Create backups with WBAdmin command

Create backups with WBAdmin command

Generally to create a backup that is capable of performing a bare metal recovery to the same or dissimilar hardware requires a paid third party application per machine or expensive licenses for multiple machines in the same organisation or even more expensive licenses for technicians. However this article shows how you can perform a backup based on the WBAdmin command available in the Windows operating system.

C:\WINDOWS\system32>wbadmin start backup /?
wbadmin 1.0 – Backup command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2013 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

[-backupTarget:{<BackupDestinationVolume> | <TargetNetworkShare>}]
[-vssFull | -vssCopy]

Description:  Creates a backup using specified parameters. If no parameters
are specified and you have created a scheduled daily backup, this command
creates the backup by using the settings for the scheduled backup.

-backupTarget  Specifies the storage location for this backup. Requires a
hard disk drive letter (f:), a volume GUID-based path in the
format of \\?\Volume{GUID}, or a Universal Naming Convention
(UNC) path to a remote shared folder
By default, the backup will be saved at: \\<servername>
Important: If you save a backup to a remote shared folder,
that backup will be overwritten if you use the same folder to
back up the same computer again. In addition, if the backup
operation fails, you may finish with no backup because the
older backup will be overwritten, but the newer backup will
not be usable.
You can avoid this by creating subfolders in the remote shared
folder to organize your backups. If you do this, the
subfolders will need twice the space of the parent folder.

-include       Specifies the comma-delimited list of items to include in the
backup. You can include multiple volumes. Volume paths can be
specified using volume drive letters, volume mount points, or
GUID-based volume names. If you use a GUID-based volume
name, it should be terminated with a backslash (\). You can
use the wildcard character (*) in the file name when
specifying a path to a file. Should be used only when the
-backupTarget parameter is used.

-allCritical   Creates a backup that includes all critical volumes (critical
volumes contain the operating system files and components) in
addition to any other items that you specified with the
-include parameter. This parameter is useful if you are
creating a backup for bare metal recovery or system state
recovery. Should be used only when the -backupTarget
parameter is used.

-user          If the backup is saved to a remote shared folder, specifies
the user name with write permission to the folder.

-password      Specifies the password for the user name that is provided by
the parameter -user.

-noInheritAcl  Applies the access control list (ACL) permissions that
correspond to the credentials specified by -user and
-password to \\<servername>\<sharename>\WindowsImageBackup
\<ComputerBackedUp>\ (the folder that contains the backup).
To access the backup later, you must use these credentials or
be a member of the Administrators group or the Backup
Operators group on the computer with the shared folder.
If -noInheritAcl is not used, the ACL permissions from the
remote shared folder are applied to the
<ComputerBackedUp> folder by default so that anyone with
access to the remote shared folder can access the backup.

-noVerify      Specifies that backups written to removable media (such as a
DVD) are not verified for errors. If you do not use this
parameter, backups saved to removable media are verified for

-vssFull       Performs a full backup using the Volume Shadow Copy Service
(VSS). Each file’s history is updated to reflect that it was
backed up. If this parameter is not used WBADMIN START BACKUP
makes a copy backup, but the history of files being backed up
is not updated.
Caution: Do not use this parameter if you are using a product
other than Windows Server Backup to back up applications that
are on the volumes included in the current backup. Doing so
can potentially break the incremental, differential, or other
type of backups that the other backup product is creating.

-vssCopy       Performs a copy backup using VSS. The history of the files
being backed up is not updated. This is the default value.

-quiet         Runs the command with no prompts to the user.

Example: WBADMIN START BACKUP -backupTarget:f: -include:e:,d:\mountpoint,


IMPORTANT: Wbadmin utility only works with the partitions formatted with NTFS.


wbadmin start backup –backuptarget:F: -allcritical -quiet

The above command will immediately start the backup for all critcal OS partitions to drive f: (remove -quite to be prompted before the backup starts)

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