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  1. 1. Click the Automated System Recovery Wizard button at the Welcome tab of the Backup Utility window or, alternatively, select the ASR wizard command from the Tools menu. Click the Next button in the first window of the ASR wizard. 2. In the next window, you need to select the backup-media type and specify the backup destination (Fig. 2.5). If your computer is equipped with a tape backup device, select this device from the Backup media or file name list. Notice that if there is no tape backup device in your system, the File option will be set by default in the Backup media type field. Enter the path to the backup media or file into the Backup media or file name field (backup files always have a default BKF filename extension) or click the Browse button to navigate through the file system. Figure 2.5: The ASR preparation wizard prompts you to specify the backup-media type and select the backup media or file name 3. In the last window of the ASR preparation wizard, click the Finish button to start the backup process. 4. The Backup utility will scan your system and list files to save for an ASR backup. Next, it prompts you to provide backup media. Insert backup media when prompted by Backup and follow the directions on-screen. The wizard will display a series of messages such as: Mounting the media and Preparing to backup using a shadow copy. Then the Backup Progress window will appear (Fig. 2.6), reflecting the ASR backup progress.
  2. Figure 2.6: The Backup Progress window 5. When the backup operation is completed, the ASR wizard prompts you to insert a blank floppy disk (Fig. 2.7), to which it saves hard disk configuration information, such as disk signatures, the partition table, volume data, the hardware configuration of your system and the list of files to be restored. No user data will be recorded to this diskette. If you run the ASR restore operation later, ASR Restore will configure disks using data saved to the ASR floppy disk. Figure 2.7: As the final step of the ASR backup procedure, the wizard prompts you to provide a blank formatted diskette to store the recovery information 6. When the ASR backup wizard finishes creating the ASR diskette, it displays a message box with a message recommending you to label the diskette as the ASR recovery disk and store it in safe place. Click OK to close this message box. If you want to view a report on the results of the backup operation, click the Report button in the Backup progress window (Fig. 2.8).
  3. Figure 2.8: The Backup Progress window informs you about completion of the backup operation and allows you to view the report Performing the Automated System Recovery The process of restoring a damaged system using the ASR procedure relies on the Windows XP/Windows Server 2003 Setup program; therefore, besides your backup media and the most recent ASR floppy disk, you will also need the distribution CD. In fact, this process is very similar to an unattended setup of the operating system, since ASR will restore your disk configuration using the data saved to the ASR floppy, reformat your %Systemdrive% partition (the one where the Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 copy to be recovered is installed), and then reinstall Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 on that partition and restore the system files using the backup media. Note ASR is not a replacement for regular backup procedures, since it doesn't eliminate the danger of data loss. Remember that ASR doesn't back up application files and user data. As has already been mentioned, it only formats the %Systemdrive% partition as part of the recovery process and doesn't restore personal data or application files that may reside on that drive. Therefore, if you store user-data files or install applications on the system partition, these data will be lost. Because of this, always consider other recovery options, such as Recovery Console, before using ASR. More detailed information about Recovery Console will be provided later in this chapter. To recover your system using ASR, proceed as follows: 1. Prepare everything that you'll need during the ASR restore process, including:
  4. o The most recent ASR floppy disk o The Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 distribution CD o The most recent ASR backup media set, typically removable media such as data-tape cartridges 2. Start the Setup program. Insert the distribution CD into your CD-ROM drive and reboot the computer. 3. Press any key to answer the Press any key to boot from the CD... prompt. 4. The Setup program will start. When you see the Press F2 to run Automated System Recovery (ASR) prompt, press the key to start the ASR restore process. 5. Insert an ASR floppy disk when prompted. 6. The Setup program will display the following message: Preparing to ASR, press to cancel Note that at this stage you still have a chance to cancel the ASR by pressing the key when prompted. This is important since, if you decide to continue, your %Systemdrive% partition will be formatted as a next step. 7. If you don't react to the message prompting you to cancel the ASR restore process, Setup will display a series of messages: 8. Setup is starting the ASR... 9. Setup is loading files Setup is starting Windows After that, the ASR process will reformat your %Systemdrive% partition and check other partitions that it may determine as requiring repair. Note Besides formatting the %Systemdrive% partition, ASR might also initialize volumes that it determines to require repair. As has already been mentioned, it only restores operating system files. Therefore, there is also a risk to user files stored on these volumes. 10. When formatting and disk checks are completed, ASR will build a list of files to be copied and prompt you to insert your ASR backup media (typically one or more removable media, such as data-tape cartridges). If you saved the ASR backup to a file, you will not be prompted to insert the media. Note You must use locally attached devices, because restoring from network shares is not an ASR option. Examples of locally attached devices include tape backup drives, removable disks, or other hard disks. Concerning other hard disks, bear in mind that ASR supports FAT16 volumes up to 2.1 GB (32K maximum cluster size) and does not support 4 GB FAT16 partitions (64K maximum cluster size). If you start the
  5. ASR using a 4 GB FAT16 partition, the process will stop at this point. If this is the case, first convert that partition from FAT16 to NTFS before using ASR. Furthermore, if you are using local hard disks to store ASR backup sets, never save ASR backup on the System or Boot partitions. The reason is very simple-remember that, at the first stage of the ASR-restore process, the disk will be repartitioned and the %Systemdrive% partition will be reformatted. Thus, your BKF file will be destroyed and, when it comes to the actual restore process, the ASR-restoration procedure will fail. Backing up and Restoring the System State Data Besides other extended capabilities, the built-in Backup utility supplied with Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 allows the user to complete the procedure of backing up the whole set of system-configuration files-the so-called System State Data. As has already been mentioned, the registry is one of the most important system components, vital even at the early stages of the boot sequence. Because of this, the registry has to be included in this essential set of system files. However, there are some other files besides the registry that are included in the System State Data set. Let's take a look at these files. The concept of System State Data was first introduced with Windows 2000. As you probably remember, in Windows NT 4.0 and earlier, built-in Backup programs can selectively back up and restore operating-system files, allowing for incremental backup and restore operations of most operating system files. Windows 2000/XP and the products belonging to Windows Server 2003 family, however, don't allow incremental backup and restoration of vitally important operating system files, which must be backed up and restored as a single entity. This is the first, and the most important, thing that you should know about System State Data. The second interesting thing related to the System State Data is the fact that this set differs slightly for different platforms. The System State Data set defined for client workstations running Windows 2000 Professional and Windows XP Professional operating systems and for servers (running Windows 2000 Server or Window Server 2003) that are not joined to a domain includes the following files: The registry COM+ classes registration database Boot files, which are necessary to boot the system The System State Data set for server platforms joined to a domain contains the same components included in the System State Data set for Windows 2000/XP Professional, plus the following data: The Certificate Services database, if the server is a certificate server.
  6. The Active Directory database and the \SYSVOL directory, if the server is a domain controller. All information required to restore the cluster, if the server runs the cluster service. This information includes the registry checkpoints and quorum resource log, containing information on the cluster database. Since the registry is included in the System State Data set, the procedures of backing up and restoring the system-state data can be considered a method of backing up and restoring the system registry.
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