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domain controller backup

Created: 26 Oct 2013 • Updated: 13 Nov 2013 | 9 comments
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What to backup in a domain controller/active directory ?

My selection list contains C drive,system state,Utility partition,shadow copy components .

Is this enough to be able to recover my domain controllers incase of a disaster?will this backup the whole domain controller structure including DB and the active directory strucuture, policies, sites configuration, trusts and all?

what is utility partition and is it needed in domain cotroller backup ?


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AmolB's picture

To recover a domain controller you need to have a latest FULL backup of the below

C Drive + System State + Shadow Copy Components + Utility partitions.

For Utility Partition details refer to

suren424's picture

Ok .. Thanks .

Which backup is preferred for domain controllers ?

Can we take incremental/differential backups of the domain controllers ? Is it a good practice , which one is preferrable?

presently i am taking a full backup every week.

AmolB's picture

Active Directory database can be backed up only through System State of the Domian Controller.

You cannot take inceremental\differential backup of a System state. It has to be a full backup. 

CraigV's picture it not a case of the System State backup always being a FULL backup irrespective of whether or not the main backup is INCR/DIFF?


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AmolB's picture

True. System state backup will always be a FULL backup even if you configure it as an

incremental or differential backup.

CraigV's picture

Thanks for clarifying! yes

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suren424's picture

So,if my selection list consists of  C drive,system state,utility partitions,shadow copy components and do a full backup weekly and incremental daily ,the backup for system state will always be full backup irrespective of full or incremental backup ?


AmolB's picture

System state backup will always be Full irrespective of the backup method

Refer to

pkh's picture

For speedy recovery, don't do incremental backups with the selection you have. Just do full backups. If you do incremental backups you would have to restore the last full backup and All the incremental backups when you do a recovery