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Critical and Non-Critical System State Components for Windows File System

Critical Components

Critical components are components that are essential and necessary for the operating system to come back alive after the restore of system state.

If a critical component fails during the backup of system state, the backup job fails with an error code as the backed up data is not sufficient for a restore of the operating system.

  • Active Directory
  • ASR
  • Cluster Database
  • Registry
  • System Info Archive
  • System Protected Files
  • System Volume

    You may filter critical system state components from a backup operation. However, you cannot restore the server to the state in which it was at the time of backup thereby leading to a incomplete restore of the server and system state.

Non-Critical Components

Non-Critical components are components that are part of system state but are not essential for the operating system to come back alive after the restore of system state.

If a non-critical component fails during the backup of system state, the backup job completes with an error code as the backed up data is sufficient for a restore of the operating system. However, the non-critical components do not get restored.

  • Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM)
  • BITS service
  • Certificate services
  • COM+ database
  • Content indexing catalogs
  • DDR explicit content
  • DFS replication services
  • DHCP
  • Disk quotas
  • Event logs
  • File Server Resource Manager (FSRM)
  • IIS
  • Metadata
  • NPS database
  • Offline files
  • One touch files
  • Remote storage database
  • RSM
  • Terminal Services Licensing
  • UDDI database
  • WMI database
  • WINS

For more information on system state, see Microsoft Articles on Backing Up and Restoring System State, Microsoft Backing Up and Restoring System State in Windows Server 2003 R2 and Windows Server 2003 SP1, and Backing Up and Restoring the Failover Cluster Configuration Using VSS.