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DC System State

Jay Schwegler
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-03-10
Quick question concerning Windows Server 2003 DC's and System State Backups.

Microsoft KB articles always said that when preforming a system state of a domain controller, to also include the SYSVOL folder in the same backup to ensure that you won't have a broken SYSVOL if you every needed to restore the DC.

I just added my first Win2k3 DC to my domain, setup the backup job as usual, but ntbackup doesn't see any files in the SYSVOL folder. It backs the system state up just fine, and it does backup the SYSVOL folder, but doesn't save any of the scripts/folders under that structure?

What gives?
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try to change the user the ntbackup is running as to administrator then try to run the backup job


It already is running as administrator

Make sure that the Administrator is also a member of the "Backup Operators" group.

How do you know if doesn't back up the files, where are you looking for that information?
When you go to restore, I believe all you see is SystemState.

If you are looking at the detailed backup job report compare it to what I see, I am also running a system state job on one of my windows 2003 dcs:

I see the scripts from the NetLogon share backed up as
"Folder System State\SYSVOL\c:\windows\SYSVOL\domain\scripts" when I have detailed logging for the backup job turned on.

If you have scheduled the backup job look at the job details and make sure the /l parameter is set to "/l:f", for reference "/l:s" is summary only.

This technote gives some details including notes that you shouldn't try to restore or manually copy to from SysVol, I would cut and paste the text into a new file, if you ever need to "restore" a script as it doesn't sound like you want to cut and paste a file.

Best Practices for Sysvol Maintenance

If you have more please let us know where you are looking to review if the files are in fact backed up.

also now that you are using Windows 2003, get the Group Policy Management Console, it includes command line tools to backup and restore group policy and scripts.


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Concerning the SYSVOL, the reason why I was doing this was becuase of the section labeled "How to Back Up the System State on a Domain Controller" in the below article where it says to include this folder. It is for Windows 2000, but I was assuming those operations haven't changed.



The technote says those items "are included" meaning that those items are included - you do not have to select anything other then system state. Once you select SystemState you are not able to select nor de-select the sub-items. (at least that is what I see, on both Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 DCs.)

This is by design.  Best I can do is link you to here:  http://www.mcse.ms/archive44-2005-5-1639348.html

Just like you posted in your last post with :  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/240363/en-us

That's how you do it, hasn't changed in 2003.

Basically, like markpalinux said, you just select "System State".  The backup of a the C drive by itself will show a backup of SYSVOL without anything in it, which is why you NEED TO select "System State".

I believe it has something to do with the idea that the sysvol uses Junction Points and how those junction points are backed up.


I'm beating a dead horse here, but... the statement below says that the components inside the system state can't be individually seleced, which means that it would be impossible to NOT backup the SYSVOL when choosing system state. So why then do they specifically mention the winnt/sysvol folder?

I'm probably looking WAY to far into this :)

Click to select the System State check box. (All of the components to be backed up are listed in the right pane. You cannot individually select each item.)

NOTE: During the system state backup, you must select to back up the Winnt\Sysvol folder. You must also select this option during the restore operation to have a working sysvol after the recovery.
I will make the assumption this is because the System State backup is the components needed inside the SYSVOL folder, but the folder itself is NTFS, so you need to backup the folder and restore the folder so that the folder is in the correct location and with the right permissions during a System State restore.
Thank you for the points!


No problem. Sorry for the delay.
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