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I am thinking of scripting together a automated backup script which will do a "system state" backup along with the normal data backup.

  1. Backup MBR. (am using a MBR tool called head).
  2. Backup System state by doing a full export of the registry

Do i need to consider something else for a system state backup ?

Any help is appreciated. Thanx in advance.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

From this ServerFault question, a system state backup contains:

  • System Registry
  • COM + Database
  • Certificate Services
  • Active Directory
  • SysVol
  • IIS Metabase

Some of these may not be included if you do not have the specified service installed.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, you may want to consider these easier options of performing a system state backup.

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Hey thanx for the link. will surely give it a try. Does this mean i will be having a full system state backup after this step which i can then apply on a freshly installed OS ? – LatishS Jan 3 '10 at 18:44
Assuming you do not change the hardware, then yes. You don't need to backup the MBR as dentrasi mentioned. – John T Jan 3 '10 at 18:55
kool. was able to successfully try out ntbackup . am hoping this works in service mode as ntbackup opens up a GUI even when invoked from command line. – LatishS Jan 3 '10 at 19:02

As John says, there is more to a system state than just the registry. It would be much simpler just to use ntbackup (which can easily be scripted), and to select the components you want in there than trying to do it manually.

If you're doing a fresh install, you don't need to backup the MBR unless you dual boot.

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Was backing up the MBR to save the partition table info. Not sure if this stored in the ntbackp's backup file. – LatishS Jan 3 '10 at 18:52
If you're doing a fresh install, then that'll create a new partition table, so you don't need a backup of it. The only time you would need a backed up partition table is if you get corruption in that sector of the disk. Doing a reinstall eliminates any need for that kind of backup. – Dentrasi Jan 3 '10 at 21:07

you'll need much more than the MBR and the registry for a "system state" backup.

system files might get corruped and or infected. in this case, restoring only the registry or the master boot record won't do you much good.

you may revise your backup strategy, an 'automated' backup for the entire system bears the risk of trashing a perfectly good backup with infected or corruped files.

my recommendation: EASEUS Todo Backup is a FREE data backup software and disaster recovery solutions help you back up hard disk drive, system, partitions, files, etc.

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if my restore plan is to reinstall the OS from scratch followed by restoring of MBR and registry, wont that work ? just a wild guess... – LatishS Jan 3 '10 at 18:24
not at all, you're likely to break your fresh installation if you do that. – Molly7244 Jan 3 '10 at 18:43

In addition to whatever files or tools you use to back-up your system, always remember to perform regularly a restore from you backed up data. Depending on you costs for downtime, do this once a year, once a quarter, once a month ... whatever makes sense with regards to the costs of downtime. This article (,289483,sid80_gci1034812,00.html) provides a walk-through on how to do the risk analysis.

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