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Backing Up System State Data

System state data is comprised of the following files:

  • Boot files, including the system files, and all files protected by Windows File Protection (WFP).

  • Active Directory (on a domain controller only).

  • Sysvol (on a domain controller only).

  • Certificate Services (on certification authority only).

  • Cluster database (on a cluster node only).

  • The registry.

  • Performance counter configuration information.

  • Component Services Class registration database.

The system state data can be backed up in any order. Restoration of the system state replaces boot files first and commits the system hive of the registry as a final step in the process.

System state backup and restore operations include all system state data: you cannot choose to backup or restore individual components due to dependencies among the system state components. However, you can restore system state data to an alternate location in which only the registry files, Sysvol directory files, and system boot files are restored. The Active Directory database, Certificate Services database, and Component Services Class Registration database are not restored to the alternate location.

Although you cannot change which components of the system state are backed up, you can back up all protected system files with the system state data by setting advanced backup options.

To set advanced backup options

  1. In the Backup dialog box, click the Backup tab, and then select the files and folders that you want to back up.

  2. Click Start Backup .

  3. In the Backup Job Information dialog box, click Advanced .

  4. Set the advanced backup options that you want, and then click OK .

The advanced backup options are described in Table 12.2.

Table 12.2 Advanced Backup Options



Back up data that is in Remote Storage

Backs up data that has been designated for Remote Storage. You can restore Remote Storage data only to an NTFS volume that is used with Windows 2000.

Verify data after backup

Verifies that the backed up data is exactly the same as the original data. This could substantially increase the time it takes to perform a backup.

If possible, compress the backup data to save space

Compresses the data you are backing up so you can save more data on a tape. If this option is disabled, you do not have a tape drive on your computer or your tape drive cannot compress data.

Automatically back up system protected files with the system state

Backs up all of the system files that are in your %SystemRoot% directory in addition to the boot files that are included with the system state data. Substantially increase the size of your backup job.



If you have more than one domain controller in your organization, and Active Directory is replicated to any of these other servers, you might have to authoritatively restore any Active Directory data that you want to restore. For more information about authoritative restores, see the Microsoft  Windows  2000 Server Resource Kit Distributed Systems Guide .

To back up system state data

  1. Start Backup.

  2. Click the Backup tab, and then select the System State check box. 
    This backs up the system state data along with any other data that you have selected for the current backup operation.

Keep the following in mind when you are backing up system state data:

  • You must be an administrator or a backup operator to back up files and folders.

  • You can only back up the system state data on a local computer. You cannot back up the system state data on a remote computer.

  • You can also use the Backup wizard to back up system state data.

If you are backing up the system state data to a tape, and the Backup program indicates that there is no unused media available, you might have to use Removable Storage to add your tape to the Backup media pool. For more information about Removable Storage, see "Data Storage and Management" in this book.