By Ivy / Last update December 17, 2020


NTBackup in Windows Server 2003 (R2)

NTBackup (included in Windows XP) is the snap-in free backup software for Windows Server 2003 (R2), and it helps you to backup system state, files and folders to tape, ZIP drives, floppy disks, and hard drives. In Windows Vista and later operating system, it has been replaced by Windows Backup and Restore, which use the Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) file format to backup. For Windows Server 2008 and later OS, you could find wbadmin backup command instead of NTBackup.

How to use NTBackup in Windows Server 2003? Please go to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt to use NTBackup command tool. And then to view how to use this tool, input ntbackup /? to see the syntax.

NTBackup Syntax


NTBackup System State Backup

NTBackup supports system state backup, scheduling backups, incremental or differential backup, normal backup, daily backup and so on. Now, we will describe how to backup System state for Windows Server 2003 (R2).

System state backup includs Windows Server 2003 (R2) boot files, system files, registration database, registry, system volume (SYSVOL), files under Windows File Protection, Certificate Services database, Active Directory database, Cluster database information, and IIS Metabase.

Create a system state backup for Windows Server 2003, you could use the command:

NTBackup backup systemstate

For example, create a system state backup job named Backup Job 2 to the file: C:\backup.bkf.

ntbackup backup systemstate /J "Backup Job 2" /F "C:\backup.bkf"

NTBackup System State Backup

  • If you do not specify the other Backup options, ntbackup will use the default values of the Backup Utility for backup type, verification setting, logging level, hardware compression, and any other settings.

  • The system state backup file could not restore your system after the system failure, it’s highly recommended to backup all system and boot partition (including system state backup).


NTBackup Backup Files or Folders

Create a backup of your E drive named Backup Job 1 to the D:\backup.bkf file, you could run the following command:

ntbackup.exe backup E:\ /j "Backup Job 1" /f "C:\Backup.bkf"

NTBackup Backup Files on E Drive


NTBackup Set Advanced Options for Your Backup

Set advanced options for your backup, try the following syntax:

ntbackup backup /V:{yes|no} /HC:{on|off} /SNAP:{on|off}

  • /V: verify the backup data after backing up.

  • /HC: specify whether the hardware compression is used or not.

  • /SNAP: set whether the volume shadow copy is used or not.

For example, to create a backup job named "Backup Job 1" that backs up data on drive E:\ to the file C:\backup.bkf and disable the volume shadow copy, input:

ntbackup backup E:\ /J "Backup Job 1" /F "C:\backup.bkf" /SNAP:off

Disable Shadow Copy For Backup


NTBackup Set Backup Type

To set the backup type for your backup, use the syntax:

ntbackup backup /M {backuptype}

For example, create backup job named Backup Job 1 to backup system state data to the backup file: C:\Backup.bkf

ntbackup backup systemstate /M normal /J "Backup Job 1" /F "C:\backup.bkf"


How to Restore files from NTBackup Command?

You cannot restore files from the command line using the NTBackup command. You could find the .bkf file in File Explorer to restore or open Backup Utility directly to restore:

1. Double click the .bkf file to open Backup or Restore Wizard.

BKF Backup FIle

2. Click Next -> pick Restore files and settings, click Next.

Restore Files And Settings

3. Click + icon to expand the .bkf files created before, choose a .bkf file, expand its data -> Tick the files, folders or drive you want to restore, click Next.

Select Data To Restore

4. Select Finish to start restore data to original location. To restore to other location click Advanced to specify the destination.

Finish Start Restore

You could download NTBackup Restore Utility from Microsoft website to restore backup created by Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 to the computers that running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 (R2).

Before install Windows NT Backup – Restore Utility, you have to turn on or install the Removable Storage Management feature (if the Removable Storage management is disabled, you may get NTSMAPI.dll error).


Better Windows Server 2003 Backup Software - AOMEI Backupper

NTBackup is quite complex for ordinary people, it’s not easy to operate. Is there any easy way to backup and restore your data on the computer, like system files, partitions, program settings, and personal files? The best Windows Server backup software – AOMEI Backupper Server could help you backup, clone data, even real-time sync files for you to protect data. It’s available for Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 and Server 2003, 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2019.

Download Free Trial

Windows PCs and Servers

Secure Download

AOMEI Backupper owns all functions of NTBackup and provides more:
More storage devices supported to save the backup file, like USB flash drive, external hard drive, NAS, network share, even the cloud.
☃ Flexible way to modify backup images. AOMEI Backupper allows you check, split, compress, encrypt, comment backup image, merge backup images, etc.
☃ Restore backup as you want as long as the backup created by AOMEI Backupper. NTBackup is not allowed to restore backup file except for the Backup Utility.
☃ You could customize the number of your backups to retain, and manage disk space via Scheme option.
☃ And more.

3 Steps to Backup Windows Server 2003 (R2) System State

Download AOMEI Backupper Server first, then backup Windows Server 2003 system with 3 steps:

1. Click Backup -> System Backup on the main window.

System Backup

2. Select a destination to backup Windows Server 2003 (R2) system files, boot files, etc.

Select Backup Destination

3. Tap Start Backup to create system backup.

Start Backup

Besides, you could create bootable media to boot your computer if you need to restore system someday when the system failed.



For professionals, NTBackup is a great backup tool to backup Windows Server 2003, Windows XP. If you’re not an expert for computer, you could try the friendly user interface Windows Server backup software – AOMEI Backupper to enjoy more advanced features. Try AOMEI Backupper Technician if you are IT technician.