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Restoring System State in Windows 2008, Windows 2008 R2 (using a Windows Image Backup)

Article ID: 302
Last updated: 29 Sep, 2015


  • Using Windows Image Backup is limited to the ESE Backup Client. To perform a System State recovery using the SE Backup Client with System State (using WSB) and System State (using Wbadmin) plug-ins, see FAQ article 152.
  • The following steps are for restoring Windows 2008 using local account authentication . If you use Active Directory, you will need to enter Directory Services Restore Mode to restore the System State. Please see FAQ article 303 if this is the case.

To perform the System State recovery:

1)    Install Windows 2008 on your recovery machine.
2)    Install Attix5 Pro V8 ESE.
3)    Reconnect to your Backup Account using the Backup Client.
4)    To restore from the Windows Image Backup, the Windows Backup features are required. In the Add Features Wizard, ensure that Windows PowerShell, Windows Server Backup and Command-line Tools are checked, and complete the process.

5)    Select the System State data to restore. This will appear in the root of a volume as “WindowsImageBackup”.
6)    Restore the data to its original location, or other volume root location (e.g. if it was originally on Z:\WindowsImageBackup, restoring to E:\ is fine).
Note: If restoring to a location different to what was used during backup, the original Dump destination will be name of the folder on the new drive. For example: Dump destination volume “Z:” restored to volume “E:” will result in “E:\Z_\WindowsImageBackup”. After restoring, the WIB folder needs to be moved to the root of the restore location. For example: “E:\WindowsImageBackup”

7)    When the restore of the WindowsImageBackup folder is complete, open a Command Prompt window with adminstrative privileges.

8)    Determine the correct version name of the backup to be restored by listing the versions contained in the backup. Open a Command Prompt window and run the following command:

wbadmin get versions -backupTarget:E:

Where "backupTarget" is the drive letter containing the WindowsImageBackup folder.


9)    Switch to the drive containing the WindowsImageBackup folder (in this example, the E: drive). Run the following command with the version identifier from the previous step:

wbadmin start systemstaterecovery -version:03/16/2010-17:30 -backupTarget:E:

Where "backupTarget" is the drive letter containing the WindowsImageBackup folder and "versions" is for the version identifier.


10)    Confirm that you wish to start the restore process by pressing Y.


11)    System State restore may advise you that you are not restoring to the original machine. Press Y to continue.


12)    The WBadmin System State restore process may take several moments. When it completes, it will advise you to restart. Restart the machine.

13)    Log in to the machine as Administrator using the original credentials of the backed-up machine. If you are prompted to press Enter to continue the restore, do so.
14)    System State restore has now completed. 

At this point, if there are additional features that need to be restored (for example user directories) you should do so now. Trying to use features whilst files are absent may cause errors to be seen in the event logs, and may impact functionality.

Reference details on Windows Server Backup System State Recovery can be found in this Technet article:

Article ID: 302
Last updated: 29 Sep, 2015
Revision: 7
Views: 3229
Comments: 0
Posted: 25 Feb, 2015 by Du Plessis S.
Updated: 29 Sep, 2015 by Du Plessis S.
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