You are currently offline, waiting for your internet to reconnect

How to create a metabase backup in IIS 5

This article was previously published under Q300672
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
This step-by-step article describes how to create a metabase backup by using Internet Information Server (IIS) 5.

back to the top

IIS 5 Administrative Metabase Backup

The metabase is a structure for storing IIS configuration settings. It performs some of the same functions as the Windows system registry but is specific to IIS.

The IIS metabase is a large and complicated structure, and has much vital information about your Internet sites. So that you can easily protect that important data, backing up the metabase has been made into a relatively easy task. This article describes how you can back up the metabase easily so that you can recover administrative settings.

back to the top

How To Create an Administrative Backup of the IIS 5 Metabase

  1. Click Start, point to Programs, click Administrative tools, and then click Internet Services Manager.
  2. Right-click the name of your computer.
  3. Click Backup/Restore Configuration to display a dialog box that allows you to make a backup of the IIS 5 metabase for that computer.
  4. Click Create Backup, and then type a name for this backup.

    NOTE: The backup name cannot contain any symbols, just letters or numbers.
  5. Click OK to quickly back up the administrative settings in the metabase. The backup name and its date and time are now listed in the Previous Backups dialog box.
  6. Click Close, and then quit IIS. Your metabase administrative backup is now complete. See the "Troubleshooting" section for information about what you can do with this backup .
NOTE: The default location of the backup is the %SystemRoot%\system32\inetsrv\MetaBack folder. If you want to save your backup to another location, you can copy the file from this default location to another location. Keep a copy in the default location to allow for an easy restoration. Note that by default, c:\Winnt is the %SystemRoot% folder in Windows 2000.

back to the top


The process that is described in this article comes with some important limitations that you should be familiar with before something goes wrong (and you need to rely on your backup). First, you cannot restore the metabase backup to another installation of Windows 2000. Although this would be convenient, this feature won't allow you to clone one IIS configuration to another server in your Web farm. More importantly, if you lose your entire server and end up reinstalling the operating system, you'll be unable to recover your IIS configuration from this backup. In other words, this backup isn't appropriate for disaster recovery use. The metabase backup and restoration functionality is best used for versioning purposes and to recover from the administrative mistakes that continue to plague Webmasters whether the mistakes are attempted optimizations that have the opposite affect or simple point-and-click errors.

back to the top


Article ID: 300672 - Last Review: 12/06/2015 03:08:12 - Revision: 3.3

Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition

  • kbnosurvey kbarchive kbhowto kbhowtomaster KB300672