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wbadmin -allCritical vs Bare Metal Backup via GUI

    Question

  • I did a backup from the command line using wbadmin start backup -allcritical -backuptarget:H: -vssFull.  Then I did a backup from the Windows Server Backup GUI, selecting Bare Metal Backup, which automatically selected System State and the system volume, and selecting Vss Full Backup and the same backup destination (H:), which is a local USB hard drive.

    I renamed the WindowsImageBackup folder created by the first backup before I ran the second backup so a new WindowsImageBackup folder would be created.  The two backup folders contained the same number of files, and the files were the same size.

    However, clicking on the completed backups from the GUI shows that the one done from the command line contains two items - the system volume and Bare Metal Recovery, whereas the one done from the GUI contains three items - the System volume, Bare Metal Recovery, and System State.

    Is there really any difference between these two types of backup?

    Thursday, June 24, 2010 8:15 PM

Answers

  • Bare Metal Recovery is same as All Critical Backup which is backup of all critical volumes.

    All Critical Backup is same as System State backup + System Volume + Any other critical volume.

    In your case,  both the backups are same


    Thanks, Madan Mohan[MSFT] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    • Marked as answer by sejong Wednesday, June 30, 2010 2:44 PM
    Wednesday, June 30, 2010 12:22 PM

All replies

  • Bare Metal Recovery is same as All Critical Backup which is backup of all critical volumes.

    All Critical Backup is same as System State backup + System Volume + Any other critical volume.

    In your case,  both the backups are same


    Thanks, Madan Mohan[MSFT] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights
    • Marked as answer by sejong Wednesday, June 30, 2010 2:44 PM
    Wednesday, June 30, 2010 12:22 PM
  • Thanks for your reply.  I maked your post as answer.

    In the next service pack, the Backup GUI should be fixed to show the results of these two backups identically, that is, the System State item should be shown in both as being included.

    Wednesday, June 30, 2010 2:47 PM
  • Sejong,

    While the Bare Metal Recovery (-allCritical switch) necessarily includes the System State, and therefore the size of the backups you observered are the same, there IS a difference you probably care about.

    If you perform a backup with the -allCritical option, but not the -systemState option, you can perform a bare metal recovery of the system, but you cannot perform "only" a System State recovery through the WSB GUI.  This is different behavior than you get if you select the "Bare Metal Recovery" option when creating a backup in the GUI.  When done from the GUI, a restore of the System State and/or a Bare Metal Recovery are both possible.  If you wish to mimic this behavior with a backup created from the command line, use both the -allCritical and -systemState switches.  I'm pretty sure your backup size will be the same, but you'll get the added benefit of being able to perform either type of restore just as you would had you created the backup in the GUI.

    • Proposed as answer by R.Alikhani Wednesday, April 25, 2012 4:39 AM
    Thursday, March 29, 2012 2:18 AM
  • @ Trade of Jacks - Thanks for your detailed answer!
    Monday, April 09, 2012 7:30 PM
  • If I did the same thing but didn't include the -vssFull, did I leave out something I should have left in? I'm trying to do a system backup and create something I can use later on for restoring my Hard Drive back to the state it was just after the backup. Do I have to do it again with the -vssFull command?
    Friday, November 23, 2012 4:52 PM
  • You do not have to run your backup again.  The -vssFull option doesn't cause WSB in include more (or less) files in the backup.

    Instead, it's meant for use with applications like Microsoft Exchange which store data in databases that use transaction logs for recovery or rollback purposes.  Employing the -vssFull option instructs such applications to truncate these logs.  If you are not running any such application, then it makes you no difference to your backup whether you use or omit the vssFull option.

    And to your question directly, even if you are running such an application, you still get a 100% complete, point-in-time accurate backup whether you specify the vssFull option not.

    This Technet page has a brief description of the vssFull option and its mate, vssCopy.

    • Proposed as answer by R.Alikhani Saturday, November 24, 2012 3:57 AM
    Friday, November 23, 2012 9:49 PM
  • Sejong,

    Does this mean that I can kill two birds with one stone? If I use the method you suggest here, will I be able to recover system state only if desired in addition to Bare Metal. Do I have to run a separate system state backup if I want only to restore system state?
    Thursday, December 12, 2013 5:16 PM
  • You can perform a single backup that supports both System State 'only' and/or Bare Metal Recovery.

    • If running the backup from the command line, include both the -allCritical and -systemState switches.
    • If running the backup from the GUI, ensure both the Bare metal recovery and System State items are checked in the backup selections.

    Thursday, December 12, 2013 5:36 PM
  • Thank you Trader of Jacks. Just one more question. My server has a C Drive as system drive and D as a Data drive. When running the the -allCritical switch will that include the C or system drive or do I need to use the -include switch. For example, this is what I have using the command line wbadmin start backup -backupTarget:f: -include:C:,D: -allCritical -systemState -quiet. Do I really need to list the C:?

    My objective is to perform a Bare Metal backup with System State and include any data volumes so that I may recover one or all the items listed. I just need to know if I need to explicitly list the C: or system drive? Thanks in advance for helping.
    Friday, December 13, 2013 9:18 PM
  • Technically, no; when using the -allCritical switch you aren't required to include "C:" (assuming that is your System Volume).

    However, as a best-practice I would leave your command line exactly as you have it so the "next guy" knows clearly and without room for confusion that you are  backing up both your C: and D: volumes.  It's better to use an explicit command, even if it's partially redundant, than rely on hidden assumptions which can lead to confusion, in turn leading to mistakes.

    Friday, December 13, 2013 9:27 PM