Why and How to Restore Windows Server 2008 R2 to Previous Date

Posted by @Ivy

August 31, 2017

Want to learn how to restore Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 to previous date, you can follow this article. This article will walk you through all the detailed steps.


I have a Windows Server 2008 R2. Its operating system crashes owing to one ransomware. And I need to find out how to restore Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 to previous date. I know Windows XP/7/8/10 has a built-in tool named system restore, which can be used to create a restore point and recover a computer to previous good state. Does Windows Server 2008 R2 has a similar feature? If yes, what should I do to restore my computer to a previous date?

System Restore can help you create a restore point, but it is the built-in feature in Windows 7/8/10. And it does not exist in Window Server 2008/2012/2016, including R2. However, there’s a similar feature called System state recovery. You can create a system state backup and perform the system state recovery via wbadmin when needed.

Why do you need to restore Windows Server 2008 R2 to previous date?

When you use your computer, you may meet dozens of trouble which may cause your computer not working correctly. System setting collapse is one of the reasons. You cannot use your computer as normal or do whatever you want if your system setting collapse owing to mis-operation, virus attack, malware, etc. In this case, the only way is to repair it. After that, you can use your computer as normal. But how?

You can try to make a restore point for your Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 ahead of time, then restore it to previous date. It can help you troubleshoot problems with your computer and restore to the good state it was.

How to restore Windows Server 2008 R2 to previous date?

Restoring Windows Server to previous date is a good idea, which can help you go back to the good state it was. Well then, how to restore Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 to previous state?

To restore your computer to prior date, you must create a Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 system state backup first. Then you can directly use it when needed. Below will walk you through all the detailed steps.

Restore Windows Server with WBAdmin

What is the WBAdmin for?

WBAdmin (WBAdmin.exe) is a command-line utility built into Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. It is used to perform backups and restores of operating systems, drive volumes, files, folders, and applications from a command-line interface.

Two kinds of restore operations you can use WBAdmin

1. Bare metal restore: using the Windows Recovery Environment you can complete a full server restoration to either the same server or to a server with dissimilar hardware (known as Hardware Independent Restore – HIR) 

2. Individual file and folder, and system state restore: files, folders, or the machine's system state can be restored from the command line using WBAdmin.

The detailed steps:

Step 1: Open a command prompt with administrator privileges. Type CMD in the search box, right click the command prompt and run as administrator

Step 2: Type a command based on the following syntax and press Enter to execute system state restore.

wbadmin start systemstaterecovery -version:versionIdentifier --backupTarget:Backup Destination location –machine:server name –quiet

If you do not know the version and the backup target of your backup, you can typewbadmin get versions to gain this information. The backup destination location can be a drive letter, a volume GUID-based path, or a remote shared folder path. If you just have one backup, you can choose not to specify backup target. If there are multiple computers backed up to the same location, you can use “-machine” switch to specify the server to be recovered. The “-quiet” switch means to run the backup without prompt.

Taking Version identifier at 01:46 on 8/17/2017 and backup target on removable media as an example, you can type the following command in CMD

wbadmin start systemstaterecovery –version 08/17/2017-01:46

System State Recovery

System state backup only contains boot files, active directory, cluster database, the registry and other system files, thus it cannot be counted as a full backup of your computer. At the same time, you cannot fix you computer via system state recovery when it's in a serious status and refuses to boot.

To avoid this problem, you can try to use a Windows Server Backup software make a full server system image and use it to restore when needed.

Restore Windows Server with server backup software

Before you restore it, you need to make a system image backup for your Windows Server 2008/2008 R2.

Well then, coming to the point: how to restore Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 to previous date

Step 1: Download AOMEI Backupper Server, install and launch it.

Step 2: Click Restore and select System Restore, then select the image file you want to restore and click Next

Select System Restore

Step 3: Select the backup point you want to restore and click Next

Select Full Backup

Step 4: Select the destination disk for the system image file and click Next

Select Destination Disk

Step 5: Confirm the operation summary and click Start Restore. Remember to choose Align partition to optimize for SSD if your destination disk is SSD.

Confirm and Start Restore


1. If your destination disk is larger than the source disk, there will appear an unallocated space after restoring. To avoid this problem, you can edit the size of partition to fix the entire disk.

2. If you plan to restore Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 to different hardware, you should tick Enable Universal Restore


When your computer breaks down, it’s very useful to restore Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 to previous date. It can fix some problems. However, if your computer refuses to boot, you cannot fix it via system state recovery. In this case, only to make a full server backup for it, then restore it when needed.