Restoring the system state in Windows 2000


A couple of weeks ago, we reviewed the ability to backup the system

state in Windows 2000. This week we step through restoring the system


Before we begin, it is worth noting that this should be performed on a

test machine first until you are completely familiar with the

ramifications of restoring the system state to a machine. If you do this

to a production machine, then you may want to make a backup of the

current system state, prior to restoring an older system state backup.

Restoring the system state is just as easy as backing it up. By using

the backup utility you can perform the system state restore for any of

your previous backups that you have created.

Start the backup utility by clicking on

Start\Programs\Accessories\System Tools\Backup. Select the Restore tab,

and then select the backup file you created during the system state

backup. If this machine happens to be a Windows 2000 Active Directory

domain controller, then you will get prompted to reboot the server in

Directory Services Restore Mode. This is because you cannot restore the

Active Directory portions of the system state while Active Directory is

running. By rebooting in Directory Services restore mode you inform the

system that you are going to be restoring the critical Active Directory


If this machine is not an Active Directory domain controller then after

you select the appropriate system state backup file to restore, you can

click Next to continue. From this point, just follow the prompts and

you will restore the system state. After the system state restore is

completed, you will be prompted to reboot and upon successful reboot,

your machine will be returned to its previous system state.

One thing to be aware of is the ability to backup and restore

system-protected files. If while you were backing up the system state

you select the option to "Automatically backup System Protected Files

with the System State" under the Advanced Backup Options, then your

system state backup includes all the system files in your \%systemroot%

folder, along with the boot files listed in the System State. On a

Windows 2000 Professional machine, this option can add over 200MB to

your System State backup.

System state backups and restores in Windows 2000

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