Scheduling a Backup in Windows Server 2008 using WBADMIN

The Windows Server Backup feature provides a basic backup and recovery solution for computers running the Windows Server 2008 operating system and offers significant improvements over its predecessor. Windows Server Backup introduces new backup and recovery technology and replaces the previous Windows Backup (Ntbackup.exe) feature that was available with earlier versions of the Windows operating system.

One or two people have asked recently how to schedule a backup using the Windows Server Backup feature in Windows Server 2008. This is certainly a legitimate question as the GUI tools provides little or no flexibility is choosing which volumes to backup and to where. As such we need to look to the command line for WBADMIN

In order to schedule the task you will either need a dedicated hard disk and it’s drive letter or a UNC path to a share.

The following command will backup drives H, I and Z to a share called weekly backup on server1.

wbadmin start backup -backupTarget:\\server1\weeklybackup -include:H:,I:,Z:: -quiet

The command can be broken down in to 4 parts:

Wbadmin start backup

Runs a one-time backup. If used with no parameters, uses the settings from the daily backup schedule.


Specifies the destination to which the backups will be stored.


This switch allows you to specify which volumes you would like to backup.


Supresses any prompts to the user allowing you to run the command unattended as a the task.


If you save a backup to a remote shared folder, that backup will be overwritten if you use the same folder to back up the same computer again. In addition, if the backup operation fails, you may end up with no backup because the older backup will be overwritten, but the newer backup will not be usable. You can avoid this by creating subfolders in the remote shared folder to organize your backups. If you do this, the subfolders will need twice the space as the parent folder.

VBUG Newcastle’s first IT Pro event

On Tuesday, the University hosted the first IT Pro event held by VBUG Newcastle. Going forward the aim is to host developer and sys admin events in alternate months. For the first set of sys admin content, I did a presentation entitled “PowerShell: 0-60 in One Evening”, which you can find the details of at:

For a first event of a brand new group, I think a turnout in the high teens was ok, and from a speaker’s perspective the level of interaction was good, but we’d love to see double that number next time. We’ve got a great speaker planned for the May event and I’ll post the details here as soon as everything is confirmed.

Free PowerShell event: 24th March

I’ve been working with Andrew Westgarth, who runs the VBUG Newcastle events, to try to provide IT Pro (i.e. sys admin) content as well as their traditional developer events. The idea is that we’ll run free developer and IT Pro events alternate months on the Newcastle University campus.

The first of the IT Pro events will be held on the 24th March in Claremont Tower and I will be presenting “Windows PowerShell: 0-60 in One Evening”. The presentation will highlight a number of free tools to help you get up to speed quickly with PowerShell.

All the details are on the VBUG site at:

If you’d like to come along, please book your free place (just so we don’t run short of refreshments).

Which Operating Systems are we using at Newcastle?

I thought it would be interesting to see where things stand with Operating System usage in the Active Directory. These figures are based on 10984 active computer objects.

Windows Clients: 10398

Windows Clients

Windows Vista: 472
Windows XP: 9894
Windows 2000: 32

Windows Server: 392

Windows Server

Windows Server 2008: 65
Windows Server 2003: 323
Windows Server 2000: 4

Other: 192


Windows 7 Ultimate: 9
No Operating System: 125
Mac OS X: 43
Samba: 17