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.”
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:
- Connect the backup device.
- Open an elevated command prompt in windows.
- 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:
- Then an output similar to the below. Make sure the ‘Can Recover:’ information states Bare Metal Recovery:
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.
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