How To Backup SCCM 2012 R2 Server

In this post we will see How To Backup SCCM 2012 R2 Server. If you have deployed SCCM 2012 R2 in your organization then you must know how to backup SCCM 2012 R2 server because backing up avoids loss of critical data. For Configuration Manager sites, this preparation ensures that sites and hierarchies are recovered with the least data loss and in the quickest possible time. System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager provides a backup maintenance task that runs on a schedule and backs up the site database, specific registry keys, and specific folders and files. You can also create the AfterBackup.bat file to perform post-backup actions automatically after the backup maintenance task runs successfully.

Before you perform the backup of SCCM server few things to keep in mind.

  1. The SMS Writer service must be running for the Configuration Manager site back up to successfully complete.
  2. The SMS Writer service must run under the Local System account.
  3. You can automate backup for Configuration Manager sites by scheduling the predefined Backup Site Server maintenance task.
  4. The Local System account on the site server must have Write NTFS file system permissions to the local folder for the site server backup. The Local System account on the computer that is running SQL Server must have Write NTFS permissions to the folder for the site database backup.

What is the recommended schedule to take a backup of SCCM Server ?

You must configure an appropriate schedule for the site backup task. As a best practice, consider a backup schedule that is outside active working hours. If you have a hierarchy, consider a schedule that runs at least two times a week to ensure maximum data retention in the event of site failure.

What Gets Backed Up ?

(a) Configuration Manager site database.

(b) Master site control file (.InboxesSitectrl.boxSitectrl.ct0).

(c) SMS and NAL registry keys on the site server.

(d) Configuration Manager installation directory on the site server.

Can I use the same technique to backup my secondary site ?

You can back up a central administration site and primary site, but there is no backup support for secondary sites or site system servers.

Can I use Data Protection Manager to Backup Site Database ?

Starting in Configuration Manager SP1, you can use System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager (DPM) to back up your site database. You must create a new protection group in DPM for the site database computer. On the Select Group Members page of the Create New Protection Group Wizard, you select the SMS Writer service from the data source list, and then select the site database as an appropriate member.

What does not get backed up ?

a) The Backup Site Server maintenance task does not include a backup for the content library or the package source files. When a site server fails, the information about the content library files is restored to the site database, but you must restore the content library and package source files on the site server.

(b) When you have modified predefined or created custom Reporting Services reports, creating a backup for the report server database files is very important as this is not backed up when we run backup task.

(c) If you are using Updates Publisher 2011(SCUP) to manage custom software updates, determine whether you have software updates that needs to be backed up. You must include SCUP database in your backup plan.

(d) The user state migration data is not backed up as part of the Site Server Backup maintenance task. As part of your backup plan, you must manually back up the folders that you specify to store the user state migration data.

When can I use option Recover the site database using a backup set ?

You can use Recover the site database using a backup set option when you have a backup of the Configuration Manager site database that was created as part of the Backup Site Server maintenance task run on the site before the site database failure.

How To Backup SCCM 2012 R2 Server

Launch the SCCM 2012 R2 console, click on Administration, expand Overview, expand Site Configuration, click on Sites and on the right pane click on your primary site. On the top ribbon click Site Maintenance.

How To Backup SCCM 2012 R2 Server

This will bring up Site Maintenance window. You can see there are list of tasks, few of them are enabled and running. Look for task named “Backup Site Server“. This task is not enabled by default, right click on the task and click Edit.

How To Backup SCCM 2012 R2 Server

When you edit the task it brings Backup Site Server Properties window, click Enable this task, click Set Paths and set the path where you want to place the backup files of SCCM 2012 R2 server.

How To Backup SCCM 2012 R2 Server

Set the Schedule for the backup. In this example we will schedule the backup on weekends. Set the start time as per your requirements. Check the box Enable alerts for backup task failures. Click Apply and OK.

How To Backup SCCM 2012 R2 Server

We now see that Backup Site Server task is enabled and scheduled to run with configured settings.

How To Backup SCCM 2012 R2 Server

This was all about scheduling the backup task automatically. The next section will show how to backup SCCM 2012 R2 server manually.

How To Backup SCCM 2012 R2 Server Manually – Consider a scenario where administrator needs to backup the SCCM 2012 R2 server immediately ? In such cases we can manually backup SCCM server. On the SCCM server, click on run and click services.msc, look for the service named SMS_SITE_BACKUP (C:\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\bin\x64\smsbkup.exe), right click the service and click Start.

How To Backup SCCM 2012 R2 Server

The backup task has started and it is being done in the background. In <ConfigMgrInstallationFolder>Logs, review Smsbkup.log for warnings and errors. To see the backup process open the log file smsbkup.log located under the path C:\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\Logs. From the log file we see that SMS_SITE_BACKUP service 2012 has been started.

How To Backup SCCM 2012 R2 Server

After few seconds we see that the backup has been completed successfully. Look for the line Backup completed – Day Month Date HH:MM:SS YY. After the backup task is completed the SMS_SITE_BACKUP service is stopped automatically.

How To Backup SCCM 2012 R2 Server

Let’s open the backup folder and see what’s inside it. We see 2 folders SiteDBServer and SiteServer which contains database files and SCCM folders (inboxes, Logs, Data etc) respectively.

How To Backup SCCM 2012 R2 Server

Under SiteDBServer folder we see CM_sitecode.mdf and CM_sitecode_log.ldf files.

How To Backup SCCM 2012 R2 Server


  1. Avatar photo Tom Paget says:


    You are an absolute life saver! I love your blogs. They are spot on accuracy! The same steps apply to a MECM Server running Server 2019 with

    1. Avatar photo SALIM SAID says:

      I concur with you I fell in love with this guy from day one!!!

  2. These mdf & ldf files are growing in size. Any solution

  3. Avatar photo Yogesh Gupta says:

    Hi Prajwal
    I am having an infra with cas and one primary site in my testing enviroment.
    My query is that If I run backup on cas will it also backup he child primary site.

  4. Avatar photo Insaf Muhammed says:

    Awesome brother, can’t thank you enough for these lemons 🙂

    1. Avatar photo Raheel Ali says:

      Insaaf…. is that u 🙂

  5. Avatar photo Felipe Bautista says:

    Hi, enable backup site in network path, but it does not allow change for local path

  6. I completed a SCCM restore to another server. Same name, drive letters etc. I am at the point where I am redistributing the content to another DP and it is failing. I see the following errors.

    [10EC][Fri 12/30/2016 13:23:30]:Failed to validate IIS and ShareFolder configurations. Return code: 0x80070002
    [10EC][Fri 12/30/2016 13:23:30]:RegQueryValueExW failed for SoftwareMicrosoftSMSDP, ContentLibUsableDrives
    [10EC][Fri 12/30/2016 13:23:30]:RegReadString failed; 0x80070002
    [10EC][Fri 12/30/2016 13:23:30]:Failed to GetDPUsableDrives. error = 0x80070002

    I also see.
    AlgID property is not valid

    Any help would be appreciated.

  7. How would I backup all my source content?

  8. Avatar photo Craig Brown says:

    Hi There,

    I have DPM 2012 R2 and SCCM 2012 SP1 CU3. I have the DPM agent on both my DB server and my SCCM server . In DPM I don’t see the SMS Writer service in my data source list.

    Also, up until reading this article I have just been using a standard SQL server DB backup for my SCCM database using DPM, will this not be enough for a disaster recovery?


  9. The first time the Backup Site Server maintenance task runs, it creates a backup snapshot, which you can use to recover your site server in case of a failure. When the backup task runs again during subsequent cycles, it creates a new backup snapshot that overwrites the previous snapshot. As a result, the site has only a single backup snapshot, and you have no way of retrieving an earlier backup snapshot.

  10. Avatar photo Stephen Nowowiejski says:


    First of all, thank you for the excellent instructions. I have a question though.

    I was able to get the backup feature working and it has done two successful backups. However, it’s does not appear to be overwriting the database files under the “SiteDBServer” folder. It’s still the files dated from the very first backup a week ago

    My log says that is registers the connection to the DB. Also that “SQL Backup task completed successfully.”
    One line I notice in your screen shot but not mine is “After BackupComplete SQL Writer status = STABLE.”
    Is it supposed to overwrite the DB files with every backup? My fear is that even though the logs state the backup was successful, that I’ll still lose a “weeks worth of data”.
    Thank you.

  11. Hi Prajwal

    I have a question about reinstalling IIS on SCCM 2012R2. The server has 10 roles (including the Management Point, App Catalog Web Service Point, App Catalog Website Point Services, Reporting Point, Fallback Status Point,). I have a problem such as in this thread:
    I decided to reinstall IIS. Do you first have to remove all dependent on the IIS roles?

    1. Hi Tom, you need to be little careful while reinstalling the IIS on primary site.

  12. Avatar photo amar baghel says:

    Hi Prajwal your docx so helpful now i become regular folower of ur blogs

  13. Will it be possible to write a task sequence on how to upgrade BIOS for DELL hardware and deploy packaged applications to AD groups within the task sequence??? Just a request. Your deployment articles are detailed with screen shot – thought a new article on the above might help a lot of people including me….

    1. Yes you can do that using a task sequence. Before I post the article I have to try it out once in my lab setup..

      1. Avatar photo Raja Munibalan says:

        Dear prajwal , I m salute you ,This kind prief explanation even i didn’t see ENG book also thanks for giving and spend your valuable time for us
        Can i have why we are going to sccm ,can’t use AD GP software push ,wds and i need a interview question , kindly i requst you to send me

        Thanks in advance

  14. Followed your instruction and completed the backup. Thanks!!!

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