How do I back up Active Directory and the System State?

A. You can use the NT Backup utility to back up Active Directory. AD is part of a machine’s System State.

On Windows 2000 machines, the System State includes the registry, class registration database, and system boot files. On a Win2K server that is a certificate server, the System State also contains the Certificate Services database. On a Win2K machine that is a domain controller (DC), the System State also includes AD and the Sysvol directory.

To use Win2K’s Backup Wizard to back up the System State, perform the following steps.

  1. Start NT Backup.
  2. Click Backup Wizard.
  3. Click Next in the introduction dialog box.
  4. In the dialog box that asks what to back up, select Only back up the Distributed Service Set, and click Next.
  5. Continue the backup process (i.e., select the backup media, etc.).

To manually back up the System State, perform the following steps.

  1. Start NT Backup.
  2. Select the Backup tab.
  3. Select the System State checkbox, as the Screen shows, as well as any other drives.

  4. Click here to view image

  5. Select the backup destination.
  6. Click Start Backup.
  7. Confirm the backup description, and click Start Backup.

To back up only the System State from the command line, enter

ntbackup backup systemstate /f d:\active.bkf

This command is a basic backup to file command. You can use more complex options if you prefer.

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