Page tree
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Table of Contents



ZCB is a secure and convenient way to back up Windows servers and workstations to a Local Folder or Cloud storage (Amazon S3).

ZCB can back up files, system state, and several live applications.

  • Windows NTFS files and folders
  • Windows ReFS files and folders
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2000, 2005, 2008, and 2012
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007/WSS 3, 2010, 2013
  • Windows System State (including the registry, certificate server, and active directory information)
  • MySQL Server 5.x
  • Oracle Server 11i, 11g, or later.
  • Hyper-V (Windows 2008, 2012, and 8 only)
    • Server "core" installations are not supported for Windows 2008 or 2012

SQL Server, Exchange Server, SharePoint, and Hyper-V server configurations are automatically discovered by ZCB.

Getting started with ZCB is easy and you can start backing up in less than 15 minutes.

Download ZCB

After purchasing Zmanda Cloud Backup, download the program from your account on the Zmanda Network. Log in and visit the Downloads page.

ZCB comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Be sure to grab the one that is right for your system.

Your cloud certificate is also available on the Downloads page. You may download it now, or do so when you first run ZCB. More information about your cloud certificate can be found below.

Installing ZCB

After downloading, run the install file. The setup wizard will appear, and walk you through the process of installing ZCB.

You'll be asked to agree to a license agreement and choose where to install the program. Be sure to install to a drive with ample free space!

In addition to the standard screens, you will find two special screens.

Setup Prerequisite: Java Runtime Environment

ZCB requires that the Java Runtime Environment, or JRE, be installed. Java 7 is required. You may download JRE 7 by clicking the download link in the installer. You may also visit the Java website for downloads.

Like with ZCB itself, Java is available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Download and install the one that is correct for your system.

The amandabackup user

A special Windows service account named amandabackup is created during installation. All ZCB operations are run as amandabackup.

The amandabackup user can be created as a local user or a domain user.

  • Domain User: If you plan to interface with network locations for backup or storage of backups, it is recommended that you choose to create amandabackup as a Domain user.
    • This option will be greyed out if no domain is detected.
  • Local User: If you do not plan to utilize network locations for backup or storage of backups, create amandabackup as a local user.

You can read more about amandabackup in the following Knowledgebase article: What is the amandabackup user?

Run ZCB for the first time

When the install finishes, ZCB will launch automatically if the "Launch Zmanda Cloud Backup when installation is complete" option was checked. You can also launch the program from the Start menu or Desktop shortcuts.

When ZCB is run for the first time, you will be prompted to download and import your cloud certificate.

Your cloud certificate is available on the Download page on the Zmanda Network. You may have downloaded it earlier, but if you did not, please do so now.

Once your cloud certificate has been downloaded, use the Browse button to locate it.

This screen should appear after your import your cloud certificate:

If you receive an error when importing your cloud certificate, please re-download the certificate and try again. If you continue to receive errors, your purchase may not have completed successfully. Please visit this Knowledgebase article: ZCB (for Amazon S3) Purchase & Payment Verification Errors

Create a backup set

Now you're ready to create your first backup set! Click on the New Backup Set button, or choose New Backup Set from the File menu.


You can also create a new backup set by using a keyboard shortcut. Press CTRL + N to create a new backup set at any time.

Many ZCB functions can be activated with keyboard shortcuts.

You must also name your backup set. We recommend naming your backup set after the type of data you wish to back up. A backup set for a Microsoft Exchange Server may be named ExchangeBackup, for example.

In this example, we have created a File System backup named MyFiles.

Once you say OK, your first backup set will be ready to configure! You'll be greeted with a screen like this:

Configure Your Backup

Logically, the task of managing your backups involves answering four key questions:

  • What you want to back up?
  • Where you want to back up and for how long?
  • How you want to back up?
  • When you want to back up?

As you can see in the screenshot above, your backup set is divided into four main sections that correspond to the key questions.

When in doubt, stick to the defaults! The default values are based upon our average customer's needs. If you're not sure if you should change something, don't!

Some application backups, such as Microsoft SQL Server or Exchange will have special, unique requirements. Please visit the Help Center and check your User's Guide for detailed requirements for each backup type!

Backup What

Choose what type of data you want to backup, such as File System or an application like Microsoft Exchange Server.

Once you've chosen your backup type, select which files, folders, and/or databases you wish to back up.

A backup set may only contain one backup type. For example, one single backup set cannot back up both File System and Exchange. You must create a unique backup set for each backup type.

In some cases, you may even wish to create multiple backup sets of the same type.

There is no limit to the number of backup sets you can create!


Throughout ZCB, you will find little blue question mark icons, like this

Click the icon to load a help page relevant to the nearby options. A help icon is located near the Local Storage field, and it explains how to set up ZCB for use with network storage and external harddrives.

Backup Where 

Choose where you wish to store your backup data. ZCB is a "hybrid" backup solution. It can store your data both locally and on the cloud. This allows you to have the security of off-site cloud backups and the easy, speedy backup and restore associated with local backups.

  • Cloud Storage: Choose the desired Amazon data center from the dropdown under the Cloud Storage section.
  • Local Storage: Choose the local disk location using browse button under the Local Storage section

You can also choose if you wish to Throttle your uploads or downloads from the cloud. Throttling places a limit on the total amount of bandwidth ZCB will use for any upload and/or download for the backup set. By default, ZCB transmits your data as fast as it can!

Backup How

Compression is the act of reducing the size of your backups, before they are uploaded to the cloud. Compression is enabled by default.

Encryption secures your data using AES-256 bit encryption. An encryption key is created from a passphrase you choose.

A help icon is available near the Encryption field to guide you through the process of creating and managing your encryption key.

Backup When

There are three tabs available in the Backup When section of ZCB:

Scheduling and Retention

Within this tab, you will set up and control when ZCB backs up your data. You will also control whether ZCB puts your backups on local disk, on the cloud, or both.


A default schedule will appear when you create the backup set, and several other schedule suggestions are available in the Schedule Templates drop-down menu. Edit any schedule by double-clicking it.

The default schedules backup to both disk and cloud. If you wish to back up to one or the other, double-click the schedule. There is a drop-down menu in the Edit Schedule dialog where you can choose to back up to disk only or cloud only.

All backup types will include a Full Backup in the suggested defaults. A Differential and/or Incremental backup schedule will appear as well, unless the chosen backup type does not support them.

You can read more about different backup levels in this Knowledgebase article: What are Incremental and Differential backups?

Your first backup should be a Full Backup. Incremental and Differential backups cannot function until a Full Backup has completed.

In most cases, it's easiest to kick off your first Full Backup via the Backup Now tab.


ZCB will keep your backups as long, or as short, as you want them to be kept.

By default, ZCB keeps your backups based upon the number of Full Backups you have performed. The default values will suffice for most customers.

However, the ability to keep backups for a set period of time is also available.

A help icon is available in the Retention section if you want more information.

Backup Now

To kick off a backup manually, click on the Backup Now tab. Choose where you want your backup to go.

Backup Set Preferences

Here you can choose when ZCB will send emails. ZCB can send emails upon completion or failure of any operation.

Please note that you must supply your email server's SMTP information in the Preferences > Email menu before emails will be sent.

For advanced users, the ability to run a script before or after a backup is also available in this tab.

Save Configuration

Congratulations! Your first backup set is now configured. Save the backup set configuration by clicking the Save backup-set-name button at the bottom of the page.

Start Backing Up!


Your backups will kick off automatically according to the schedules you have created. However, Differential and Incremental backups will fail until a Full Backup as been completed.

If you wish to start a Full Backup immediately, choose the Backup to Disk and Cloud operation from the dropdown list in the Backup Now section. 

Monitor the Backup Runs

Active backups, uploads, downloads, and restores are shown ZCB on the Monitor page. This page shows information about all ongoing tasks for all of your backup sets, giving you a consolidated view of what ZCB is doing at any moment.


Visit the ZCB Global Dashboard

ZCB Global Dashboard is a web interface which enables you to monitor backup activity across multiple ZCB machines and even multiple ZCB accounts. The dashboard is updated automatically once per day. A summary email is sent out once a week.

The ZCB Global Dashboard is available at . Login using your existing Zmanda Network account credentials.

Have Questions? Need Help?

Don't worry! You are not alone.

The Help Center at

There is a wealth of information at your disposal in the Help Center! All of our documentation is contained within, and is frequently updated.

If you hit a snag during setup, check your User's Guide for requirements. Your system may be missing some critical component. 

If you get an error, search for it in the Knowledgebase. Articles are added and updated frequently.

The Forums at

Find fellow Zmanda customers and our own staff members on our forums.

Open a Support Ticket from

Log in to and visit the Support tab! Opening a support ticket is the easiest, fastest way to get help from our support staff.

You may also click on Help > Contact Support within ZCB itself.