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Automated System Recovery

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Overview

Windows Automated System Recovery (ASR) is used in the event of a catastrophic system or hardware failure, when Windows does not start correctly. Please refer to Windows Help and the Backup Utility's documentation for more information on ASR.

IMPORTANT:

  • By design, Microsoft Windows ASR requires a floppy disk drive installed on your computer. If you do not have one, consider purchasing an external USB floppy disk drive or any other USB device that can simulate a floppy disk drive. Make sure the BIOS of your computer supports the drive and can boot your computer from it.
  • The floppy disk drive must have the letter A: assigned to it. To ensure an external floppy disk drive is assigned A:, disable the legacy diskette option in the BIOS settings of your computer before connecting the drive for the first time. To remove the current letter assignment for an external floppy disk drive, you may need to edit the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices registry key.
  • In the ASR mode, the Backup Utility backs up the whole system partition (usually, the C: drive). It is good practice to have the smaller system partition with user data stored on separate drives. Because incremental ASR backups are not possible, the smaller dedicated system partition will save you time and media, as you can perform ASR backups less frequently than user data backups.
  • The ASR backup media must be accessible at the early stages of the ASR restore process. If the media drive requires special drivers, and the drivers are not supplied by the drive manufacturer on a floppy disk or the Windows Setup CD-ROM, then you will not be able to perform ASR restore. Boot-time drivers on a floppy disk usually include the txtsetup.oem file in addition to .inf and .sys files, and are installed by Windows when you press F6 during ASR restore.
  • You cannot use ASR with an iSCSI device, unless the device is accessible at the early stages of the ASR restore process.
  • You should perform a test ASR restore at least once to ensure that everything works as expected.
  • You do not really need to create the ASR diskette at the same time you perform an ASR backup, because you can always create the diskette from an existing ASR backup set.
  • ASR is not available on Windows 2000 and Windows XP Home Edition.
  • While ASR can be used across the network with Remote Installation Services (RIS), Firestreamer-RM has not been tested with this configuration.

ASR Backup

To create an ASR backup set, follow the standard procedure described in Windows Help and the Backup Utility's documentation. Do not forget to specify IBM 3480 as the backup type. Once you created the ASR diskette, you need to prepare it for use with Firestreamer-RM. This is necessary to enable Windows to access Firestreamer-RM backup media during the ASR restore process.

To prepare an ASR diskette for use with Firestreamer-RM, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Firestreamer-RM Control Panel.
  2. On the Backup tab, click Prepare ASR Diskettes.
  3. Follow the instructions on the screen.

For more information on scheduled ASR backups, see Scheduled Backups.

ASR Restore

IMPORTANT: To prevent data loss, consider the following.

  • Disconnect the disk drives which are not to be restored, as they may be reformatted during the ASR restore process.
  • You may want to perform an ASR restore on a new hard disk, just in case if you have some valuable data left on the old one.
  • You should write protect your backup media, if possible.

If your ASR backup set is on file media (.fsrm), consider the following.

  • If practicable, place the .fsrm file on an external HDD or burn it to an optical medium as an ISO image.
  • If you use an external HDD, do not connect it until prompted to insert the backup media.
  • If you use an internal HDD, be careful not to have it reformatted by ASR. Ideally, switch your computer off when the text mode portion of setup has finished (you need to be watching the process in order to switch the computer off when it is about to restart itself). Connect the internal HDD with the file media on it and switch the computer on; the ASR process will continue.

To perform an automated system restore, follow the standard procedure described in Windows Help and the Backup Utility's documentation.

  1. When prompted, press F6 to provide Windows with the boot-time drivers, if any, for your media drive.
  2. When prompted, press F2 to initiate the ASR restore process.
  3. When prompted to insert Firestreamer-RM ASR Disk, insert the diskette and press Enter. You may need to press Enter up to four times for the process to continue. Every time you press the Enter key, allow time for Windows to copy a file from the diskette.
  4. When Windows Setup has finished copying system files, it launches the Firestreamer-RM ASR utility, which in turn installs Firestreamer-RM drivers..
  5. When prompted to insert the Operating System Backup media, click Set Password on the Firestreamer-RM ASR utility to enter the password, if any, for your backup set.
  6. If your backup set is on file media on an external disk drive, connect the disk drive now. For other types of media, insert the appropriate piece of media in the media drive.
  7. If your backup set is on file media, click Set File Media Name to specify the file media name. It may be possible that the disk drive with the file media is not assigned a drive letter. If this is the case, follow the steps below to assign a drive letter.
    1. Click Command Prompt to open the standard Command Prompt window.
    2. Type DiskPart and press Enter.
    3. Type list volume and press Enter to find out the number of the volume that contains the file media.
    4. Type select volume N, where N is the required volume number, and press Enter.
    5. Type assign and press Enter to assign a drive letter to the selected volume.
  8. Wait for up to a minute for the Firestreamer-RM ASR utility to display the media label. Click Yes on the Backup Utility's prompt to complete the restore process.

Troubleshooting

You can use the Command Prompt button of the Firestreamer-RM ASR utility to view ASR log files with Notepad. You can find ASR log files in the following locations:

  • C:\Windows\repair\asr.log
  • C:\Windows\repair\backup.log
  • C:\Windows\repair\setup.log

You can verify an ASR backup set by restoring it to a temporary folder on another computer by following the steps below.

  1. Enter the password for your backup set, if any, via the Firestreamer-RM Control Panel.
  2. Open the Backup Utility in the Advanced mode.
  3. Insert the first media of the ASR backup set into the drive.
  4. When prompted, select Allow Backup Utility to use this media.
  5. Click the Restore and Manage Media tab.
  6. On the left pane, double-click the media name to have it cataloged.
  7. Select all the items to restore, including System State.
  8. Select Alternate Location under Restore files to, and enter the name of a temporary folder.
  9. Click Start Restore.

See Also

 

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