By Delia / Last update December 3, 2020

Need help: how do I create a restore point in Windows Server 2003?

“I installed some server software in my system on windows server 2003 OS, but it is corrupted. Now I want to restore the OS, to get to the state like a fresh OS copy installed. But I didn't find the restore points anywhere in win2003 like in win xp . So where are the restore points? if there is not, is there anyway to restore the system to get the state as I installed a fresh copy of win 2003 ?”.

Just like the users in above case, many users also have this questions, and for different reasons, they want to create Windows Server 2003 system restore point to restore it to a previous date. But as a matter of fact, system restore point is a feature only available in Windows PCs, such as, Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista, which can take a snapshot for all data (including system files, installed applications, Windows Registry, and system settings) at a particular time.

Fortunately, you can use system state backup in Windows Server 2003 to achieve the same effect. Also, it will be better if you can create a system image backup for Windows Server 2003, which can help you restore computer when the system crashes or hard disk collcapses. And then, I will introduce you two useful ways, namely the built-in "Backup Utility" and the 3rd party server backup software - AOMEI Backupper Server. Please keep reading below to get details.

Alternative Way 1: Create Windows Server 2003(R2) Restore Point with Built-in Backup Utility 

Here you will use the built-in tool "Backup Utility" to create system state backup in Windows Server 2003 (R2), the alternative of Windows Server 2003(R2) restore point. The detailed steps are below.

Note: If you want to back up your files to external storage device, please connect external storage device to your computer first. Otherwise, the system will back up to the local by default

Step 1. Click Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools successively, and then click Backup.

Select backup tool

Step 2. Click Advanced Mode.

Click Advanced Mode

Step 3. Click the Backup tab. Then, click “System State” in the box on the left.

Choose System State

Step 4. Select files, folders, or drives that you want to back up in the box on the right.

Select Backup Files

Step 5. Choose the destination for the backup and then click Start Backup. Then, click "Schedule" in the Backup Job Information window, select a backup frequency, such as, Once, Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and the start time.

Wait untill the backup process finishes, you will see a system image backup in the destination location. But this software only create full system state backup every time, which will take more backup time and disk space, and eventually result in low disk space. And you need to keep your computer on until the backup task is completed if you want to backup system at off-peak hour. 

This is really unbelievable! But it's ok, you could try another server backup software - AOMEI Backupper Server to create a system state backup in server 2003, and then restore system image backup with its restore feature. It has an intuitive interface, so all users even the novices can use this software smoothly. It supports all Windows system, including Windows Server 2003/2008/2011/2012/2016/2019(including the R2 version) and Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista. 

In addition, it allows you to schedule backup system flexibly and manage backup disk space in a professional way. In addition, it is compatible with multiple storagde devices, such as, external hard drive, USB drive, network drive etc. What makes me surpise is that its advanced version - AOMEI Backupper Technician Plus can protect unlimited PCs and servers within one company and deploy system to multiple computers, saving much time and effort. If necessary, you could try this version.

Alternative Way 2: Create System Restore Point in Windows Server 2003 (R2) with AOMEI Backupper Server

To create system restore point in Windows Server 2003(R2) with alternative way, you need to download AOMEI Backupper Server and install it on your computer first. Also, it's necessary to prepare an external drive to store backup image. Please make sure the target disk has enough space to accomodate all the data on the server computer, otherwise the backup will fail.

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Windows Server 2003/2008/2012/2016/2019

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Well then, let's get started to create system image backup in Windows Server 2003 with AOMEI Backupper Server. Also, these steps are applicable to Windows 2008(R2)/2011/2012i(R2)/2016(R2)/2019. 

Step 1. Launch this professional backup software, and select System Backup under the Backup tab.

System Backup

Step 2. The system and boot related partitions have been selected by default. You just need to choose the destination path for your backup.

Select Destination

Step 3. (optional). Click Schedule option on the main page of System Backup. Then, you can choose Daily/Weekly/Monthly, Event rtiggers, USB plug in, Full/Incremental/Differential Backup according to your needs. After that, confirm all options you choose and click Start Backup.

Schedule Settings General

You will have a system image backup that can be used to restore Windows Server 2003 to a previous date. Also, it's suggested to create a bootable media for your server computer, so you can restore it when it's unbootable.


Though Windows Server 2003 system restore point does not exist, you still can create system state backup with built-in Backup Utility or backup system with a professional server backup software - AOMEI Backupper Server. Both of them can achieve the same effect as restore point, and system image backup still works when your computer is not bootable.

Also, you can use AOMEI Backupper Server to backup disk/partition/files per your needs. And schedule backup and backup scheme are also supported. It can be a good helper to help you protect data and system in Windows Server 2003 and other systems. Don't hesitate, download this software to have a try.