Bare metal recovery guide

Gewijzigd op: Di, 22 Aug, 2017 at 2:27 PM


The Bare Metal Recovery is a specialized tool for restoring the whole operating system with its configuration and software to new hardware. No prior OS installation is necessary.


The technology relies on a custom recovery distribution running from a bootable media. Bare metal recovery is similar to virtual disaster recovery in that they both use Windows File System and System State backups to rebuild a failed Windows system.


Limitations


When more than one source hard drive has a boot partition, bootmgr (Windows Boot Manager) may not be restored properly. This condition could be seen on systems configured for dual boot or systems build with OEM recovery partitions.







Requirements


The bare metal recovery is a Windows technology. It involves several different computers and operating systems installed on them:



  • The source computer – the hardware that has failed or requires replacement for some other reason.

  • The source system – the operating system installed on the source computer.

  • The host computer – the hardware on which a bootable media is created for bare metal recovery purposes.

  • The host system – the operating system installed on the host computer.

  • The target computer – the hardware that you want to recover the source system to.


Source system requirements


Supported operating systems


Only Windows systems are subject to bare metal recovery. The following versions are supported:



  • Windows Vista

  • Windows 7

  • Windows 8 / 8.1

  • Windows 10

  • Windows Server 2008 / 2008 R2

  • Windows Server 2012 / 2012 R2

  • Windows Server 2016


Minimum backup requirements


The following data from the source system must be backed up. This is the minimum requirement.



  • The "System State" data source: all data

  • The "Files and Folders" data source: the whole system disk (C:\ or any other depending on the configuration of your computer).


You can back up a system containing dynamic disks (they'll be converted to basic disks during bare metal recovery). If a dynamic disk uses the MBR partition table, the total size of its dynamic volumes must not exceed 2TB.


You can back up any other data that is important to you as well. Data belonging to the "Files and Folders" data source can be recovered together with the system disk. Other data sources can be recovered after the bare metal recovery process is completed.


Host system requirements


You can perform bare metal recovery from the following Windows systems:



  • Windows Vista

  • Windows 7

  • Windows 8 / 8.1

  • Windows 10

  • Windows Server 2008 / 2008 R2

  • Windows Server 2012 / 2012 R2

  • Windows Server 2016


Target computer requirements


The target computer must be the same as the source computer (same model and configuration). Any differences in the manufacturer, processor, architecture, network interface controller, storage controller etc. may prevent the bare metal recovery process from completing successfully. In particular, the following requirements are critical.


Number of disks


The number of physical disks on the target computer must equal or exceed the number of disks on the source computer.


Bare metal recovery: same number of disks

It is also possible to use one large physical disk for bare metal recovery. The disk is automatically formatted using the same partition table (GPT/MBR) that was used on the system disk of the source computer.


Bare metal recovery to one large disk

The feature works if the target machine contains only one physical disk. For example, it isn't currently possible to restore 3 physical disks to a machine with 2 physical disks.


Bare metal recovery error: unsupported number of disks

Other requirements to the target computer



  • If the physical disks on the source computer have the GPT partition table, the target computer must have UEFI firmware and must be booted in the UEFI mode to restore such disk configuration. If the physical disks on the source computer have the MBR partition table, then both of the firmware types – BIOS and UEFI – are supported on the target computer.

  • The physical disks on the target computer should have the same capacity as the original disks or larger. If the total size of a source disk exceeds the size of the replacement disk on the target computer, the Bare Metal Recovery Tool will try to shrink it. This is possible if the last partition on the source disk has enough free space.

  • The physical disks on the target computer should be clean (no data and no partition into logical disks). If you are not sure whether an existing disk partition has been completely removed, please start cmd.exe and run the diskpart clean all command.

  • The target computer must be connected to the Internet using a network cable.


If the target computer doesn't meet the requirements or if you cannot allocate a separate computer for the recovery, please consider the virtual disaster recovery option. It is based on virtual disk creation and doesn't have any particular hardware requirements. Another solution is to install the operating system to the target computer manually and then to recover your data using the Backup Manager (all data sources except for System State).


USB drive requirements


We recommend you use a USB drive of 8 GB or larger for your boot media to ensure sufficient room for the catalog and log files. It should be recognized as removable media.


All data on the USB drive will be overwritten so please make sure the drive doesn't contain any important files.




Instructions


Here is how to recover your system using the Bare Metal Recovery tool.


Step 1. Create a bootable media


Option A: Create a USB drive



  1. Start the source computer or any other Windows computer that meets the requirements.

  2. Connect the USB drive to that computer.

  3. (optional) Disconnect all removable hardware from the computer (USB thumb drives, memory sticks, and flash drives). This will prevent you from selecting a wrong device during the installation and overwriting its contents.

  4. Download the USB Bare Metal Recovery tool from the product download page.

  5. Start the installer and install the Bare Metal Recovery tool to the USB drive.

  6. When the installation is completed, disconnect the USB drive from the computer.


Option B: Create a bootable CD/DVD



  1. Start the source computer or any other Windows computer that meets the requirements.

  2. Insert blank CD media into an attached burner.

  3. Download the .ISO Bare Metal Recovery tool from the product download page.

  4. Burn the .ISO file to blank media using a third party CD burning tool.

  5. When the process is complete, eject the optical media.


Step 2. Recover the source system



  1. Insert the created Boot CD or connect the USB drive to the target computer.

  2. Turn on the computer and boot it from the CD or USB drive. Make sure you boot in the appropriate mode (BIOS or UEFI). If you boot in a mode that isn't compatible with the firmware used on the source computer, the restore sesssion will fail.

  3. Configure or confirm network settings using the command line options.

  4. Configure a path to network storage if booting from CD.

  5. The Backup Manager installation wizard will open in a browser. It will prompt you to enter your backup device name, password, and encryption key.

  6. Go to Restore > Bare Metal Recovery. Adjust the settings as appropriate.

    • Choose the session to restore.

    • Choose the data to restore. It should be sufficient to boot the system.

    • Enable the restore-only mode (optional). If you choose this option, the Backup Manager will function in the restore-only mode on the current computer after recovery (no new backups will be performed).

    • Limit the recovery to the currently selected volumes (optional). The feature can be useful if the target computer lacks physical disks to restore data to or if one of the source disks is an iSCSI disk, not a physical one. After the bare metal recovery process is completed, such disks can be attached as iSCSI disks to the restored system.



  7. Start the recovery (Restore).




  1. When the recovery process is completed, eject the USB drive and reboot the computer.


After rebooting the system, some users can get an error message (Windows Error Recovery). This can happen if Windows has detected an unscheduled shutdown. In this case, you need to select "Start Windows Normally". This should be enough to eliminate the error.


What to do if the UEFI mode isn't accessible


If the system you are recovering requires you to boot in the UEFI mode and the option isn't available from the boot menu or if you get an error message saying that the source disk configuration is not compatible with the target machine firmware, please try selecting the UEFI boot file manually.



  1. Press an appropriate key to access firmware menus. Examples: Esc, F2, F9, F12.

  2. Look for a firmware option to choose the boot file. Examples: "Boot to file", "Boot to EFI file".

  3. Select the file from the USB drive: \EFI\BOOT\BOOTX64.EFI.


More details can be found in the following Microsoft support article.


Step 3. Recover other data (if applicable)


To recover the rest of your data, launch the Backup Manager. If it was installed to the system drive on the source computer, you will find it available on the target computer. If not, please download it and run the installation. After that recover the rest of the data according to the general data recovery instruction.







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