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System State and System backup temporary storage restrictions

Description: What are the restrictions for the temporary storage location of a System State backup (System State backup module) or System backup (MS Windows System backup module)?

Content:  There are a few different restrictions imposed by Microsoft on the storage location (Temporary Directory) for the MS Windows System backup module and the System State backup module..

For a System State backup (System State backup module): 

  • The temp directory must be a local or USB drive
  • The temp directory can be a non-critical or critical drive
  • Shadow Copies storage location of the temp directory must be set to local

Important: The temp directory selected must be a 'root' drive, and the disk space required would be around 10 GB at least.

For spooling to a critical volume, you need to add a registry entry to allow spooling to any drive. Instruction can be found at: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/944530

The registry change above is only for System State backup, but not for System backup.

Note: According to Microsoft - "A volume is a critical volume if it contains system state information (system-critical components)", which includes the boot volume, the system volume or other volume with critical information (volume that contain the MS Exchange installation, MS SQL installation … etc).

For a System backup (MS Windows System backup module): 

  • The temp directory can be a local, USB or network drive
  • The temp directory must be a non-critical drive (there is no workaround for this)
  • Shadow Copies storage location of the temp directory must be set to local 
Important: The temp directory selected must be a 'root' drive, and the disk space required is the total 'used' size of all volumes selected for backup.

A summary table of the restrictions:

Backup Type Critical Volume Non-critical Volume USB Volume Network Volume Folder under a Volume
MS Windows System backup module No Yes Yes Yes No
System State backup module Yes 1 Yes Yes No No

1 For system state backup to spool to a critical volume, you need to add a registry entry to allow spooling to any volume: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/944530

Note: For best performance, we strongly recommend using a local dedicated volume for storage for the backup. All of the requirements listed above are imposed by Microsoft’s Wbadmin.exe (Windows Server Backup Feature) and not by backup software Advanced.
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