How to Perform a System State Backup and Restore on Windows Server 2008



This Knowledgebase article details the steps that should be used to backup the System State from the Primary server and restore it to the Secondary server on Windows Server 2008 environments. If performing this procedure on Windows Server 2003, please see Knowledgebase article #1462 - 'How to Backup the System State from the Primary Server and Restore it to the Secondary Server on Windows Server 2000 and 2003.

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The following procedure should be used when the backup of the System State is to be taken from the Primary (active) server and restored to the Secondary (passive) server. If the configuration of the server pair is different, please contact your Neverfail Support Representative.

Note: The backup file at a minimum will be as large as the System Volume and therefore will require at least an equal amount of free disk space. Ensure that sufficient free disk space is available before proceeding.


On the Primary Server:

  1. On the Primary server, open a command prompt by clicking on Start -> Run , typing cmd and clicking on OK .
  2. Run wbadmin start systemstatebackup -backuptarget:Drive_Letter:
    1. If you attempt to perform a System State backup to a volume on which the System State file resides, the following error is displayed in Windows Server 2008:

      ERROR - The location for backup is a critical volume.

      Note: To fix this issue, follow the instructions contained in Microsoft Knowledge Base article .
    2. If you perform the System State backup and store it on a non-critical volume, the backup will complete successfully.
  3. The backup file is created at the following location: <Drive_letter>:\WindowsImageBackup\<ComputerName>\SystemStateBackup\Backup Folder
  4. Copy the entire WindowsImageBackup folder from Primary server to a shared folder on the Secondary server (this is important as wbadmin expects a shared folder as a backup source location).

    Note: If the WindowsImageBackup\<ComputerName>\SystemStateBackup folder also contains backup folders corresponding to old backups, they backups should be excluded from the copy.

On the Secondary Server:

  1. Unplug the Principal (Public) and Neverfail Channel network cables from the Secondary server.
  2. Set the Neverfail Server R2 service to 'Manual' using Windows Service Control Manager.
  3. Run "wbadmin get versions" to get the backup version:

    wbadmin get versions -backupTarget:”\\localhost\share name”.
  4. Perform the System State recovery:

    wbadmin start systemstaterecovery -backupTarget:”\\localhost\share name” -version:<version id>

    For example:  wbadmin start systemstaterecovery -backupTarget:”\\localhost\share name” -version:01/14/2009-12:26
  5. Once the restore is complete, perform a server reboot (multiple reboots might be required).
  6. Verify that the network IP address settings are correct and ensure that the Neverfail Heartbeat packet filter is enabled on the Principal (Public) network adapter and disabled for all channel network adapters.
  7. In case static routes were set up, please check and correct them if necessary according to Knowledgebase article #466 - 'How to create a static route for the Neverfail Channel connection in a WAN environment'.
  8. Launch the 'Configure Server' wizard and select the 'Machine' tab.
  9. Change the 'Identity' to Secondary and the 'Role' to passive.
  10. Select the 'Channel' tab and verify the correct channel IP addresses are displayed.
  11. Select the 'Public' tab and verify the correct Principal (Public) IP addresses are displayed.
  12. Click on Finish .
  13. If in a WAN environment, open a command prompt and navigate to <install_directory>\Neverfail\R2\Bin and run "nfpktfltr getfilter" (the response should be the Secondary server's Principal (Public) IP address). If the response is not the Secondary server's Principal (Public) IP address, run "nfpktfltr setfilter secondaryIP". Confirm the setting was applied by again running the "nfpktfltr getfilter" command.
  14. Reconnect the Principal (Public) and channel cables to the Secondary server.
  15. Set Neverfail Server R2 service to 'Automatic' using Windows Service Control Manager.
  16. Start Neverfail Heartbeat.

Applies To

All Versions

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