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How To Create a Metabase Backup by Using Internet Information Server 4.0 in Windows NT

This article was previously published under Q300675
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
This step-by-step instruction guide describes how to create a metabase backup by using Internet Information Server (IIS) 4.0, to recover administrative settings.

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IIS 4.0 Administrative Metabase Backup

The metabase is a structure that stores IIS configuration settings. It performs some of the same functions as the Windows registry, but is specific to IIS. The IIS metabase is a large and complicated structure that contains vital information about your Internet sites. Backing up the metabase is a relatively easy task, so that you can easily protect that important data. To create an administrative backup of the IIS 4.0 metabase:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, and then click Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack. Click Microsoft Internet Information Services, and then click Internet Services Manager.

    IMPORTANT: Do not click HTML.
  2. Right-click the name of your computer.
  3. On the shortcut menu, click Backup/Restore Configuration to display a dialog box that you can use to make a backup of the IIS 4.0 metabase for that computer.
  4. Click Create Backup, and then type a name for this backup.

    NOTE: The backup name cannot contain any symbols, only letters or numbers.
  5. Click OK to quickly back up the administrative settings in the metabase. The backup name, date, and time are listed in the Previous Backups dialog box.
  6. Click Close to close IIS. Your metabase administrative backup is now complete.
  7. Read the following "Pitfalls" section for a description of what you can use this backup for.
NOTE: The default location of the backup is the C:\Winnt\System32\Inetsrv\MetaBack folder. If you want to save your backup to another location, copy the file from the default location to the location that you want to use. Make sure that you keep a copy in the default location so that you can restore the backup more easily. (This location path assumes that drive C is your system root; if drive C is not your system root, replace C with the appropriate drive letter.)


There are some important limitations to this process that you need to familiarize yourself with, in case a problem occurs and you need to rely on your backup:
  • You cannot restore the metabase backup to another installation of Windows NT. As useful as this might be, you cannot use this feature to clone one IIS configuration to another server in your Web farm.
  • More importantly, if you lose your entire server and need to re-install the operating system, you cannot recover your IIS configuration from this backup.
In other words, this backup is not appropriate for disaster recovery. The metabase backup and restoration functionality is best suited for versioning purposes and recovering from the administrative mistakes that continue to plague Web masters, whether those mistakes occur as the result of attempted optimizations (that have the opposite effect) or simple point-and-click errors.

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Article ID: 300675 - Last Review: 10/24/2013 06:53:15 - Revision: 1.2

Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

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