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When using Veritas Backup Exec and selecting System State as a backup item, what exactly is backed up? Veritas seems to refer you to Microsoft, and Microsoft tends to be equally vague about what this backup includes.

If I have a server running nothing except Windows 2003 and Microsoft SQL Server, and was to lose the machine entirely, what would I recover if I restored from a system state backup? Would the machine be usable? Would it contain any non-OS data?

Does System-State include Active Directory settings (on a domain controller, what would be restored)?

Also, please provide a verifiable reference (via URL)

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Check out this ServerFault question

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Thanks Marko. (need at least 15 characters) – SirStan Jul 28 '09 at 14:05
No problem. (also need at least 15 characters!) – Marko Carter Jul 28 '09 at 14:10

It will not contain Non-OS data, you would lose all SQL data. It's typically registry info. AD info if it is a DC, boot files, SYSVOL, IIS if it is running it and system files.

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System State refers to SYSTEM's state i.e. operating system only. In your case it will not include SQL database files. you will have to take SQL data backup separately.

Depending on the recovery model chosen for SQL databases, you can pick/choose the DB files.

The following table lists the elements the OS backs up:

Element to be Backed up Domain Controller Non-Domain Controller Active Directory (NTDS) Yes No System Volume (SYSVOL) Yes No Boot files Yes Yes Registry Yes Yes COM+ class registration db Yes Yes

The OS will back up information about certificate services regardless of domain controller (DC) status.

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