System state backup

The System state data source in the Backup Manager lets you back up the configuration of your operating system and critical system components such as the Registry, boot files, SYSVOL directory and Active Directory. In case of a failure you can switch to a different computer faster without the need to reconfigure your operating system.

Supported operating systems

The System state data source is available on Windows. There is also a Linux version (currently in beta).

Windows versions Linux versions
All versions on which the Backup Manager operates
(full list)
CentOS 5 (x86/x64)
CentOS 6 (x86/x64)


Starting from version 15.10 (released in October 2015), you can back up and recover a system containing dynamic disks. If a dynamic disk uses the MBR partition table, the total size of its dynamic volumes must not exceed 2TB.

Backup requirements

Free system disk space

Backups depend on snapshots (or temporary files on Windows XP) created using native Microsoft tools. When a backup session is completed, snapshots are automatically deleted.

By default, snapshots are created on the system disk. There must be enough space for them. Space requirements vary depending on your system but sometimes a snapshot can reach the size of the system.

If it isn't possible to allocate enough space on the system disk, consider changing the snapshot location to another drive.

Shadow Copy Service (server versions only)

On the server versions of Windows, the Shadow Copy option must be enabled for all drives in the system.

Advanced details (for troubleshooting)

Here are the most typical reasons why a System state backup session can be interrupted.

  1. One of the required services gets stopped or restarted: Backup Service Controller, Cryptographic Services or Volume Shadow Copy. Please start the Services Console and make sure they are running and set to the Automatic startup type.

  2. One of the writers responsible for the required services is absent or unstable (for example, the System Writer responsible for the Cryptographic Services). You can check it using the vssadmin list writers command.

  3. A snapshot becomes unavailable. This can happen if the computer is rebooted. Sometimes snapshots are deleted by the system (VolSnap). If this is the case, please reconfigure the system.

In most cases the uncompleted session is restarted automatically. However, if an error persists, it may be necessary to investigate possible issues related to the Microsoft services and snapshots.