5 Free Backup Software for Windows Server 2003

How to create system image for Windows Server 2003? Please refer to the following 5 backup freeware for Windows Server 2003 and corresponding detailed steps.


By Ivy Updated on May 9, 2024

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The Case

"We are looking for an economical backup software for Windows Server 2003, does anyone give some advices? Any help would be appreciated."

As a matter of fact, there are several backup freeware for Windows Server 2003 for you: Backup Utility (Backup or Restore Wizard), NTBackup, Vssadmin. In this article, we will show you the backup software for you with the detailed steps.

Now, Let have a glance about this article:

👉 Windows Server 2003 Backup Software Free - Backup Utility
👉 Backup Server 2003 with NTBackup Command
👉 Windows Server 2003 Backup Software - Vssadmin
👉 Best Backup Software for Windows 2003 Server🔥
👉 Easiest Backup Software for Windows Server 2003👍

Windows Server 2003 Backup Software Free - Backup Utility

Backup feature in Windows Server 2003 will help you backup all the contents, the selective files, or system state on your computer, and you must be a member of administrator group or the backup operators on the local computer to backup or restore data. The detailed steps of files backup listed below:

1. Click Start button -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Backup to open Backup or Restore Wizard. 

Windows Server 2003 Backup

2. Tap Next in the open window.

Backup Utility Backup Or Restore Wizard

★ Tip: you could select Advanced Mode for advanced usage, like restore files to original/other location, customize the settings for system state backup (including register settings), create schedule job, etc.

3. Choose Back up files and settings option, and hit Next> button.

Windows Server 2003 Backup Files And Settings

4. Select What do you want to back up: All information on this computer or Let me choose what to back up, press Next.

Backup All Info On This Computer

★ Tip: You have to choose what data should be backed up if you select Let me choose what to back up option.

5. Hit Browse to pick a destination to save the backup file (suffix with .bkf), and Rename this backup if required, then hit Next>.

Select Destination

6. Overview the settings of the backup, press Finish to start backup files for Windows Server 2003.

Overview Backup Task

The Backup Utility will backup your files using shadow copy. And after backup completed, please insert a blank formatted diskette to save the recovery information.

Insert Blank Formatted Diskette

Click Report button in Backup Progress window to see detailed information (log file) about this backup.

Report Backup01 Log

After creating the backup, you could use automated system recovery (ASR) to restore system settings and system partition. In the above 2 steps, click Advanced Mode -> Welcome -> Automated System Recovery Wizard, then follow the instructions to restore. However, it only allows you to backup files or folders to another location.

Backup Server 2003 with NTBackup Command

For professional users, you could try NTBackup command to backup data. You could use NTBackup with the steps:

1. Go Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt.

2. To view the complete syntax for this NTBackup command, input ntbackup /?.

The syntax is:

ntbackup backup [systemstate] "@FileName.bks" /J {"JobName"} [/P {"PoolName"}] [/G {"GUIDName"}] [/T { "TapeName"}] [/N {"MediaName"}] [/F {"FileName"}] [/D {"SetDescription"}] [/DS {"ServerName"}] [/IS {"ServerName"}] [/A] [/V:{yes | no}] [/R:{yes | no}] [/L:{f | s | n}] [/M {BackupType}] [/RS:{yes | no}] [/HC:{on | off}] [/SNAP:{on | off}]

For example, create a backup using the specified backup type in Backup Utility:

ntbackup backup "@C:\Program Files\Windows NT\ntbackup\data\commandline.bks" /j "My Job 2" /t "NTBackup 1" /n "NTBackup 2"

The command means uses the backup selection file named Commandline.bks, located in the C:\Program Files\Windows NT\ntbackup\data\ directory to choose which files to backup. The backup job is named "My Job 2" and it overwrites the tape named "NTBackup 1" with the new name "NTBackup 2."

Note: System state backup contains most elements of a system configuration, not all the system files or boot files. Therefore, please backup all boot and system partition to recovery your system in the event of system failure.

Besides, if your system is Windows Vista, 7, 8, 10, Server 2008, or 2012, you could use wbadmin command to create a system state backup for your system:

Wbadmin start systemstatebackup –backupTarget:f:

The command means backup a system state backup to the F drive.

However, you cannot restore files from the command line using the ntbackup command.

Windows Server 2003 Backup Software - Vssadmin

Vssadmin will help you to create a shadow copy for the ForVolumeSpec, the syntax is:

vssadmin create shadow /for=ForVolumeSpec [/AutoRetry=MaxRetryMinutes]

For example, create a shadow copy of the C drive:

vssadmin create shadow /for=C:

Vssadmin Create Shadow For C Drive

Best Backup Software for Windows 2003 Server

In addition to Windows built-in backup utility, you could try more professional and flexible Windows backup software - AOMEI Backupper Server, which is available for Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10/11, and Server 2003, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2019, 2022 (including R2), SBS 2003, 2008, 2011. AOMEI Backupper Server offers you plenty of powerful features:

  • Various backup types: it enables you to do system backup, disk backup, file backup, even full backup, incremental or differential backup. Scheduling a backup is also supported.
  • Acclaimed clone features: it can help you to migrate Windows operating system, program settings, system files and personal files safely to another location, etc.

Please download AOMEI Backupper Server 30-day free trial first before the following steps.

Download Free Trial Windows PCs & Servers
Secure Download

Here we will show you how to backup Windows Server 2003 system:

1. Click Backup -> System Backup after executing AOMEI Backupper. 

System Backup

2. Select a destination location to save the Windows Server 2003 system backup file (suffix with .adi). 

Select Backup Destination

★ Tip: the system partition or boot partition associated with system/boot files will be selected automatically. No manual operation required.

3. Press Start Backup button to backup Windows Server 2003 system partition and boot partition. 

Start Backup

There are some powerful settings for you to configure (Optional):

1. Options: modify the backup file, express, split, comment backup images, enable email notification, etc.

2. There are multiple options for you provided in Schedule:

  • Daily/Weekly/Monthly: You could run this backup base on daily, weekly, monthly to automatically backup instead of manually.

  • Event Triggers:  Choose one of the following 4 events to trigger the backup task as you wish: User logon, User logoff, System startup, System shutdown.

  • USB plug in: It will automatically backup data on USB flash drive or backup to USB Once detecting the USB device of the task is plugged into the computer.

Schedule Settings General

3. The Scheme settings offer different options to meet your varies demends: Full Backup Scheme, Incremental Backup Scheme, Differential Backup Scheme, Space Management Scheme, Other Backup Scheme. To enable scheme to delete old backup images automatically, click Scheme -> Enable Backup Scheme, choose a backup scheme, and specify the number of backups to retain, then hit OK, that's done. Please refer to the backup scheme for more details about the retention policy.


It’s highly recommended to backup the Windows Server 2003 system files to external storage device, like USB flash drive, external hard drive, CD/DVD, NAS, network share, even the clouds. You could restore Windows Server 2003 if the system fail to boot via the bootable media created by AOMEI Backupper. 

Moreover, you could try Real-time Sync to sync files in real time between Windows Servers. It's especially useful to make everything stay up to date.

Easiest Backup Software for Windows Server 2003

Except for AOMEI Backupper Server, you still can use one key recovery software - AOMEI OneKey Recovery Technician to backup system for server 2003. Not limited  to this, you still can use it on unlimited PCs and servers (all edition are supported). The biggest advantages of this software is that it's safer and you don't need to create system image as well as bootable media one by one. 

By using it, you can choose to backup system to AOMEI recovery partition or other location, external hard drive, for example. The first one is the recommended option, which will create a new recovery partition on the system disk but not specify a drive letter. Thus, you don't need to worry about them.

And during the backup process, it will add a boot menu of this software on your computer and allows you to access it at the next system startup or using a specific key, F11 or A, for example.

Download it to have a try right now! 

Download Demo Server 2003/2008/2012/2016/2019/2022
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Step 1.  Launch one key recovery software AOMEI OneKey Recovery, click OneKey System Backup.

OKR Backup

Step 2. Tick Backup system to AOMEI OneKey Recovery Partition and click Next. This option will create a real partition but not specify drive letter to store image file, which can greatly avoid  any unwanted deletion.

Backup System to AOMEI OneKey Recovery Partition

✎ Notes:

  • If you want to set compression level or password for the backup image, click Backup Options at the lower location.
  • If you want to backup system to other location, select the second option.  

Step 3. Select a partition on the disk and click Start Backup, it will create a recovery partition at the right side later. 

Select Partition


Compared with the backup freeware for Windows Server 2003, AOMEI Backupper is more powerful and flexible to use. It allows you to restore backup image to other computers, even to dissimilar hardware computer, and it provides advanced tools, like PXE boot tool, etc. And among the five backup software, AOMEI OneKey Recovery is the easiest one, which will create backup and bootable media simultaneously.

Ivy · Editor
Ivy is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore,hard disk & partitions management and cloud files transfer and so on for AOMEI. She is an outgoing girl and enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She usually hangs out with friends at her leisure time.