Question Create a System Backup Excluding Specific FIles/Folders


Sep 6, 2011
Running Windows Server 2012 R2, I would like to create a System backup, though exclude certain files/folders that are already backed up to other media. The server is running a RAID 5 with 3 disks, so I will be backing up a virtual disk if that makes any difference. I'm thinking the Windows Server Backup is not able to do this, so was looking for any suggestions/recommendations.

I will be adding a 4th disk to the RAID 5 tomorrow, and so want to make sure I have a reliable backup of the System in case of failure. My database and other essential files (~280GBs) are backed up daily to a 300GB removable media drive, but I have no actual backup of the System drive. I only have one spare 300GB media drive, so backing up the entire system which includes the database would greatly exceed the capacity of this backup media. Fortunately, the database and its files are already backed up to the other 300GB media drive, so I just need to backup the remaining System drive, excluding the database.
If you want to use the system image feature, according to , there's a registry entry you can modify to exclude folders.

Actually, I think it IS possible to exclude things from a System Image
Using the FilesNotToSnapshot worked for me on a Windows 8.1 system. One critical piece of information to know is that specifying just the folder path is not enough. You must use wildcards and /s to let it know that the entire folder tree is to be ignored. In my case, I had a music folder at C:\My Music. This was specified in the registry as C:\My Music\. /s.
You could also opt for a third party tool.