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How to execute differential System State backups on Windows 2008 using the Online Backup Software

This article explains how to backup and restore system state on Windows 2008 differentially (Differential backup contains all files changed since the last full backup).

To configure a backup:

Step 1: Install Server backup features, including command-line tools; you can consult the following manual for more information.

Step 2: Ensure you have an additional storage volume available with at least 30 GB of data capacity

Step 3: Create a new file (e.g. in notepad) ’systemstatebackup.bat’ containing the script which is enclosed at the bottom of this article

Step 4: Change the tDrive volume to the appropriate volume for the system state backups

Step 5: Plan the ’systemstatebackup.bat’ in the Windows Task Scheduler to run daily

Step 6: Test the scheduled script

Step 7: Create a new backup task in the Online Backup Client

Step 8: Select the ’WindowsImageBackup’ folder on the volume on which the system state backups are stored

Step 9: Configure the task and save it

The task will now upload the system state backups according to the task schedule.
Beware that the initial backup can be up to 4 GB’s large, while differentials will be between 80 and 400 MBs.

To execute a restore:

Step 1: Restore all data in the ’WindowsImageBackup’ folder using the Online Backup Client

Step 2: Open the most recently timestamped subfolder of the ’WindowsImageBackup%COMPUTERNAME%SystemStateBackup’ folder

Step 3: Open the ’CatalogCopy’ file situated in notepad

Step 4: Find the GUID (separated by spaces) located next to the ’ ? V o l u m e {’ text

Step 5: Copy the GUID and remove all spaces

Step 6: Rename the merge.file to ’GUID’.vhd

Step 7: Move the file to its original location, being the most recently timestamped subfolder of the ’WindowsImageBackup%COMPUTERNAME%SystemStateBackup’ folder

Step 8: Run ’wbadmin get versions’ to obtain the version number of system state backup to recover

Step 9: Run ’wbadmin start systemstaterecovery -version:[yourversion]’ to start the full recovery

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