How to Create A System Image Backup on Windows Server 2003?

Posted by @AOMEI

February 23, 2016

Create a system image backup on Windows Server 2003 is an easy job with a third-party Windows Server 2003 backup software, such as AOMEI Backupper server.

What’s a system image?

A system image is an exact copy of your entire partition or a hard drive, containing every single piece of data, your operating system, hardware drivers, applications you have installed, settings, preferences, etc. With a complete system image, you can restore the system state without having to create everything from scratch. Also, you can update your computer’s hard drive with it, for example, you can create a system image of your computer’s hard drive, then swap the drive out for a new one, and then restore the image to the new hard drive. This will migrate your entire operating system to the new hard drive. What’s more, the type of image can also be used by system administrators, who could roll out a standard system image on different PCs across their network. Therefore, it is useful to create a system image on your Windows Server 2003, but how should you do this?

Create a system image with NTBackup

NTBackup is the built-in backup software of Windows Server 2003, which hides in the start menu under Accessories>System Tools. It can also be run by the command ntbackup.exe from a command line or run prompt. However, after you create a backup in an Active Directory environment with ntbackup.exe, you should be prepared for the frustration of not finding all the logs of your backup, that is to say, if you perform backup operation from different users, it will be difficult for you to find all the scattered logs, because all the logs are dumped under the user's profile it's running at. Besides, ntbackup.exe needs to run as a specific user with permissions to backup all files, which could be any account that is an admin, but when that admin changes their password, or if they leave, etc, this account will not update itself and backups will fail. Luckily, you shouldn’t be worried about these problems with a third-party Windows Server 2003 backup software, such as AOMEI Backupper server.

Create a system image with AOMEI Backupper server

AOMEI Backupper server is a powerful software for backupping, restoring, cloning and other utilities. You can use it to create a system image backup on Windows Server 2003 easily without all the frustrations while using NTBackup.

Step 1: Install and launch AOMEI Backupper server. Select “System Backup” under “Backup” tab.

System Backup

Step 2: The "Task Name" can be set based on personal needs, and the name is helpful for you to distinguish it from other images. The system drives have been set as source partitions by default in “Step1”. Then, select a destination path to save the image file, and then click "Start Backup" to begin the operation.

Select Location

Notes:"Backup Options" (optional) can be set based on your own needs. It includes the functions of adding comments, compressing, encryption and splitting image file etc.

Step 3: Click "Finish" option to exit.


In addition, the operations of system backup will not interrupt your work. That is to say, you can do system backup while working. The time for system backup is determined by the amount of the valid data.