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.

This entry was posted in Backup, FileStore, Security, Vista, WindowsServer by James. Bookmark the permalink.

About James

I am an Infrastructure Systems Administrator in the Infrastructure Systems Group (ISG) within ISS. We are responsible for a number of the core services which support the IT Infrastructure of the University including Active Directory, Exchange, DNS, Central Filestore, VMware and SQL. I hold number of current Microsoft Certifications and am also a Symantec Certified Specialist (Netbackup)

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