The windows backup utility comes with an option to backup the system-state. What is this for? Has it a real utility? Can I recover that windows on another machine?
The system state contains a number of items:
Some of these items are only included if the specified service is installed (AD, IIS, Certificates). (Details are online. TechNet: Server 2003/2003R2. MSDN: Server 2003/2003R2.TechNet forums: Server 2008. MSDN: Server 2008 and upwards)
If you need to restore a server, you will need this state to recover the registry, or your AD Domain, or IIS sites.
You can restore system state to the same server, or another server with identical hardware. Microsoft does not support restoring system state to different hardware (see this article), however it is possible in some occasions, and with some parts of the system state, for example the IIS metabase. In that guess its really a case of try it an see, but its not a recommended solution..
The System State Backup should be part of your Windows Server backup plan and preparation for a disaster recovery.
The System State contains the operating configuration files. Before you install a driver, patch or program on your server, consider, what will be your fall back position if the operating system crashes. You should create a System State backup which you could use to rollback in case of a problem.
The System State contains boot files (Boot.ini, NDTLDR, NTDetect.com), the Windows Registry including COM settings, the SYSVOL (Group Policies and Logon Scripts), the Active Directory and NTDS.DIT on Domain Controllers and, if the service is installed, the Certificate Store. If your server runs IIS, the IIS Metadirectory will be includedand Cluster Service information if the server is part of a cluster.
You don’t have to know which of these components to choose. The Backup/Restore application will do this automatically when you start a System State backup. Likewise you cannot choose which components to restore: all System State data will be restored, because of possible dependencies among the components. It is possible to restore the System State to an alternative location. Not all data is restored when you restore to an alternative location. Only the components System boot files, registry files, SYSVOL directory files and Cluster database information files will be restored.
Note: When you backup System State, you can either include or exclude system-protected boot files. System-protected boot files are not used for installations from restored backup media. When the backup file that you create is to be used for additional domain controller installations, you can uncheck the advanced option to back up system-protected files. Clearing this option decreases the size of the
Regardless of what Microsoft says - it's possible to restore the system to basically ANY compatible hardware. Here how this works: (Windows 2000 & 2003 validated):
It works for AD DCs as well.
Windows in-built backup utility is basically useful. For regular office backup, I do the following
And I thought the way you referred, recovering systme windows on another machine, is universal restore. It seems that windows in-built backup does not support universal restore. Two ways you can restore system to another machine
System statebackup data contains active directory database, registry, system files, boot files, sysvolv directory and Com + Registartion database. We can easily restore it in directory services restore mode.