How to Backup Windows System State

Windows System State can be backed up using the Attix5 Server Edition, not Desktop and Laptop, and only on Windows Server class operating system. For Windows 2008 and later, System State uses the Windows Server Backup feature of Windows.


Earlier versions of Windows Server use NTBackup for System State. This article does not cover System State using NTBackup as these versions Windows are no longer supported by Microsoft.

Should you require more detail on System State using NTBackup, please see Chapter 5 of the Windows Plugin User Manual which can be downloaded here:

Configuration Steps to Backup System State

If not already installed, add the Windows Server Backup feature to Windows using Server Manager.

When installed, open the Attix5 Server Edition client.

Open the Tools menu and go to Plug-ins and then System State (using WSB).

Tick the Enabled box and select whether to Optimise for disk usage or Optimise for speed.

The System State (using WSB) plugin breaks the Windows Server Backup virtual disk files into small pieces for optimal transmission of files. The settings affect how this operates as follows; Optimise for disk usage will use less space on disk, but Optimise for speed will complete the backup quicker so will be preferable is space on disk is plentiful.

Choose the Dump Target Drive where the Windows Server Backup will run to. The same drive will be used to split up the output VHD or VHDX files.

Click OK to confirm the settings.

The WindowsImageBackup folder on your Dump Target Volume will be automatically included for backup, and will be sent to the Storage Platform when the next backup runs.

Further Information on System State Settings

A system state backup will typically take 12-15GB depending on operating system features installed, but can be considerably larger if Windows Deployment Services is installed as the Windows Images are automatically added to the backup. Ensure that at least 12-15GB of space is available on the Dump Target Volume, and more space than this if you have WDS installed.

If Optimise for speed is used, the size of the VHD file again will be required. For example, if the system state backup is 15GB, an additional 15GB will be needed for temporary space in this scenario.

Optimised for disk space does not require the additional disk space.

In general, it is not recommended to use operating system volumes for the Dump Target Drive. This configuration is blocked by Windows by default, so it is recommended to add an extra disk for system state if your system runs the operating system volume only.

Should there be no other option but to use a single volume, these steps will allow a System State Backup to run to a critical volume (operating system volume in most cases).

  • Launch Windows Registry Editor (regedit).
  • Open the following key


  • Set the value of this entry as follows:
    • Name: AllowSSBToAnyVolume
    • Data type: DWORD
    • Value data: 1​
    • After modifying the registry, restart the machine.

    Please see for more information.


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