Use Windows 10 WBadmin to Create System Image Backup

Posted by @Cody

April 14, 2016

Learn how to create a system image backup with Windows 10 WBadmin command line. System backup from WBadmin command line as the built-in backup and restore feature became hard to find since Windows 8.1.

Brief Introduction of WBadmin

Microsoft wants users to use File History and Onedrive instead of System Image Backup implemented since Windows 7, which is a very powerful system utility, especially for system administrators, so System Image Backup tool is hard to find on Windows 8/10. However, you can use another way to create a system image backup by using Windows 10 WBadmin, which allows you to backup or restore operating system (OS), partitions, files and folders from a command prompt. What’s more, you can let WBadmin backup bare metal in order to restore to dissimilar hardware. By the way, you can only specify volumes to backup on Windows Vista or Windows 2008. To start backup with WBadmin, you can open a PowerShell cmdlet or ab elevated command prompt as administrator.

Create Windows 10 Backup with WBadmin

You can set a whole hard drive or a partition as the backup drive, and an external hard drive as destination is recommended. System Image Backup also allows you to backup to a shared folder over the network .

Wbadmin starts backup on Windows 10:

1. Launch a PowerShell or CMD window as administrator. To do this, you can search it from the Start screen, and choose Run as Administrator.

2. In the PowerShell or Command Prompt window, input the backup command and press Enter.

Syntax for Windows 10:

Wbadmin start backup [-backupTarget:{<BackupTargetLocation> | <TargetNetworkShare>}] [-include:<ItemsToInclude>] [-nonRecurseInclude:<ItemsToInclude>] [-exclude:<ItemsToExclude>] [-nonRecurseExclude:<ItemsToExclude>] [-allCritical] [-systemState] [-noVerify] [-user:<UserName>] [-password:<Password>] [-noInheritAcl] [-vssFull | -vssCopy] [-quiet]

Example: WBadmin start backup -backupTarget:E: -include:C: -allcritical -quiet

Start Backup

Then the system image backup is in process. This command is to backup the C: drive including all critical volumes (partitions that contain system state) to the E: drive without prompting you. You can write the command based on your needs.To restore this system backup, you need to boot installation disc or recovery drive. Go to System Image Recovery through Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Advanced options.

It is quite convenient to run backups with a WBadmin command line on Windows 10, but it does have some restrictions. First, you can only backup partitions formatted with NTFS; second, you cannot backup to critical volumes; third, you can only keep one scheduled backup running and one image file unless you change its file name every time the scheduled backup runs. To lift those restrictions, you can use another third-party backup and restore software, AOMEI Backupper.

Unattended Backup with AOMEI Backupper

AOMEI Backupper, one of the best backup solution for windows 10, enables users to restore and backup from command line or its graphical interface. With Backupper, you can backup to any volume including critical volumes or folders that can be detacted in File Explorer; you can set multiple scheduled full/differential/incremental backups; you can use disk backup or system backup to perform dissimilar hardware restore; you can restore your computer while it is unbootable via bootable media or AOMEI PXE tool; and more features.

You only need a few clicks to create a image backups without any help to guide you through the process with AOMEI Backupper, even for the first time you try for its concise interface and design.

Backup Tab

To use commmand line backup utility of AOMEI Backuper is pretty much the same like that of Windows 10 WBadmin. Besides backup and restore, you can also use clone feature from command line. You can run the following command from a command prompt: "AMBackup.exe /?" to see all the parameters of AOMEI Backupper command-line utility, AOMEI Backupper Command Line utility only available on the paid version, and you can download the 30-day trial version of AOMEI Backupper Professional.