How to Back Up a Windows Server 2016 Domain Controller


The domain controller role is central to an Active Directory-based network.Now learn how to protect your Windows Server 2016 domain controllers by using first-party backup tools.In the Microsoft technology stack, the domain controller provides core identity services to your business network. As such, the loss of a domain controller can create a denial of service (DoS) and bring your network services to a grinding halt.Recently i have identified three ways you can back up the System State of a Windows Server 2016 domain controller.

Windows Server computers (physical or virtual) have a data collection called the System State that can be backed up specifically by the systems administrator. Depending on the server’s infrastructure role which is very important, different data may comprise that machine’s System State. The System State consists of the following files:

  • Active Directory database (domain controllers)
  • Sysvol shared folder (domain controllers)
  • Certificate Services database (certification authorities)
  • Cluster database (failover cluster nodes)
  • Boot files, system files, and files covered by Windows File Protection
  • component Services class registration database
  • Windows Registry
  • Performance Monitor counter configuration data

Method 1: Windows PowerShell

Open up an elevated Windows PowerShell prompt on your server and run the following command to install the Windows Backup cmdlets,after that:Install-WindowsFeature -Name Windows-Server-Backup -IncludeAllSubfeature -IncludeManagementTools

This process won’t require a restart. You can enumerate all the backup commands like so:Get-Command -Module WindowsServerBackup.The following script will create a System State backup of the local server and save the backup to my F: data volume. You’ll notice that I’ve commented on every line so you can easily see what’s going on.

Now there are following steps-

#create the backup policy

$policy = New-WBPolicy#back up the System State
Add-WBSystemState -Policy $policy

#declare the backup location as my F: volume
$target = New-WBBackupTarget -VolumePath “F:”

#add the backup location to the policy
Add-WBBackupTarget -Policy $policy -Target $target

#start the backup
Start-WBBackup -Policy $policy

Method 2: Windows Backup

Suppose If you’re not a PowerShell fan, then you may want to use the graphical backup utility that has shipped with Windows Server since the very beginning. Follow the procedure in the previous section to install the Windows Backup feature.

Method 3: Microsoft Azure

This method will work only if you have an Azure subscription. Then, the first thing you need to do is to log into the Azure Portal ( and create a Recovery Services vault After specifying to Azure that you want to back up the System State of an on-premises virtual machine, you’ll be prompted to download and install the Microsoft Azure Backup agent.The bad news is that this “agent” is actually a full-fledged server, based on Microsoft Data Protection Manager (DPM), whose download comprises 3.2 gigabytes and that requires a SQL Server instance for installation.




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