Metabase backup files provide a way to restore your metabase configuration and schema data if your metabase becomes corrupted. You can create backup files by using Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager or an administration script. The backup files are copies of the metabase configuration file (MetaBase.xml) and the matching metabase schema file (MBSchema.xml). Use the metabase configuration backup and restore feature to restore the metabase from backup files.

You can create two types of metabase backups:

  • Portable backups - When you create a portable backup, you provide a password that is used by IIS to encrypt the backup files. After the backup file is encrypted, you cannot change the password of the backup file.
  • Nonportable backups - When you create a nonportable backup, you do not supply a password. Therefore, IIS encrypts nonportable backup files with a blank password, which allows any member of the administrators group to restore the metabase by using nonportable backup files. Only the blank password and secure properties are encrypted; all other information within the backup file is plaintext.

For additional information, including steps to follow for creating such backups, see Back Up and Restore the IIS Metabase.


The IIS Backup Management Script, Iisback.vbs, is an alternative method to back up and restore the metabase. This script creates and manages backup copies of the Internet Information Services (IIS) configuration (metabase and schema) of a remote or local computer. Administrators can use this script tool to create a backup copy of their IIS configuration, to restore an IIS configuration from a backup copy, and to list and delete backup copies.

The /copy operation uses iisback.vbs to make a backup copy of the source metabase and the schema. Then it copies the backup copy files (.MDx and .SCx) to the target computer and again uses iisback.vbs to replace the metabase and schema of the target computer with the backup copy.

Although you can do these operations manually, /copy provides a convenient, one-step method to replicating an IIS configuration.

The /copy operation replaces the features of iissync.exe, a tool formerly included in Microsoft Windows Server.

The /copy operation does not copy the server content that is associated with the IIS configuration, such as Web pages and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) files. Instead, /copy changes the computer-specific and system-specific properties in the metabase so that they are valid on the target computer. However, it does not adjust the directory or file paths. As a result, paths in the configuration might not be valid on the target computer.

The domain, fabrikam, is a service provider in this procedure.

Sample Output of Iiscnfg.vbs:

  Copy Code
Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.6 
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 1996-2001. All rights reserved. 
Enter the Password: 
Backing up server WEB01 
cmd /c iisback /backup /s WEB01 /u fabrikam\Administrator /p B##jdt! /b iisreplback /overwrite 
Backup complete. 
Mapping local drive G: to admin share on server Svr06 
Mapping local drive I: to admin share on server MainBkp 
Copying backup files... 
cmd /c copy /Y G:\System32\inetsrv\metaback\iisreplback.* I:\System32\inetsrv\metaback 
Unmapping local drive G: 
Restoring on server MainBkp 
cmd /c iisback /restore /s MainBkp /u FABRIKAM\Administrator /p B##jdt! /b iisreplback 
Restore complete. 
Unmapping local drive I: 

A backup created with iisBack.vbs can only be restored to the same server from which the backup was taken. To create a transportable export of certain configuration information from the metabase so you can import it to a different server, use IISCNFG.VBS.

Learn more about this standard script by reading Iisback.vbs: IIS backup management script.