Create a System Image Backup for Windows Server 2011 (2 Ways)

You can create a system image backup in Windows Server 2011 easily with Windows Server Backup and AOMEI Backupper Server. It is the savior of computer failure.


by Lily Updated on January 10, 2024

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Why create a system image backup for Windows Server 2011?

Windows Home Server (WHS) 2011 and Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2011 are very popular because of their good properties. People use Windows server 2011 and store many important data on the hard drive.

However, people still worry about data’s safety. After all, system crashes will bring a lot of troubles like losing data, reinstalling system, and many other problems which can bring damage to your home workstation or your small business. To protect the system from those troubles, the best way is to create a system image backup for Windows Server 2011.

Create A System Image Backup Windows Server 2011

How to create a system image backup for Windows Server 2011

Then, you may wonder how to create a system image backup for Windows Server 2011. You can use built-in  Windows Server Backup or third-party backup software to create one in both WHS 2011 and SBS 2011. And I'll introduce them one by one. Please keep reading below to learn the detailed steps.

Method 1: Create a system iamge backup in Windows Server 2011 with built-in tool

Here you will use the buil-in tool to create a system image backup in Windows Server 2011. Please note that you must be a member of the Backup Operators or Administrators group, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. And this software only backs up volume formatted with NTFS file system.

In addition, this software is not installed by default, you need to open Server Manager, go to Feature > Add Features > Windows Server Backup Features and install it with the on-screen instructions. If it's installed, it will be marked as gray.

Windows Server Backup Install 2011

Then, open the Windows Server Backup and start to backup system in Windows Server 2011. In the Windows Server Backup page, you can see there are two kinds of backup, click “Backup Once...”.

Windows Server Backup

After that, you will be asked to select backup options, items you want to backup, and backup destination. Just do as instructed and click Backup to start system image backup in Windows Server 2011.

It's not difficult to complete the system backup process if you follow the on-screen instructions carefully. To schedule backup Windows Server 2011, click Backup Schedule at the beginning. 

However, when you use the tool to create a system image backup for Windows Server 2011, you may fail with some error code, for example:

  • SBS 2011 backups failing- VSS Error 0x800423F3- Event ID 8230
  • WHS 2011- backup failed, unable to create a volume snapshot

In addition, this tool cannot compress the system image. If the image is too big, it will occupy a large space on the destination place and accelerate the backup disk full issue.

If you want to create a system image backup in Windows Server 2011 (both WHS 2011 and SBS 2011) easily with high success rate, you can choose to use a reliable third-party backup software, here we highly recommend you a server backup software - AOMEI Backupper Server.

Method 2: Backup system in Windows Server 2011 with third-party backup software 

If you are worried about the backup process may fail or the backup image will occupy too much disk space, using a reliable third-party backup software - AOMEI Backupper Server will be much better. Below are the advantages of this software:

High success rate: This software provides two volume shadow copy services, namely, Microsoft VSS and AOMEI backup service, which ensures you always have a high success rate while backing up system in Windows Server 2011.  It is an indispensable feature of backup software.
Disk space saver: You can greatly reduce backup size by different features, such as, Normal or High compression level, Splitting, Intelligent Sector Backup, Incremental Backup, Backup Scheme. Among them, the last one is the most thorough way, it's to delete old backup images regularly.
Greate Compatibility: You can use this software on all the Windows systems, including Windows Server 2003/2008/2011/2012/2016/2019/2022 and Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10/11.

Then, install this software on your server 2011 and create a system image backup with it in simple steps. And it also apply to take image backup of  Windows Server 2012 R2, 2016, 2019, 2022, etc.

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Launch this software, and you can see its deep-blue interface. Click Backup at the left pane, and select System Backup.

System Backup

Then, it will show you the page where you can create a system image backup for SBS 2011. It will select the system partition and files by default, and all you have to do is click the second box, and select a destination partition to store your system image files. You can backup system to new hard drive, USB flash drive, network drive, NAS, etc.

Select Backup Destination

By default, this software will use Normal Compression, Automatic Splitting, Incremental Backup, Intelligent Sector Backup to help you save disk space. If you want it to be much smaller, you can try the following options:

  • Change compression level: Click Options and go to Advanced tab, select High under the Compression section. It requires more backup time. 
  • Customize splitting size: Go to Advanced tab in the Options, and select Custom size under the Splitting section. You can specify any size as expected.
  • Set backup scheme to delete backup files regularly: Click Backup Scheme > Enable Automatic Backup Cleanup, select By quantity, By time, By daily/weekly/monthly, or By space. This feature is helpful if you have set scheduled automatic backup


After that, you can click Start Backup to backup system in Windows Server 2011. 


Creating a system image backup in Windows Server 2011 is necessary to protect your data. You can use both Windows Server Backup and AOMEI Backupper Server. But we strongly recommend you using AOMEI Backupper Server.

It provides you with two VSS backup services, which guarantee the success rate of system backup. And it still can help you resolve disk space usage by compressing image, splitting backup size, backing up only used sectors of file system or changed files, or direct delete backup files to free up space. For advanced users, try AOMEI Backupper TechPlus to protect unlimited PCs or provide billable technical support as a service to unlimited clients.

Lily · Editor
Lily Green joined AOMEI in 2018 and has since become a professional in the areas of data protection and data transfer. She is committed to helping users protect their precious computer data and troubleshoot Windows system errors. She consistently stays vigilant about the latest trends in technology, guaranteeing that the given information aligned with the ongoing advancements in the field.