I have a 3-server SharePoint 2013 farm (db, app, web) set up and working enough to put in some demo content, and am trying to configure backups. I've successfully backed up using Central Admin but I'm trying to get it to work from the commandline so as to schedule it. I found what look like very simple instructions here.

On the app server, I tried

  1. Make a directory c:\backuptest and give Everyone full permissions.
  2. Run SharePoint 2013 Management Shell as Administrator
  3. When I use this command, it gives the following output then hangs silently:

    PS C:\backuptest> Backup-SPFarm -verbose -BackupMethod Full -Directory c:\backuptest

    VERBOSE: Leaving BeginProcessing Method of Backup-SPFarm.

    VERBOSE: Performing operation "Backup-SPFarm" on Target "MOSS2013APP".

Nothing is created in c:\backuptest. Ctrl-C and Ctrl-D don't do anything. I have to kill powershell.exe or reboot.

What am I missing or doing wrong?

2 Answers 2


First, make your backup directory on your SQL Server, if possible. This gives the fastest backup performance.

You need to share out your path (e.g. make a share named BackupTest from C:\backuptest), giving Everyone Full Control on the Share permissions (this is usually fine as we'll override the permissions at the NTFS permission level).

Next, remove MACHINENAME\Users. Add the SQL Server service account with NTFS Modify rights as well as adding the Timer service account with NTFS Modify rights.

Finally, run Backup-SPFarm -verbose -BackupMethod Full -Directory \\machinename\backuptest.

  • Thanks a lot for the reply, @Trevor. So should I be running the Backup-SPFarm cmdlet on the SQL Server instead of the app server? I ultimately intend to send the backup to a network path on other storage, but I figured if I couldn't get it to work locally...
    – Nathan
    Commented May 1, 2013 at 20:00
  • CMDLETS will only work on SharePoint server unless you are using remoting. @Trevor was just pointing out backups are faster and you will remove network issues from the equation by backing up local first. Once you have a working backup, you can change the location. Commented May 2, 2013 at 15:14


It's just incredibly slow.

In my case it hangs after those lines for about an hour before producing any additional output in the PowerShell host or writing any files to the backup location.

As documented elsewhere, both the user running the Backup-SPFarm cmdlet and the user (service account) running the database service need permissions to write to the backup destination. And I have broken Search and Admin apps because I haven't finished configuring them yet. Once it can write to the backup destination, the spbackup.log file in the spbr000* folder has lots of details.

But it won't even display errors until after the long silent hang period.

  • If it continues to be slow, then please check the ULS log during this 'frozen' period of time.
    – user6024
    Commented May 3, 2013 at 5:13
  • Same thing is happening to us. No errors to speak of, nothing in the ULS logs out of the ordinary. :(
    – haliphax
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 16:58

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