In Windows Server 2008 R2 you can use the Recovery Wizard in Windows Server Backup to recover the system state. And in both Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2, you can you the Wbadmin command to recover the system state. For more information about choosing what to include in a backup, see Backing Up Your Server.

Before you begin, you should make sure at least one backup of the system state exists on a local disk or in a remote shared folder, and that the disk is attached and online or that the shared folder is available. For instructions for creating a backup for system state recovery, see Configuring Automatic Backups, Performing a Manual Backup, and Create Backups of the System State Using a Command Line.

To recover the system state using the Windows Server Backup user interface
  1. From the Start menu, click Administrative Tools, and then click Windows Server Backup.

  2. In the Actions pane of the snap-in default page, under Windows Server Backup, click Recover. This opens the Recovery Wizard.

  3. On the Getting Started page, do one of the following and then click Next:

    • Click This server.

    • Click Another server. On the Specify Location Type page, do one of the following and then click Next:

      • Click Local drives. On the Select Backup Location page, select the volume or drive that contains the backup from the drop-down list. On Select Server, select the server whose data you want to recover.

      • Click Remote shared folder. On the Specify Remote Folder page, type the path to the folder that contains the backup. In the folder, the backup should be stored at \\<RemoteSharedFolder>\WindowsImageBackup\<ComputerName>\<YourBackup>.

  4. On the Select Backup Date page, select the date from the calendar and the time from the drop-down list of the backup that you want to restore from, and then click Next.

  5. On the Select Recovery Type page, click System state, and then click Next.

  6. On the Select Location for System State Recovery page, do one of the following, and then click Next:

    • Click Original location.

    • Click Alternate location. Then, type the path to the location, or click Browse to select it.

  7. On the Confirmation page, review the details, and then click Recover to restore the listed items.

  8. On the Recovery Progress page, you can view the status of the recovery operation and whether or not it was successfully completed. After the operation completes, you must restart your computer.


    System state recovery cannot be stopped once it is started, or the system could become unbootable.

You can use the Wbadmin start systemstaterecovery command to recover the system state for a computer.

To recover the system state by using a command line
  1. To open a command prompt with elevated privileges, click Start, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

  2. At the prompt, type:

    wbadmin start systemstate recovery -version:<VersionIdentifier> -showsummary [-backupTarget:{<BackupDestinationVolume> | <NetworkSharePath>}] [-machine:<BackupMachineName>] [-recoveryTarget:<TargetPathForRecovery>] [-authsysvol] [-autoReboot] [-quiet]

    For example, to run a system state recovery of the backup from 04/30/2005 at 9:00 A.M. that is stored on the remote shared folder \\servername\share for server01, type:

    wbadmin start systemstaterecovery -version:04/30/2005-09:00 -backupTarget:\\servername\share -machine:server01

Additional considerations

  • To recover the system state using Windows Server Backup, you must be a member of the Backup Operators or Administrators group, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority.

  • You can also perform this task remotely for another server using the Connect To Another Computer option in the Windows Server Backup Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in. Make sure that you are a member of the Administrators or Backup Operators group on the remote server. If you are a Backup Operator, ensure that the Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) security settings on the remote computer are set to allow Backup Operators to connect to it.

    You can only use this feature if the local and remote servers are running the same version of Windows—either both running Windows Server 2008 or both running Windows Server 2008 R2. In addition, you cannot use this feature to manage a computer running any version of Windows client operating system.

Additional references