Tip: Use the Wbadmin Backup Command Line Utility in Windows Server 2008

Wbadmin is the command-line counterpart to Windows Server Backup. You use Wbadmin to manage all aspects of backup configuration that you would otherwise manage in Windows Server Backup. This means that you can typically use either tool to manage backup and recovery.

After you’ve installed the Backup Command-Line Tools feature, you can use Wbadmin to manage backup and recovery. Wbadmin is located in the %SystemRoot%\System32\ directory. As this directory is in your command path by default, you do not need to add this directory to your command path.

Tips RSS Feed

Subscribe to the TechNet Magazine Tips RSS feed.

You can run Wbadmin by following these steps:
1. Click Start, click All Programs, and then click Accessories to open the Accessories menu.
2. Start an elevated command prompt by right-clicking Command Prompt and then selecting Run As Administrator.
3. In the Command Prompt window, enter the necessary command text or run a script that invokes Wbadmin.

Wbadmin has a number of associated commands:
DELETE SYSTEMSTATEBACKUP Deletes the system state backup or backups from a specified location.
DISABLE BACKUP Disables scheduled daily backups so that they no longer run.
ENABLE BACKUP Enables or modifies a scheduled daily backup.
GET DISKS Lists the disks that are currently online for the local computer. Disks are listed by manufacturer name, type, disk number, GUID, total space, used space, and associated volumes. GET ITEMS Lists items contained in a specified backup.
GET STATUS Reports the status of the currently running backup or recovery job.
GET VERSIONS List details about the available backups stored in a specific location, including the backup time and backup destination.
START BACKUP Starts a one-time backup using the specified parameters. If no parameters are passed and scheduled backups are enabled, the backup uses the settings for scheduled backups.
START RECOVERY Initiates a recovery of volumes, applications, or files using the specified parameters.
START SYSTEMSTATEBACKUP Starts a system state backup using the options specified.
START SYSTEMSTATERECOVERY Starts a system state recovery using the specified parameters.
STOP JOB Stops the currently running backup or recovery job. Stopped jobs cannot be restarted from where they were stopped.

When you are working with Wbadmin, you can get help on available commands:
1. To view a list of management commands, type wbadmin /? at the command prompt.
2. To view the syntax for a specific management command, type wbadmin Command /?, where Command is the name of the management command you want to examine, such as wbadmin stop job /?.

When you work with Wbadmin, you’ll find that just about every command accepts parameters and specific parameter values that qualify what you want to work with. To see more clearly how this works, consider the following syntax example:

wbadmin get versions [-backupTarget:{VolumeName | NetworkSharePath}]

The brackets tell you that –backupTarget and –machine are optional. Thus, you could type the following to get information on recoverable backups on the local computer:

wbadmin get versions

You could type the following to get information on recoverable backups for C:

wbadmin get versions -backuptarget:f:

Or you could type the following to get information on recoverable backups for C on Server96:

wbadmin get versions -backuptarget:f: -machine:server96

Many Wbadmin commands use the –backupTarget and –machine parameters. The backup target is the storage location you want to work with, and can be expressed as a local volume name (such as F:) or as a network share path, such as \\FileServer32\backups\Server85. The –machine parameter identifies the computer you want to work with for backup or recovery operations.

From the Microsoft Press book Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant by William R. Stanek.

Looking for More Tips?

For more Windows Server tips, visit the TechNet Magazine Windows Server 2008 Tips page.

For more Tips on other products, visit the TechNet Magazine Tips index.