How to: Check your Windows Server Backups are capable of a bare metal recovery.

Windows Server Backup (or backup software which uses WSB as a backbone to their imaging solution) are capable of performing a bare metal recovery of the entire system.

However there is a caveat – the backup selections must include all the system volumes to be able to successfully recover using bare metal.

Note: Some of the information below can be found in the wbadmin help files which you can view by typing wbadmin /? into a command prompt.

What happens if you try a bare metal recovery in this situation?

If trying to perform a bare metal recovery with a backup drive containing no valid bare metal backup; an error such as the following will happen:

“Windows cannot find a system image on this computer.
Attach the backup hard disk or insert the final DVD from a backup set and click Retry. Alternatively, close this dialogue for more options.”

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How to check if your backup is bare metal recovery ready?

There is a very simple way to check that the backups located on a drive are able to be used within a disaster recovery scenario. The steps are as follows:

  1. Connect the backup device.
  2. Open an elevated command prompt in windows.
  3. Run the command below:

                     wbadmin get versions –backuptarget:<backupdriveletter>:

 

The example below using the above syntax checks the E: drive:

                     wbadmin get versions –backuptarget:E:

  1. Then an output similar to the below. Make sure the ‘Can Recover:’ information states Bare Metal Recovery:

wbadmin has some good ways to check if a backup is bare metal recovery ready.

If the output shows bare metal recovery – then you’re all good to go!

How can I force a backup which is capable of a bare metal recovery with Windows Backup?

All that needs to be done to force a backup that’s able to be used in a bare metal recovery with Windows Backup is to use the –allCritical parameter in the backup command.

A simple example to run a backup to the E: drive doing this is:

wbadmin start backup –backupTarget:E: -quiet -allcritical

This will then run a backup once executed.

Remember the best way to make sure your backups work is to perform regular test recoveries.

TestMyBackups specializes in ensuring businesses backups are able to recover in a disaster recovery scenario. Let us know if you have any questions about this article in the comments below. Alternatively; send us an e-mail directly.

If there is also a ‘How To’ topic around backup and recovery you’d like for us to cover – let us know as we’re always looking for ways to improve our documentation!

By | 2018-05-11T16:52:40+00:00 January 8th, 2018|

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