I would like to have a backup of the SQL system databases (the files themselves) not the SQL backup.
Why would you want a copy of the files themselves? Why does a SQL backup not satisfy your needs?.
When I try to copy these files (master,model,msdb,tempdb), it says the files is in use and it does not allow me to copy.
When SQL Server is started, it locks all the files of all the databases on that instance.
1) Without having to bring down the database, how can I copy these files to another location?
No file copy is possible. Only way to do this is with a (native or third party) SQL backup.
2) Is it possible to backup these files themselves during a full database backup? How do i perform that task?
When you create a SQL full backup of a database (see: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms186865(v=sql.105).aspx
), the complete database is being backupped. With a restore the database is being placed on the destination instance and you can specify where the database files are are being placed.
** Don't mistake the ‘stupidity of the crowd’ for the ‘wisdom of the group’! **