Windows bare metal recovery

Using Windows Server backup on Windows Server 2008 you can recover your server operating system or perform a Windows bare metal recovery. An operating system restore will only recover critical drive volumes that contain system components; conduct the full server recovery should you wish to restore all volumes.

Before attempting to complete an operating system or full server restoration from a drive image backup created with BackupAssist, make sure of the following:

  • You have a Windows Server 2008 setup/installation disc.
  • If you are doing a bare-metal recovery to a new hard disk, make sure the disk is at least as big as the disk that contained the volumes that were backed up, regardless of the size of those volumes. For example, if there was only one volume that was 100 GB on a 1 TB disk during backup, you should use a disk that is at least 1 TB when restoring.
  • If you are recovering just the operating system, make sure that you have a backup available that contains at least the critical volumes of the server. If you are recovering the full server, make sure that you have a backup available that contains all volumes of the server.

To restore the operating system or full server:

  1. Insert the Windows Setup disc and boot from it. The Install Windows Wizard should appear.

  2. Specify language settings, and click Next.

  3. Click Repair your computer.

  4. Setup searches the hard disk drives for an existing Windows installation and then displays the results in System Recovery Options. If you are recovering the operating system onto separate hardware, the list should be empty (there should be no operating system on the computer). Click Next.

  5. Click Windows Complete PC Restore. This opens the Windows Complete PC Restore Wizard.

  6. Choose Use the latest available backup (recommended) or Restore a different backup and then click Next.

    If you chose to restore a different backup, on the Select the location of the backup page, do one of the following:

    1. Select the computer that contains the backup that you want to use, and click Next.

      Important: If the storage location contains backups of multiple computers, make sure that you click the row for the backups for the computer that you want to use.

    2. Select the backup that you want to use, and click Next.

    3. Click Advanced to browse for a backup on the network, and click Next.

  7. Complete the following optional tasks, and click Next.

    1. Select the Format and repartition disks check box to delete existing partitions and reformat the destination disks to be the same as the backup. This enables the Exclude disks button. Click this button and then select the check boxes associated with any disks that you want to exclude from being formatted and partitioned. The disk that contains the backup that you are using is automatically excluded.

      Note: unless a disk is excluded, data on it can be lost regardless of whether it was part of the backup or whether it has volumes that are being restored.

      Note: in Exclude disks, if you do not see all the disks that are attached to the computer, you might need to install the associated drivers for the storage device.

    2. Select the Only restore system disks check box to perform an operating system–only recovery.

    3. Click Install drivers to install device drivers for the hardware that you are recovering to.

    4. Click Advanced to specify whether the computer is restarted and the disks are checked for errors immediately after the recovery.

  8. Confirm the details for the restoration, and click Finish.

To learn about performing a bare-metal recovery for Windows Server 2008 using specialist recovery software, visit BackupAssist.

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