When trying to automatically backup a MsSQL database on a Windows 2012 Server, the following exception is thrown, and hence the backup is not taken:

Description: Error encountered during backup. Error: [Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Common.ExecutionFailureException:The server principal "NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM" is not able to access the database "TestDB" under the current security context. BACKUP DATABASE is terminating abnormally. An exception occurred while executing a Transact-SQL statement or batch.]

  • ,I think you are trying to your sql server auto backup through sql server agent? Jun 12, 2017 at 10:19
  • how are you automatically taking backups?
    – jesijesi
    Jun 12, 2017 at 11:34

2 Answers 2


We had 2 instance and NB MSSQL Job was failing and we just added (NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM) under sysadmin in security roles and restarted the Netbackup services. NB SQL Jobs Started working.


Apparently, for MsSQL 2012 and above, the BUILTIN\administrators and Local System (NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM) are not automatically provisioned in the sysadmin server role. So simply add the sysadmin role to NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM and everything should work.

This can be done in the Object Explorer by expanding:

Server -> Security -> Server Roles -> sysadmin

  • 3
    This opens up a whole world of security issues on your SQL Server. You give no mention of what process is being used to attempt this backup, however the SQL Server Agent account should already have permission to do this. If you are using Task Scheduler then you should run the process under the context of an account that has permissions to perform the backup, rather than open up large security holes.
    – Nic
    Jun 12, 2017 at 14:53

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