Determining last Windows backup time from a command prompt

If you want to determine the last time a backup was made on a Microsoft Windows system using the built-in Windows backup utility, you can do so from a command-line interface (CLI), i.e., a command prompt, using the wbadmin utility.

C:\Users\Administrator>wbadmin /?
wbadmin 1.0 - Backup command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2004 Microsoft Corp.

---- Commands Supported ----

START BACKUP              -- Runs a one-time backup.
STOP JOB                  -- Stops the currently running backup or recovery
                              operation.
GET VERSIONS              -- List details of backups recoverable from a
                              specified location.
GET ITEMS                 -- Lists items contained in a backup.
GET STATUS                -- Reports the status of the currently running
                              operation.

E.g., after backing up a Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate system by clicking on the Windows Start button then selecting Control Panel, System and Security , Backup and Restore, and selecting Create a system image, I checked on the latest backup and prior ones by issuing the wbadmin get versions command.

Udemy
C:\Users\Administrator>wbadmin get versions
wbadmin 1.0 - Backup command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2004 Microsoft Corp.

Backup time: 3/11/2012 4:07 AM
Backup location: DVD labeled GIGABYTE-PC 3/11/2012 1:07 AM  1,GIGABYTE-PC 3/11/2
012 1:07 AM  2
Version identifier: 03/11/2012-09:07
Can recover: Volume(s), Bare Metal Recovery

Backup time: 3/11/2012 11:18 AM
Backup location: DVD labeled GIGABYTE-PC 3/11/2012 9:18 AM  1,GIGABYTE-PC 3/11/2
012 9:18 AM  2
Version identifier: 03/11/2012-16:18
Can recover: Volume(s), Bare Metal Recovery

Backup time: 3/11/2012 3:12 PM
Backup location: DVD labeled GIGABYTE-PC 3/11/2012 1:12 PM  1,GIGABYTE-PC 3/11/2
012 1:12 PM  2
Version identifier: 4
Can recover: Volume(s), Bare Metal Recovery

Backup time: 3/21/2012 12:00 PM
Backup location: DVD labeled GIGABYTE-PC 3/21/2012 10:00 AM  1,GIGABYTE-PC 3/21/
2012 10:00 AM  2
Version identifier: 03/21/2012-17:00
Can recover: Volume(s), Bare Metal Recovery

Backup time: 3/21/2012 2:30 PM
Backup location: DVD labeled GIGABYTE-PC 3/21/2012 12:30 PM  1,GIGABYTE-PC 3/21/
2012 12:30 PM  2
Version identifier: 03/21/2012-19:30
Can recover: Volume(s)

Backup time: 3/21/2012 4:00 PM
Backup location: DVD labeled GIGABYTE-PC 3/21/2012 2:00 PM  1,GIGABYTE-PC 3/21/2
012 2:00 PM  2
Version identifier: 03/21/2012-21:00
Can recover: Volume(s), Bare Metal Recovery

Backup time: 12/15/2015 10:32 AM
Backup target: 1394/USB Disk labeled New Volume(E:)
Version identifier: 12/15/2015-15:32
Can recover: Volume(s), File(s), Application(s), Bare Metal Recovery, System Sta
te
Snapshot ID: {df7c9340-0bcc-4711-aecf-f97b11f14d17}


C:\Users\Administrator>

I can see from the above output that the last backup was performed on December 15, 2015 at 10:32 AM to an external USB drive that the system designates as drive E. The only prior backups using the built-in Microsoft Windows backup program were made to DVDs in March of 2012.

If you want details on what was included in a backup you can use the GET ITEMS parameter for the command.

C:\Users\Administrator>wbadmin get items
wbadmin 1.0 - Backup command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2004 Microsoft Corp.

ERROR - An option required for the command is missing: Version. See the
syntax below.

Syntax: WBADMIN GET ITEMS
    -version:<VersionIdentifier>
    [-backupTarget:{<BackupDestinationVolume> | <NetworkSharePath>}]
    [-machine:<BackupMachineName>]

Description:  Lists the items included in a specific backup.
To use this command, you must be a member of the Backup Operators group
or Administrators group.

Parameters:
-version       Specifies the version of the backup in MM/DD/YYYY-HH:MM format.
                If you do not know the version information, type WBADMIN GET
                VERSIONS.

-backupTarget  Specifies the storage location that contains the backups for
                which you want the details. The storage location can be a
                locally attached disk drive or a remote shared folder. If
                WBADMIN GET VERSIONS is run on the same server where the
                backup was created, this parameter is not needed. However,
                this parameter is required to get information about a backup
                created from another server.

-machine       Specifies the name of the computer that you want the backup
                details for. Useful when multiple computers have been backed
                up to the same location. Should be used when -backupTarget is
                specified.

Examples:
WBADMIN GET ITEMS -version:03/31/2005-09:00
WBADMIN GET ITEMS -version:04/30/2005-09:00 -backupTarget:\\servername\share
-machine:server01


C:\Users\Administrator>

E.g., if I wanted details for the first backup, which had a backup time of 3/11/2012 4:07 AM, I could use the command below:

C:\Users\Administrator>wbadmin get items -version:03/11/2012-09:07
wbadmin 1.0 - Backup command-line tool
(C) Copyright 2004 Microsoft Corp.

Volume ID = {f3ad2e9d-6b42-11e1-ba9a-806e6f6e6963}
Volume '<Unlabeled Volume>', mounted at <not mounted> at the time the backup was
 created
Volume size = 101.00 MB
Can recover = Full volume

Volume ID = {f3ad2e9e-6b42-11e1-ba9a-806e6f6e6963}
Volume '<Unlabeled Volume>', mounted at C:
Volume size = 201.99 GB
Can recover = Full volume

Application = Registry
Component = Registry (\Registry)

Recovering individual files or application data from DVDs or other removable
media is not supported. You can only recover full volumes from this media
type.

C:\Users\Administrator>

Note: you need to use date and time information from the "Version identifer" line, not the "Backup time" line, that you see when you run the wbadmin get versions command. Also you need to use the information exactly as formatted on that line. In the case above I needed to provide the date and time information as MM/DD/YYYY-HH:MM where MM represents month, DD the day, YYYY the year, HH the hour and MM the minute. Using "3" for the momth, instead of "03", or "9" for the hour, instead of "09" would result in the command displaying help information for the command rather than details on that backup. The hours are represented in 24-hour clock, aka "military time", format, so "21:00" is 9:00 PM. The date format may vary depending on the country for the system, so may be different on your system.

References:

  1. Use the Wbadmin Backup Command Line Utility in Windows Server 2008
    Microsoft TechNet