Q: How can I perform a system state backup of my Windows Server 2008 system from the command line?

A: To perform a system state backup of a Windows 2008 server from the command line, use Wbadmin.exe. Wbadmin is the command-line utility that comes with the new Windows Server Backup. The Windows Server BackUp program and associated command line tool aren't installed by default in Server 2008, but you can easily add them using the Add Features Wizard that is accessible from the Server Manager.

In the Add Features Wizard, you must select both the “Windows Server Backup” and “Command-line Tools” options under the Windows Server Backup Features, as shown here. The backup command-line tools also require the installation and presence of Windows PowerShell on your server—Server Manager will automatically detect and select Windows PowerShell as a required feature when you install the backup command-line tools.

Figure 1: The Add Features Wizard to install the Windows Server Backup tool and associated command-line tool on a Windows 2008 server. Click to expand.

To create a system state backup and save it to a local drive, use the following command, where d is the drive's letter.

Wbadmin start systemstatebackup –backupTarget:d:

For more information about Wbadmin, see the Microsoft Technet command reference.

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