Set Windows Vista to perform a Complete PC Backup on a schedule.
Windows Vista Ultimate, Business, and Enterprise have a great image based backup called Complete PC Backup that backs up your entire computer including Windows, programs, settings, and files.
Unfortunately Complete PC Backup can’t be scheduled from the control panel. This guide shows you how to use the command line version of Complete PC Backup (wbadmin) and the Task Scheduler to backup your computer with Complete PC Backup on a schedule.
Prerequisites: Before you can schedule a complete PC backup you need the following:
- Windows Vista Ultimate, Business, or Enterprise: You must be running Windows Vista Ultimate, Business, or Enterprise.
- Administrative Privileges: The user account you use to create the scheduled task that creates a Complete PC backup must have admin privileges in this example.
- Password: The user account you’re logged into when creating the scheduled task must be password protected.
The wbadmin Command
The wbadmin command is a command line tool for Windows Vista’s Complete PC Backup. Since Complete PC Backup isn’t schedulable from the control panel I’m going to use wbadmin with the help of the Task Scheduler to automatically create a Complete PC Backup on a schedule.
How-to Use wbadmin
Here’s an example wbadmin command:
WBADMIN START BACKUP -backupTarget:f: -include:c: -allCritical -vssFull -quiet
Note: This command needs to run in an elevated command prompt to work properly.
Here are the parts of the command broken down and explained:
- wbadmin The wbadmin command.
- start backup Tells wbadmin it’s going to perform a backup.
- -allCritical Makes sure all system files are included in the backup.
- -backupTarget:B: Where the backup will be saved. The wbadmin command can save a Complete PC Backup in a drive (D:), folder (D:\backups\MyPC), or a network share (\\FileServer\JoesPC).
- -include:C: What drive to backup. Multiple drives can be backed up by separating them with commas (-include:C:,E:,F:\folder).
- -vssFull Performs a full backup using Volume Shadow Copy. Each file’s history will be updated to reflect it was backed up. Warning: Do not use this if you’re using other backup programs.
- -quiet This tells the wbadmin command to not ask you any questions and just do what it’s told.
Schedule Complete PC Backup
In this example I’m going to set my computer to run a Complete PC Backup every week to backup my C: drive and save it on my E: drive. Use this example to set your computer up.
- Click the Start button, point at All Programs, click Accessories, click System Tools, and then select Task Scheduler.
Note: Your user account must have administrative privileges to create this task.
- Click Create Task in the Actions column of the Task Scheduler window.
- Give the new task a name and check off Run with highest privileges in the General tab of the new task.
- Select the Triggers tab and then click New.
- Check off weekly, check off a day of the week, setup a time, and then click OK when you’re finished.
- Select the Actions tab and click New.
- Type wbadmin in the Program/script box.
- Type START BACKUP -backupTarget:f: -include:c: -allCritical -vssFull -quiet in the Add arguments box and then click OK to save it.
Note: -backupTarget: is where the backup will be saved, and –include: is what will be backed up. You might need to change the –backupTarget: switch’s drive letter.
- Click OK in your scheduled task properties window to save it.
- Test this task by right-clicking the new task in the top center pane of the task scheduler and select Run.
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