- Backing up the System State Data
It is recommended that you perform the procedures of backing up the System State Data
on a regular basis. The simplest method of performing this operation is using the Backup
Wizard. There are two methods of starting the Backup Wizard: you can click the Backup
Wizard button on the Welcome tab of the Backup program main window, or you can
select the Backup Wizard command from the Tools menu. To back up the System State
Data, select the Only back up the System State data option displayed in the second
dialog (Fig. 2.9), then click Next, and follow the instructions provided by the wizard.
Figure 2.9: To backup the System State Data, set the Only back up the System State data
in the second dialog displayed by the Backup Wizard
The same procedure can also be carried out manually. To perform manual backup of the
System State Data, start the Backup program, go to the Backup tab, and select the
System State option (Fig. 2.10). When the user selects the System State option, the right
pane of the Backup window will display the list of files to be included in the backup. As
was mentioned previously, the System State Data set will be different for workstations
and server platforms. As has also already been mentioned, the Backup utility doesn't
allow the user to select options from this list to perform a selective backup-the
checkboxes beside all the right pane options are grayed. Microsoft provides an
explanation for this by stating that all the components included in the System State Data
set are interrelated.
- Figure 2.10: Set the System State checkbox to include the System State data in the
If you need to perform a backup operation, and your computer is equipped with a tape
backup device, select this device from the Backup destination list. Otherwise, select the
File option from this list. If your computer isn't equipped with a tape device, the File
option will always be set by default.
If you need to back up data to a file, specify the file path in the Backup media or file
name field, or click the Browse button to specify the path to the backup file. If you
perform the backup to tape, select the tape to which you need to backup your data. To
specify additional backup options, select the Options command from the Tools menu. To
start the backup procedure, click the Start Backup button. The Backup Job
Information window (Fig. 2.11) will open. Although you cannot perform a selective
backup of the System State Data, you are still able to specify advanced backup options.
To do so, click the Advanced button in the Backup Job Information window to open
the Advanced Backup Options dialog (Fig. 2.12).
Figure 2.11: The Backup Job Information window
- Figure 2.12: The Advanced Backup Options window
The advanced-backup options, along with their brief descriptions, are listed below:
Back up migrated Remote Storage data. If you select this option, the Backup
utility will back up data that has been designated for Remote Storage.
Note You can restore Remote Storage data only to an NTFS volume that is used
with Windows 2000, Windows XP, or any product of the Windows Server
2003 family. Also note that Remote Storage is available only on Server-
Verify data after backup. This option verifies that the backed up data are exactly
the same as the original data. To ensure that you have a correct and usable backup
copy, it is strongly recommended that you select this checkbox, despite the fact
that this can substantially increase the time required to complete the backup
Use hardware compression, if available. This option is useful if you need to
save more data on a tape. Hardware compression is only available for tape
devices. Therefore, if it is grayed, you do not have a tape drive on your computer
or your tape drive cannot compress data.
Automatically backup System Protected Files with the System State. Although
you cannot change the components of the System State that are backed up, you
can choose to include all system-protected files in the backup copy or to exclude
them from the backup operation. By default, this option is enabled, but you can
disable it by clearing this checkbox.
Note The system-protected files only change if you install a service pack or
- application, or upgrade your operating system. Typically, system-protected
files represent a very large portion of System State data-the size of the
default, including the protected files, is about 180 MB. Include these system-
protected files only if new programs have been installed, otherwise a restore
operation causes the new application to fail.
Disable volume shadow copy. This allows you to disable volume-snapshot
technology. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, the volume-snapshot technology
introduced with Windows XP allows the Backup application to run together with
other applications and services. By default, Windows XP and Windows Server
2003 use free disk space on any NTFS volume to store the snapshot data until the
backup is completed. The amount of disk space temporarily consumed depends on
how much file data on the volume has changed during backup. Windows XP and
Windows Server 2003 products use volume-snapshot technology by default, but
you can disable it if you only want to back up a few files or directories.
Note If there is not sufficient disk space in your system for temporary storage of
the snapshot data, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 are unable to
complete a volume snapshot, and Backup skips open files. Thus, you must
provide sufficient disk space to create a snapshot of open files. Also note that
you can't disable volume snapshot when backing up System State Data.
The following information should also be noted when backing up the System State Data:
To back up the System State Data, you need to login to the system as a user with
administrative rights (Administrator or member of the Administrators group) or
backup operator (member of the Backup operators user group).
The Backup utility will allow you to perform the System State Data backup only
for a local system. You can't perform System State Data backup for remote
To ensure that the system starts properly, it is strongly recommended that you also
back up the Boot and System volumes.
Restoring the System State Data
The System State data backup will be very helpful if you need to reinstall the operating
system if it didn't boot.
To restore the System State Data, call up the Backup utility, go to the Restore and
Manage Media tab, and select the System State option from the list of available media
items (Fig. 2.13). The Restore files to combobox allows you to select one of the
- Original location-the files will be restored to their original location.
Alternate location-the files from the backup copy will be restored to a specified
alternative folder. This option allows you to preserve the original folder structure.
Single folder-the files from the backup copy will be restored to a specified
alternative folder without preserving the original folder structure.
Figure 2.13: The Restore and Manage Media tab of the Backup window
Click the Start Restore button, and the Backup utility will restore the System State data
using the options you have specified.
The Help system supplied with the Backup utility provides more detailed information on
the System State Data, as well as step-by-step instructions on performing the backup and
restore operations. All the limitations of the System State Data backup procedure are also
applicable when performing the restore operation. These limitations are as follows:
To perform this operation, you need to have administrator or backup operator
authorization for the local system.
Since all of the components of the System State Data set are interrelated, you can
back up or restore this data only as a whole set.
You can restore the System State Data only in the local system.
Note If you don't specify an alternative folder when restoring the System State Data, the
Backup utility will replace the current System State Data with the files restored
from the backup copy. Note that, because all the components included in the
System State Data set are interdependent, the Backup utility only allows backing up
and restoring this data as a whole set.
However, it is possible to restore the System State Data to an alternative folder. In
this case, Backup will restore only the registry files, the files stored in the
- \SYSVOL directory, cluster database files, and boot files. Active Directory
database, the certificate sever database, and COM+ information will not be restored.
The following fact is important from a registry-backup point of view: when performing
the System State Data backup, the system saves current copies of the registry files in the
%SystemRoot%\repair folder. If the registry hives become corrupted, you can use these
copies to restore the system without performing the procedure of restoring the System
State Data. However, only advanced users should use this method.