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Barracuda MSP Partner Toolkit

Exit Code -2 Failure



A System State backup fails to back up successfully and produces the following error in the job log:

WBAdmin process failed with exit code -2, arguments: start systemstatebackup -backupTarget:<X:> -quiet


The backup may fail every time you try to run it.




This error indicates that the volume used as a scratch drive has been determined by Windows to be a critical drive.  As a result, it cannot be used as a scratch drive as it must be included in the backup set itself.  Critical drives may contain any of the following data:

  • ASR writer
  • Active Directory (domain controller only)
  • System Volume (domain controller only)
  • Certificate Server Database (domain controller only)
  • COM+ database
  • Windows Registry
  • System and boot files
  • Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS)
  • Event logs (Windows Server 2003 only)
  • Removable Storage Management Database (RSM)
  • Cluster Database (cluster node only)
  • Remote Storage Service
  • Terminal Server Licensing
  • Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)
  • Internet Information Services (IIS) metabase
  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
  • Windows Internet Name Service (WINS)

Please note that the above is a list of the most common components and is not entirely comprehensive.


To fix this issue, use another volume for the scratch drive.  To see which volumes are eligible to use as a scratch drive, use the command from System State Troubleshooting article and make the volume you are testing the backup target.

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