify the destination location to restore to.

The software also provides graphical user interface with all features included for all level users. It has the same function in backing up Windows 7. You may want to give AOMEI Backupper Professional 30-day free trial a shot.

System Backup


Two ways of Windows 7 backup command line are introduced. The final goal is to protect your Windows 7 in an easy way. Choose the one that suits you most. As a matter of fact, AOMEI Backupper Professional supports clone hard drive with command prompt as well.