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Where is the system state located in an OS, such as SBS 2003?

Posted on 2010-01-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-08
Experts,

That is basically my question.
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Question by:Bert2005
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 26278314
It depends what the system is doing but in general it consists of:

Boot files
Registry Hives
SYSVOL
Active Directory NTDS.DIT if its a Domain Controller
Certificate Store
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by:Bert2005
ID: 26278421
Hi demazter,

Thanks for your reply. I am hoping you can tell me WHERE it is. I have a backup, which I am pretty sure has the system state backed up with it. I need to replace a corrupted system state. But, I don't just see a folder that says "System State."

Thanks.
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 26278422
Which version of WIndows?
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by:Bert2005
ID: 26278439
SBS 2003 Standard Edition R2
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 26278448
And are you using the standard Windows Backup Tools?
If so it's actually called "System State" if you run through the backup wizard.

Goto Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Backup, select restore then your backup and it's called System State.
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by:Bert2005
ID: 26278506
demazter,

Thanks for sticking with me. Let me give you a bit of background of the problem (and the fact that I have been at this 24/7 for three days (with catnaps in between).

Everything running smoothly until last Thursday night. Then I uninstalled a program. I couldn't reboot as it asked. Couldn't even use CTRL - ALT - Delete. Did a hard reboot, and came to the blue screen at top left which read: Windows cannot boot because it cannot find hive. System root/System32/Config/Software is corrupt or missing. Couldn't boot into safe mode.

Booted from Windows CD and used restoration console to use backups. Then it couldn't find the RAIDs. I got to the point to install SBS from CDs, but the drivers got corrupted. Downloaded Dell's drivers for PERC6i and loaded them via F6 during startup and got into install. I installed SBS 2003 onto another hard drive, completely differerent drive and partition. From there I have full access to the last ntBackups and Acronis backups. I changed the software file and the system files on the corrupted system state, and it booted not into the registry key error, but into a lsass.exe error.

So, now I am trying to restore from one of my Acronis or ntBackups from Thursday. They are intact and are good backups. I could try an entire backup, but if I could just restore the system state.

Probablem is when I go to restore how you said, which I have tried, there is no folder to check that says system state. I can't imagine I wouldn't back that up but apparently I didn't. Maybe Acronis has it.

Sorry for the convoluted tale. That is why I wanted to know where the system state was. When I look at the entire C: drive on my good SBS install, I do not see a folder called System State. So, it must be in there somewhere. The registry must be in there somewhere.
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 26278519
So when you go through the backup program, select you backup then under nesth the backup name there should be a System State it will not be under the C: Drive.

If you dont have it listed you didnt back it up.

Just to see what i am talking about go through the backup wizard and you will see the System State listed.
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by:Bert2005
ID: 26278545
I did and I didn't see it. I have no idea why I would not have backed it up. If I go through the motions to back up, I do see where you check it off.

But, just for kicks, say I do have a complete system with a system state -- you know like the XP Pro machine I am typing on right now. The system state (which may not be in one place) must be somewhere. I mean can I browse to the registry other than through regedit?
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 26278582
C:\Windows\System32\Config is where the hives are stored but thats not a complete system state.

If its SBS the system state will also have included your Active Directory with all your user accounts/computer accounts group configuration.

Exchange also needs to be considered!!!
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by:Bert2005
ID: 26278602
Yeah but the bad file was in Windows\System32\Config

This is weird. But something tells me I will have to reinstall, which means reconnecting all the PCs, etc. It is usually my last option.

BUT, while backups are great for restoring in a heartbeat, the saving grace is the data. :-)
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Glen Knight earned 2000 total points
ID: 26278608
Sonif you have a backup of that folder, restore that folder.
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by:Bert2005
ID: 26279878
LOL, that is exactly what I did. And, it worked!

Thanks.
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