How to perform a System State backup onto your C drive

I’ve recently come across an interesting feature regarding Windows 2008 backup. On my test machine at home, I have Windows 2008 installed on a single partition – my C drive. On this machine, I want to back up my System State consisting of both my registry and Active Directory.
My first observation is that with previous versions of Windows, you could use the GUI based NTBackup program to perform this task. In Windows 2008, this has been replaced with ‘Windows Server Backup’.  However, this doesn’t provide the option to only backup the System State. Instead, you have to use a command line tool called Wbadmin like so: 
wbadmin start systemstatebackup -backuptarget:Drive_Letter:
The problem with Wbadmin is that it doesn’t permit you to do a System State backup onto your C drive, nor does it allow you to backup onto a network share. So what can you do if you want to back up onto your C drive?
Knowledge base article KB944530 ( describes the registry fix that you have to carry out. Here’s the key that you have to add or modify. 
Name: AllowSSBToAnyVolume
Data type: DWORD
Value data: 1
I think this behaviour is pretty unfriendly and a better option is to warn the user rather than stop them from doing this completely. Creating a backup onto a system volume in order to copy elsewhere is a valid scenario and the process that you have to follow in 2008 makes it very difficult.
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About dotnettim

Tim Leung is a Microsoft .Net / SQL Server developer based in England.
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