By Lily / Last update September 22, 2021

About Windows Server Backup in Windows Server 2016

Windows Server Backup (WSB) is built in backup utility in Windows Server 2016/2012 R2/2012/2008 R2/2008. It has a series of wizards that help you create basic backups and perform recovery tasks whenever you need. The new Windows Server 2016 has the potential to be problematic, so it is rather crucial for creating a system image backup for Windows Server 2016.

You can use WSB to perform a full server backup (including all volumes), specific volumes/partitions backup, system state backup, specific files or folders backup. Since Windows Server 2012, WSB supports 4K sector advanced format hard drive and partitions larger than 2TB, so you can create a full server backup more easily.

With Windows Server backup images, if something bad like hard disk failures or system crushes happens, you can run a Windows Server bare metal recovery to make everything back on track without worrying about data loss.

Windows Server Backup 2016 Step by Step Guide

Please install Windows Server Backup before creating Windows Server 2016 image backup:

  • Go to Server Manager > Role-based or Feature based installation > Server.

  • Under the Features wizard, check Windows Server Backup feature and click Install.

  • When you complete the installation, which won’t take long, you can click Start, Administrative Tools, and then select Windows Server Backup.

Now, here are detailed steps on how to use Windows Server Backup to backup Windows Server 2016.

1. Under Actions tab, click Backup Once for a one time backup job, and click Next to continue. If you want to create a scheduled backup, click Backup Schedule instead.

Windows Server Backup

2. Check Custom for backup configuration and click Next.

3. Click Add Items option. In the next screen, check Bare metal recovery, which will automatically check the required items for bare metal recovery, and click OK.

Select Item for Backup

4. Specify destination location to save the Windows Server 2016 system backup, you can choose the local drives or remote shared folder.

5. Click Backup to create system image backup for Windows Server 2016.


It will take a long while for the Windows Server image backup to complete. Once the backup is done, you have to specify the destination to another location because new backup will overwrite the previous one if you store the Windows Server 2016 system backup to NAS or network shared folder.

If you created a scheduled backup task, and Windows Server Backup will automatically delete old backup images to free up space if the target storage location is full. However, you might get the Windows Server Backup backup failed and not deleting old backups due to the Windows Server Backup could not shrink the storage space of shadow copies to 1/8 below the target volume size.

What should you do to create more Windows Server image backups? It’s time to look for other powerful Windows Server backup software.

Windows Server Backup Alternative - AOMEI Backupper

Powerful Windows Server backup software - AOMEI Backupper Server allows you to create system image backup for Windows Server 2016 with only a few mouse-clicking. It's a copy of your system partition, including the operating system, installed program, saved data, etc.

  • You are allowed to backup system image in full, incremental or differential backup.
  • You could store backups in local disk, external hard disk, USB drive, CD/DVD, network or NAS, clouds.
  • It allows you to schedule automatic backup in Windows Server. You can also set up the number of backup versions you want to keep and mange storage space via the Scheme feature. 
  • It supports both Windows Server and PC operating systems, including Server 2019/2016/2012 and Windows 11/10/8/7. It also supports various file system like FAT32, FAT16, EXT2, EXT3 and NTFS, etc.

With its intuitive main interface, you can easily backup Windows Server 2016 like an expert. Please download and install the 30-day free trial and have a try. 

Download Free Trial Server 2008/2012/2016/2019
Secure Download

More Advanced Way to Backup Windows Server 2016

Now, we will backup Windows Server 2016 to external hard drive, and here is the step-by-step guide:

1. Launch the Windows Server backup software - AOMEI Backupper, connect the external storage and make it can be detected.

2. Under Backup tab, select System Backup for Windows Server 2016 OS backup.

System Backup

3. Choose the external hard drive as the destination to save the Windows Server 2016 image backup.

Select Path

★ Tip: The program will automatically select the system partitions by default.

4. Click Schedule to set up the backup intervals. Click Scheme to delete old images automatically when meet the requirements. Then, press Start Backup to create a system image backup for Windows Server 2016.

Start Backup

There are some details about Schedule, Scheme and Options before imaging Windows Server 2016:
1. Options allows you to comment on the backup task, encrypt, split and compress the server 2016 backup file, enable email or SMS notification, use VSS, etc.
2. Schedule provides you with five modes: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers, USB plug in and three backup types: full, incremental and differential backup.
> Event triggers allows you trigger the backup task via the four events: User logon, User logoff, System startup, System shutdown.
> And the USB plug in is capable of backup Windows Server 2016 automatically when the related USB is plugged in.
> Incremental and differential backup will backup the changed part since the last incremental backup or full backup.
3. Scheme has the ability to automatically delete old backup images when the backups over the retain number that you specified before to avoid the backup disk full error.

Backup Scheme

Bonus tip: one key system backup & recovery in Windows Server

If you want one key system backup & recovery solution for Windows Server 2019/2016/2012, etc., specialized onekey recovery software - AOMEI OneKey Recovery can meet your demand. It enables you to create a custom recovery partition to save the image file, and you can launch the system restore process by pressing "F11" or "A" during computer startup.

OneKey System Backup

To sum up

In a short while, AOMEI Backupper will create a system image backup in Windows Server 2016 for you. Once the backup task is finished, you can use it to restore to dissimilar hardware or identical hardware Server. With the ability to create bootable rescue media or AOMEI PXE Tool, you can easily restore system state backup for Windows Server 2016 even when it is unable to boot.

To protect unlimited PCs and servers within your company, you may choose AOMEI Backupper Technician Plus. It offers unlimited billable technical services to clients. It also enables you to copy installation directory for portable version creation.