Performing Command Line Backups in Windows Server 2008

by Chris Sanders [Published on 7 April 2010 / Last Updated on 23 June 2009]

Windows Server Backup is fully usable via the command line. Here I will show you how to enable it and some common commands.

Windows Server Backup has advanced quite a bit in Windows Server 2008 and is proving to be a solid backup solution in several types of environments. As expected, Windows Server Backup can be configured and used via the command line through the Wbadmin.exe tool.


The Windows Server Backup tool is not installed by default on Windows Server 2008 systems. In order to install it, you must launch the Add Features Wizard from Server Manager and select both the Windows Server Backup and Command-line Tools options under the Windows Server Backup Features heading. If PowerShell is not already installed, the Add Features Wizard will automatically select and install this when you make your selections.


You can do pretty much everything from the command line version of Windows Server Backup that you can do from the graphical interface. A few common commands include:


Wbadmin start backup – Runs a one time backup

Wbadmin start recovery – Runs a recovery of volumes or files specified

Wbadmin start systemstatebackup – Performs a system state backup


You can view a list of more Wbadmin commands here:

See Also

The Author — Chris Sanders

Chris Sanders is a network security analyst for EWA Government Systems Inc. Chris is the author of the book Practical Packet Analysis as well as several technical articles. His personal website at contains a great deal of information, articles, and guides related to network administration, network security, packet analysis, and general information technology.

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