Carbonite Support > Windows System State Backup

Windows System State Backup


  • This article is for Windows only

What types of files does a Windows System State Backup protect?


Windows System State refers to a collection of several key operating system elements and their files. Backing up the Windows System State is crucial for a successful disaster recovery strategy. Carbonite Safe Server Backup (CSSB) can back up the Windows System State of all supported Windows platforms. Backup of Windows System State is always performed as a full backup.

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Contents of a Windows System State Backup

Carbonite Safe Server Backup performs VSS based backup of Boot files, System files, IIS, COM+ database, Registry, Active Directory and Certificate Server.

  • Boot Files:
    • For Windows versions older than Vista: SystemDrive\NTDETECT.COM, SystemDrive\ntldr, SystemDrive\boot.ini (SystemDrive is usually C:).
    • For Windows Vista and newer: SystemRoot\boot directory (SystemRoot is usually C:\Windows)
  • Catalog Files: SystemRoot\System32\CatRoot.
  • MachineKeys Files: SystemRoot\System32\Microsoft\Protect* and AllUsersProfile\ApplicationData\Microsoft\Crypto\RSA\MachineKeys*, where AllUsersProfile is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users.
  • Performance Counters: perf*.dat and perf*.bak files in C:\Windows\System32 on all Windows versions.
  • WFP Files: All dll and exe files that come under Windows File Protection (WFP). Usually the dll files reside in C:\windows\system32.
  • IIS Metadata File: If IIS is installed (applicable to all Windows versions).
  • Certificate Database (Applicable to only Windows 2003 server that are Certificate Servers): Files in C:\Windows\System32\certsrv.
  • COM+ registration database.
  • Registry: System, default, SAM, Security and Software files in SystemRoot\System32\config and additional Components and Schema files in Vista.
  • Active Directory: If Active Directory is installed, backups include the database, log files, and Group Policy Objects (GPOs).

Requirements for Backing Up Windows State

  • Please check the operating system and service pack requirements as mentioned in the System Requirements article.
  • The Volume Shadow Copy Service must be enabled. Please refer to the Other Requirements section of the System Requirements article.
  • System state backups of a Windows Domain controller that holds the Active Directory Certificate Services role may encounter a System state writer missing error. Refer to this Microsoft article to resolve the problem.
  • System State backups should not be run at the same time as Microsoft SQL Server backups.
  • All local volumes attached to the system must be of the NTFS or ReFS file system. If a local volume is of any other file system, the backup will fail.