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.


    0 (0)
    Article Rating (No Votes)
    Rate this article
      Attached Files
      There are no attachments for this article.
      There are no comments for this article. Be the first to post a comment.
      Security Code Security Code
      Related Articles RSS Feed
      How to Run a Snapshot Export Backup
      Viewed 3867 times since Sun, Aug 16, 2015
      How to Backup Capita SIMS Using the Attix5 Plugin
      Viewed 7834 times since Tue, Apr 12, 2016
      How to backup a MS SQL database using the Attix5 VSS plug-in
      Viewed 10406 times since Wed, Nov 12, 2014
      How to backup MySQL on Attix5 Server Edition for Windows
      Viewed 8545 times since Fri, May 30, 2014
      How to run the Attix5 service as a specific user
      Viewed 6053 times since Fri, May 16, 2014
      How to Setup Email Notifications
      Viewed 5787 times since Sat, Aug 15, 2015
      How to Backup Hyper-V Guests
      Viewed 5099 times since Thu, Aug 13, 2015
      Perform an Attix5 disk Snapshot
      Viewed 8785 times since Fri, Jun 13, 2014