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Running NTBackup from the Command Line

When you create a scheduled NTBackup job, it creates a scheduled task that contains the Ntbackup command. You can view all the available command-line options for the Ntbackup command by opening the command-shell window and entering

ntbackup /?

at the command prompt, then pressing Enter. Most of the Ntbackup command's options are self-explanatory, and it's easy to find their corresponding options in the Backup Wizard. However, several command-line options merit an explanation.

In the /j JobName option, JobName corresponds to the job name you'd specify when you use NTBackup's built-in scheduling feature to create a schedule for a job. This name is also used in the Backup Reports window.

In the /d SetDescription and /n MediaName options, SetDescription and MediaName correspond to the Backup label and Media label text boxes, respectively, in the Backup Wizard's Backup Label page. If you're scheduling a backup job that overwrites a tape (i.e., you're not using the /a option) and you don't specify the /n option, NTBackup will label the tape with the date and time when the job started.

If you create a scheduled job that uses a prepared tape, the Ntbackup command includes the /g GUIDName option. A globally unique identifier (GUID) is a statistically unique 32-bit number that identifies each tape in the Removable Storage database. In the Removable Storage database, an allocated tape can have several GUIDs. The /g option requires the logical media GUID for the allocated side of the tape. If the specified tape isn't in the drive when the job starts, the backup will fail.

If you decide to manually create your own scheduled backup jobs, you can use the /t TapeName option to specify a named tape. The tape name (i.e., TapeName) you specify with the /t option must correspond to the Info field on the tape's allocated side. To find out this name, open the Removable Storage console, double-click the tape, and select the Side tab. As with the /g option, the specified tape must be in the drive at the time the scheduled job runs.

For networks that use Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server and later, you can back up Exchange's information store by using the /is ServerName option, where ServerName is the name of the Exchange server. Note that to back up a remote Exchange server's information store, you either need to install Exchange System Manager (ESM) on the system running NTBackup or follow the instructions in the Microsoft article "XADM: How to Use NTBackup from a Non-Exchange 2000 Computer" ( Also note that if you're running Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003, there's a problem you need to know about. If you try to back up both the system state and Exchange data in the same job, the backup will fail. To work around the problem, you can use separate backup operations to back up the system state and Exchange data or you can move the Exchange databases to a different drive. For more information about this problem, see the Microsoft articles "Backup Operation Fails When You Back Up Exchange Server 2003 Databases and System State Information at the Same Time" ( and "Backup of the Exchange Server 2003 Information Store and the Windows Server 2003 system state Data Does Not Complete Successfully and Event ID 8019 Is Logged"(

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