Recover Applications and Data

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

You can use the Recovery Wizard in Windows Server Backup to recover applications and related data from a backup. To do this, the application must contain a Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) writer so that it can register with Windows Server Backup, and the application and VSS writer must be running at the time the backup is created. For instructions to register an application with Windows Server Backup, see For instructions for working with VSS, see

Before you begin, you should:

  • Make sure that the computer that you are recovering files to is running Windows Server 2008.

  • Make sure at least one backup of the application exists on an external disk or in a remote shared folder, and that the disk is attached and online or that the shared folder is available.

  • Make sure the external disk or shared folder that is hosting the backup is online and available to the server.


You can also use the Wbadmin start recovery command to perform this task. For examples and syntax for this command, see

To recover an application

  1. From the Start menu, click Administrative Tools, and then click Windows Server Backup.

  2. In the Actions pane of the snap-in default page, under Windows Server Backup, click Recover. This opens the Recovery Wizard.

  3. On the Getting started page, specify whether you will recover the application from backups run on this computer or another computer, and then click Next.

  4. If you are recovering applications from backups stored on another computer, do the following, and then click Next:

    1. On the Specify location type page, specify whether the backup that you want to restore from is on a local drive or a remote shared folder.

    2. If you are recovering from a local drive, on the Select backup location page, select the location of the backup from the drop-down list. If you are recovering from a remote shared folder, on the Specify remote folder page, type the path to the folder that contains the backup. In the folder, the backup should be stored at \\<RemoteSharedFolder>\WindowsImageBackup\<ComputerName>\<YourBackup>.

  5. If you are recovering from this computer, on the Select backup location page, select the location of the backup from the drop-down list, and then click Next.

  6. On the Select backup date page, select the date from the calendar and the time from the drop-down list of the backup that you want to restore from, then click Next.

  7. On the Select recovery type page, click Applications, and then click Next.

  8. On the Select application page, under Applications, click the application that you want to recover. If the backup that you are using is the most recent and the application you are recovering supports a "roll-forward" of the application database, you will see a check box labeled Do not perform a roll-forward recovery of the application databases. Select this check box if you want to prevent Windows Server Backup from rolling forward the application database that is currently on your server. Click Next.

  9. On the Specify recovery options page, under Recovery destination, do one of the following, and then click Next:

    1. Click Recover to original location.

    2. Click Recover to another location. Then, type the path to the location, or click Browse to select it.


You can copy an application to a different location, but you cannot recover an application to a different location or computer of a different name.

  1. On the Confirmation page, review the details, and then click Recover to restore the listed items.

  2. On the Recovery progress page, you can view the status of the recovery operation and whether or not it was successfully completed.

Additional considerations

  • To recover applications from a backup using Windows Server Backup, you must be a member of the Backup Operators or Administrators group, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. As a security best practice, consider using Run as to perform this procedure.

  • If you are using BitLocker Drive Encryption to protect your server and you need to perform a system recovery, make sure to reapply BitLocker Drive Encryption. This will not happen automatically—it must be enabled explicitly. For instructions, see the Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption Step-by-Step Guide (

Additional references