locked
Scheduled system image backup windows 8.1 RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    in windows 8.1. there is an option to create a system image backup.

    What can be done to configure this as a scheduled job to backup a machine every night as an image?

    Thx

    Sunday, October 27, 2013 6:00 PM

Answers

All replies

  • You can create a scheduled task to run the following commands using WBADMIN:

    wbAdmin start backup -backupTarget:E: -include:C: -allCritical -quiet


    This would backup the C:\ to your E:\ drive.  The -allCritical tells it to backup the critical volumes containing the system state and the -quiet tells it to run without prompting you.  This is run through powershell so when you create your schedule task ensure the "Program/script" section states "powershell" and then the "Add arguments" line states: 


    -command &{wbAdmin start backup -backupTarget:E: -include:C: -allCritical -quiet}

    See this link for more information:  http://blogs.technet.com/b/heyscriptingguy/archive/2011/01/12/use-scheduled-tasks-to-run-powershell-commands-on-windows.aspx


    Be kind and Mark as Answer if I helped.


    Monday, October 28, 2013 2:27 PM
  • Hi Chris,

    thx for the answer.

    For windows 8.1. this is the only option? So no gui-version of Windows Server Backup in windows 8.1 (Enterprise)?

    Thx

    Monday, October 28, 2013 2:30 PM
  • Hi,

    Since MS took away the scheduling feature in System image backup, we can only use script  in the Task Scheduler as Chrise mentioned.

    You can also refer to this article: 

    How to schedule a Windows 8.1 System Image backup (step-by-step)
    http://pureinfotech.com/2013/10/24/schedule-windows-81-system-image-backup/

    This response contains a reference to a third party World Wide Web site. Microsoft is providing this information as a convenience to you. Microsoft does not control these sites and has not tested any software or information found on these sites; therefore, Microsoft cannot make any representations regarding the quality, safety, or suitability of any software or information found there. There are inherent dangers in the use of any software found on the Internet, and Microsoft cautions you to make sure that you completely understand the risk before retrieving any software from the Internet.

    Hope this would be easy understanding. 


    Regards,

    Kate Li

    We are trying to better understand customer views on social support experience, so your participation in this interview project would be greatly appreciated if you have time.
    Thanks for helping make community forums a great place.


    Tuesday, October 29, 2013 10:33 AM
  • Are there any options to save image-backups for multiple days?

    Thx

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013 9:24 PM
  • Wednesday, October 30, 2013 1:12 AM
  • Hi Kate,

    i mean to have multiple copies of the backup and not just the latest backup.

    Wednesday, October 30, 2013 7:09 AM
  • Hi,

    As I known, Windows doesn't support version history for System image backup.

    It can be explained that this image is essentially a huge backup file contains the entire contents of your PC as it existed the day you created the image. The multiple backups will not only eat up much more your HDD but also produce hard task.

    Thanks for your understanding.


    Regards,

    Kate Li

    We are trying to better understand customer views on social support experience, so your participation in this interview project would be greatly appreciated if you have time.
    Thanks for helping make community forums a great place.

    Thursday, October 31, 2013 6:25 AM
  • Hi Kate,

    as i know wbadmin in server-os from microsoft can have multiple copies of an image backup.

    Thursday, October 31, 2013 1:51 PM
  • The command line does not work because there is insufficient disk space to create a volume shadow copy. The problem seems to be that the 300MB Recovery partition is too small and cannot easily be made larger with MS Windows tools.  ASUS UX31A with Windows 8 upgraded to Windows 8.1
    Friday, November 1, 2013 12:54 PM
  • Hi Kate,

    as i know wbadmin in server-os from microsoft can have multiple copies of an image backup.

    But not for Windows Client like Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, right?

    Regards,

    Kate Li

    We are trying to better understand customer views on social support experience, so your participation in this interview project would be greatly appreciated if you have time.
    Thanks for helping make community forums a great place.

    Wednesday, November 6, 2013 3:10 AM
  • Hi, is this true a cliënt-os cannot have multiple copies?

    Also not with a workarround/copy of wbadmin.exe of a server-edition?

    Thx

    Wednesday, November 6, 2013 7:56 AM
  • Hi,

    Since MS took away the scheduling feature in System image backup, we can only use script  in the Task Scheduler as Chrise mentioned.

    You can also refer to this article: 

    How to schedule a Windows 8.1 System Image backup (step-by-step)
    http://pureinfotech.com/2013/10/24/schedule-windows-81-system-image-backup/

    This response contains a reference to a third party World Wide Web site. Microsoft is providing this information as a convenience to you. Microsoft does not control these sites and has not tested any software or information found on these sites; therefore, Microsoft cannot make any representations regarding the quality, safety, or suitability of any software or information found there. There are inherent dangers in the use of any software found on the Internet, and Microsoft cautions you to make sure that you completely understand the risk before retrieving any software from the Internet.

    Hope this would be easy understanding. 


    Regards,

    Kate Li

    We are trying to better understand customer views on social support experience, so your participation in this interview project would be greatly appreciated if you have time.
    Thanks for helping make community forums a great place.


    Tested and works make sure to change drives to backup and destination

    SCHTASKS /Create /SC WEEKLY /D MON /TN WeeklyFullBackup /RL HIGHEST /ST 13:00 /TR “wbAdmin Start Backup -backupTarget:F: -include:C: -allCritical -quiet”


    • Edited by colakid Wednesday, November 6, 2013 11:50 AM
    • Proposed as answer by aiyaiya Friday, November 8, 2013 4:02 AM
    • Marked as answer by Kate LiMicrosoft employee Thursday, November 21, 2013 6:11 AM
    Wednesday, November 6, 2013 11:50 AM
  • Tested and works make sure to change drives to backup and destination

    SCHTASKS /Create /SC WEEKLY /D MON /TN WeeklyFullBackup /RL HIGHEST /ST 13:00 /TR “wbAdmin Start Backup -backupTarget:F: -include:C: -allCritical -quiet”


    This seems to be a workaround, but I feel that it lost real meaning of schedule, since we need to change the schedule command to backup several versions.

    Kate Li
    TechNet Community Support


    Thursday, November 21, 2013 6:20 AM
  • I think backup to different locations is still a work-arround to have multiple copies.
    Thursday, November 21, 2013 6:25 AM
  • Kate,

    I agree with you. In Win7 or Win8, multiple system images are kept automatically and disk space used is not that much more than a single image backup since incremental backups are done. In many ways Win8.1 is a step backward and I went back to Win8. Thanks.


    Jay Kulsh

    Friday, November 22, 2013 9:59 PM
  • With Windows 8.1 I have been doing nightly scheduled backups for some time now via the command Chris DeCarlo posted, to a permanently connected external USB 3 TB Western Digital MyBook drive.

    They have been running well and once the initial data is written, the backups complete in short order.  I get a couple of warning messages in the System Event Log but they seem to have to do with the drive being mounted and removed from the system by the backup.

    What you might not know is that, even though Microsoft removed the Previous Versions feature, you can access individual backed-up files via tools that can access Volume Shadow Copies.  Two such tools I know of are Z-VSSCopy and ShadowExplorer.  The latter may be having some data integrity problems with Windows 8.1 but the author is aware of them and working on it.

    The UI for setting up this kind of backup and the Previous Versions features are something Microsoft should not have removed!  File History does NOT fill their shoes.

      

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Saturday, November 23, 2013 2:50 AM
  • Hi,

    I found a way to get this done:

    Step 1: set a image backup schedule with following command:

    SCHTASKS /Create /SC WEEKLY /D MON /TN WeeklyFullBackup /RL HIGHEST /ST 13:00 /TR “wbAdmin Start Backup -backupTarget:F: -include:C: -allCritical -quiet”

    Step 2: schedule a robocopy to backup the saved image with this BAT file: please create a new folder to save your multiple copies:

    To schedule the robocopy, please refer to this link:

    http://caughtinpixels.com/how-to-create-a-backup-script-using-robocopy/

    *****************BAT********************

    @echo off

    robocopy e:\test1\ e:\test2\ test.wim

    ren e:\test2\test.wim  test_%date:~10,4%%date:~7,2%%date:~4,2%_%time:~0,2%%time:~3,2%.wim

    *******************************************

    NOTE: e:\test2 is my location to save multiple copies of image backup; e:\test1 is the location I create the system image backup.

    This BAT can also help to rename the copy of image backup with date and time like below:


    Kate Li
    TechNet Community Support


    Thursday, March 20, 2014 5:08 AM
  • This option, which is not incremental in nature, will require same amount of disk space each day, making it impossible to save more than a few days of backup data -- unless you have an extremely large backup drive. Correct me if I am wrong. Thanks.

    Jay


    Jay Kulsh

    Thursday, March 20, 2014 11:02 AM
  • This option, which is not incremental in nature, will require same amount of disk space each day, making it impossible to save more than a few days of backup data -- unless you have an extremely large backup drive. Correct me if I am wrong. Thanks.

    Jay


    Jay Kulsh


    Yes, the precondition to use this is that there is enough space to storage them.

    Kate Li
    TechNet Community Support

    Friday, March 21, 2014 1:42 AM
  • A VSS integrated system image backup absolutely IS incremental in nature if you use the -vssFull switch, and self-manages the backup drive space very well. It's one of the things Microsoft got very right. I'm doing it every night as I mentioned above

    It's finishing often in less than an hour, and I have more than 1TB of data on C:. The command I use is:

    wbadmin start backup -allCritical -vssFull -quiet -backupTarget:G:\

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options


    Friday, March 21, 2014 3:23 AM
  • A VSS integrated system image backup absolutely IS incremental in nature if you use the -vssFull switch, and self-manages the backup drive space very well. It's one of the things Microsoft got very right. I'm doing it every night as I mentioned above

    It's finishing often in less than an hour, and I have more than 1TB of data on C:. The command I use is:

    wbadmin start backup -allCritical -vssFull -quiet -backupTarget:G:\

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options


    I got a feeling backups my be more friendly in the upcoming patch.
    Friday, March 21, 2014 3:29 AM
  • Create Simple Batch file & scheduled it via Windows 8.1 Task Scheduler..


    www.mytricks.in

    Friday, April 18, 2014 10:09 AM
  • Please read previous postings. We know how to schedule a backup job.

    This option, which is not incremental in nature, will require same amount of disk space each day, making it impossible to save more than a few days of backup data -- unless you have an extremely large backup drive. 

    I tried -vssFull option but it did not make any difference. Thanks.


    Jay Kulsh

    Friday, April 18, 2014 5:55 PM
  • The command I listed absolutely is incremental. On my system the nightly backups of my 2TB system volume complete in short order. It also manages free space by removing the oldest backups, all through the magic of VSS.

    -Noel

    • Edited by Noel Carboni Saturday, April 19, 2014 3:59 PM Typo
    Saturday, April 19, 2014 3:47 PM
  • I agree, what is the correct syntax  for directing it to a specific directory including overwriting the previous without being prompted ?

    Here's what I have and it doesn't work although the directory exists.

    SCHTASKS /Create /SC DAILY /TN SysImageMon /RL HIGHEST /ST 19:00 /TR “wbAdmin Start Backup -backupTarget:E:\SysImageMon -Force -include:C: -allCritical -quiet”




    Monday, June 9, 2014 9:57 PM
  • I agree, what is the correct syntax  for directing it to a specific directory including overwriting the previous without being prompted ?

    Here's what I have and it doesn't work although the directory exists.

    SCHTASKS /Create /SC DAILY /TN SysImageMon /RL HIGHEST /ST 19:00 /TR “wbAdmin Start Backup -backupTarget:E:\SysImageMon -Force -include:C: -allCritical -quiet”




    Not sure if you solved this, but: WBAdmin Subfolder not Supported

    It's another one of those face-palming decisions. There is a work-around, create a folder and then share it. Set the target to that share. IE:

    backupTarget:"\\localpcname\sharedfolder\"


    • Edited by Kael29 Saturday, August 2, 2014 12:25 AM link
    Saturday, August 2, 2014 12:24 AM
  • Are you sure this keeps one full and multiple incremental backups like Win7?

    Jay Kulsh

    Sunday, August 3, 2014 3:31 AM
  • I'm not sure the way the Volume Snapshot Service works you can call it exactly "one full and multiple incremental" backups.  The way it stores the data it's more like "a set of changes describing the recent history of the logical blocks of the drive".  It can delete the oldest to make room and still have a full restoral capability.  But the effect is the same - you can restore all the data from multiple different days.

    What would you like to see to be convinced?  The list of available backups to restore from a drive being used to hold such backup?  Here you go:

     

     

    At the moment as you can see I have 3 available.  I've seen as many as 15.  It has to do with the space available (I'm backing up a 2 TB system to a 3 TB drive) vs. how much is being backed up, when you've changed what on your critical volumes, and the time of the month.

    I was initially confused by the times shown (10 pm), because I do my backups at 1 am, but I'm in Eastern time and by default the backup times are shown in Pacific time (presumably because Microsoft engineering runs on Pacific time).

    Hope this helps!

      

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Sunday, August 3, 2014 1:52 PM
  • Well, I will try one more time. Here is my task in Scheduler

    "wbadmin" in Program/script and "start backup -allCritical -vssFull -quiet -backupTarget:E:\ " in Add arguments.

    Only thing I had to change was on General tab, where at the bottom, Configure for: had default Vista showing. Now I have selected Windows 8.1. I hope this makes the difference. Thanks.


    Jay Kulsh

    Sunday, August 3, 2014 7:57 PM
  • I doubt that the Configure for is the issue, as I see that mine's set to "Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008".

    Here's what I'm doing in detail:

     

     

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Monday, August 4, 2014 1:44 PM
  • Thanks for the good tips Noel.  I had the same experience as Jay Kulsh in that the -vssFull command doesn't make a difference.  Having it present or not still results in an incremental backup for the c: drive which is desirable.

    In my situation I would like to backup the c:,d:,e:,f:,h: drives each night with an incremental backup.  The total size of the data on the drives is 5.4 TB, making the backup take about 24 hours.  When I backup c:,d:, the c: drive backup is incremental but the other drive is not.  Is there a way to have the backup be incremental for all of the drives?  Thanks for any help.


    • Edited by Blake Lance Friday, September 12, 2014 5:57 PM
    Friday, September 12, 2014 5:51 PM
  • The only thing that comes to mind is this:  Do you have VSS enabled for the other drives?

    Try running:

    vssadmin list volumes

    Do all the volumes you're backing up show up?

    Keep in mind the first backup will have to be full (as I'm sure you realize, but I'm stating it for completeness here).

    The thing I don't have a good handle on is what is the logic for the software to determine whether there's room for an incremental backup on the output media.  It's possible it decides it has to delete the old snapshots to make room for a new one, after which it becomes necessary to copy everything again.  I see my backup turn into a more or less full copy every now and then, because the oldest dataset has to be deleted.  I see messages in the System event log like this one:

    The oldest shadow copy of volume C: was deleted to keep disk space usage for shadow copies of volume C: below the user defined limit.

    Do you see this message?

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Friday, September 12, 2014 8:58 PM
  • Thanks for the quick response.

    I checked the drives by the command you gave and they all showed.

    From my earlier tests of running backup with just c:,d:, there was lots of room for it to copy (about 5x extra room on the backup target).  The backup target is a network location.  I'm under the impression that only one copy of an image can be saved to a network location.  That shouldn't affect whether it's incremental or not since the backup of c: to that network location is incremental.

    I checked the Event Viewer and didn't find a message like the one you mentioned.  I see that there are information-level messages from Backup that say "The Block Level Backup Engine service has stopped."  The last one came when the backup finished.  There are some messages from VSS that say "The VSS service is shutting down due to idle timeout."  Is that something that could cause an issue?

    Do you have other ideas?  If not, I could live with weekly backups on the weekend and let it go the 24 hours.  The only concern I have with this is with a failure during the backup which would leave me with nothing.  I'm not a cursing man, but I could almost curse Microsoft for removing the Backup and Restore feature from Windows 8.1.  Thanks for the help.

    Saturday, September 13, 2014 7:32 PM
  • You may have something regarding the backup going to a network share.  I'm a little fuzzy on the mechanics of it, but it's entirely possible the backup volume itself needs volume shadow copy capability in order to make the backups incremental.

    We've reached the limit of my knowledge of the wbadmin feature at this point, as I stopped looking to refine my backup strategy when I found that when using a USB drive it works exactly as I need.

    Perhaps someone else with more in depth knowledge of Volume Snapshot Services can contribute here...

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Sunday, September 14, 2014 3:02 AM
  • Just an FYI, if you are still concerned about whether or not these are incremental, you could at least make 2 tasks that run every other day, storing to two different folders on the drive.  The trick (besides what Kael29 pointed out to target the folders), is to add the parameter:

    /MO 2

    This modifies the daily interval to be every 2 days, which can be confirmed on the "Triggers" tab of Task Schedule.

    ...Larry

    Friday, October 17, 2014 1:44 AM
  • I know this is very late, but that 300 MB partition isn't a recovery partition. The Windows 8.1 boot DVD is over 1 GB, so there's no way it could fit there. That 300 MB partition is created by default during an install and holds critical boot files for the system. What you need to do is get an external drive and back up to that, or perhaps shrink your C partition and use the remaining space as a backup partition. Good luck.
    Wednesday, December 24, 2014 6:54 PM
  • This solution is a bit too techie for me 

    here is another way for those less techie and not wanting to screw things up 

    I just post it at end of month on my calendar as a reoccurring event,

    i have an icon in my taskbar - my brother helped me do this  so can't tell you how to do that. for this icon, check out a book on windows 7 or windows 8 , the missing manual book should hellp 

    so when i see my calendar to do at end of month 

    i just hit the icon on task bar and the  CREATE A SYSTEM IMAGE POPS UP 

    --

    i do back up my files every 2 hours so i am easily all set for a system failure 

    Monday, January 5, 2015 4:28 PM
  • Ok, the switch -vssFull seems to work for local backup with history.

    Did anybody try to restore an older backup (not the newest)?

    I am not able to test it, because I can't mount the usb restore drive to a hyper-v machine for testing.

    Works the -vssFull switch with history on a network share?

    I copied a -vssFull backup from the local USB3 disc to a Network share and the restore GUI showed only the last (the newest) backup.

    thanks

    Friday, March 27, 2015 11:15 AM
  • Read up on volume snapshots.  It's not just a matter of copying a backup dataset.

    I have tested restoral of a non-leaf volume snapshot.  It is possible from a USB drive directly.  I believe there are limitations with network shares, though, which is probably what you've run into.

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options


    Saturday, March 28, 2015 3:23 AM
  • note the new win 8.1 way is to create system restore image

    that is only for system data not for userfiles

    schtasks /Create /TN Win81Backup /RL Highest /SC daily /mo 3 /ST 12:00 /TR "%comspec% /c start '' /wait /min  '%userprofile%\recoverybackup.cmd'"

    recoverybackup.cmd

    recimg /createimage d:\Recovery\%DATE:~8,2%-%DATE:~3,2%-%DATE:~0,2%exit /b %errorlevel%


    --- gusti sono gusti

    Friday, December 18, 2015 9:59 AM