Perform Bare-metal Restore

Information covered

Purpose

With IDrive BMR, you can restore your entire computer including the OS applications and data, provided that the target machine is connected to the same network as that of your BMR server. You can run multiple system restores at the same time.

Description

BMR allows you to restore data to your system connected to the BMR server with the help of WinRE recovery media. Before initiating the restoration process, you need to create a  bootable CD/USB with the help of the WinRE recovery media builder.

All you have to do is to boot the computers with the bootable WinRE media (CDs/USBs) and perform the restore operation. Data can be accessed directly from the IDrive BMR server during the restoration process.

Prerequisites for bare-metal restore 

In order to perform a bare-metal restore, you will require the following:

  1. USB drive with a minimum of 4 GB storage - to create the USB recovery media.
  2. Ensure that the drives on your target computer are healthy (run SMART checks on the drives if necessary).
  3. Target computer must be bootable from a USB storage device.
  4. The BMR server and the target computer should be inside the same LAN.
  5. The target computer should have wired network connection to the LAN (DHCP is recommended).
  6. If the target computer has hardware RAID, it should be configured before initiating the restore process.

Make sure to stop any on-going backup operation during bare-metal restore for optimal performance.

Note: After the completion of the restoration process, Windows may prompt you to re-activate your license.

Build a WinRE recovery media for bare-metal restore 

BMR allows you to build a Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) for system recovery. This recovery environment will enable you to do a bare-metal restore whenever required in the future. In addition, it will also help to repair issues related to unbootable Windows operating system after the completion of the restore process.

Create a bootable WinRE media device 

In order to restore data to a target machine that is connected to the same network as that of your BMR server, you need to create a bootable USB or CD media device using the WinRE builder app. When done, boot your target replacement machine using the USB or CD media device to initiate the restoration process.

Booting Instructions

Once you have created a bootable CD or USB media device the next step is to boot the target computer. The computer to be restored should at least have the same storage space as the backed up computer. Also, if the backed up computer has multiple drivers, ensure that the computer to be restored also has the same number of drivers.

To boot the computer,

  1. Switch on the computer and press ESC, F1, F2, F8 or F10 during the initial startup screen. Depending on the BIOS manufacturer, a menu will appear.
  2. Go to BIOS setup and select 'BOOT' tab.
  3. To set a boot sequence priority, perform the following steps:
    • If you are using a restore CD/DVD, then move the 'CD/DVD..' to the first position in the list.
    • If you are using a USB drive instead, then move the 'USB' to the first position in the list.


Note: The screenshots used in the following scenario is just an example. Depending on the BIOS manufacturer you may get a different menu option.

Once the computer is booted, you can proceed with the bare-metal restore process.

Perform bare-metal restore

To perform a bare-metal restore,

  1. Connect to the BMR server.


     
    • With the 'Auto-detect IP Address' option (recommended), you can connect automatically to any available BMR servers within the network.
    • With the 'Specific IP Address' option, you can connect to a particular BMR server. This is useful when you want to connect to a specific server in a network having multiple BMR servers installed.
  2. Sign in to the BMR server with your user credentials.


     
  3. Choose the system and recovery point from the respective dropdown menu along with the appropriate volume option.


     
  4. Once done click 'Next'.
     
    Note: If you click the 'Back' button on this page, you will be signed out of the server. You will have to sign in again to the server.

  5. Select a destination drive and click ‘Restore’.


     
    Note:
    1. Once the restore process is initiated, any previously existing data on the chosen destination drive will be deleted permanently.
    2. Select a drive with equal or greater storage than the drive that was on the original machine.

  6. You will receive a confirmation message when the restore is successfully completed.

Perform bare-metal restore to dissimilar hardware

It is recommended to have the same hardware configuration on the target computer to avoid boot issues occurring due to incompatible drivers. However, if the restored computer has a different hardware configuration ensure to meet the following conditions:

  1. The motherboard chipset type (AMD / Intel) should be the same in both the backup and restore computer.
  2. The hard drive storage controller (IDE / SATA) should be the same in both the backup and restore computer.
  3. The display adapter (graphics card) should be of a similar make.

Tip: Restoration issues due to hardware dissimilarity is found to be lesser in modern Windows operating systems such as Windows 8.1 and above. 

Force stop bare-metal restore 

You can force stop/cancel bare-metal restore after it has been initiated, but it is not recommended. On cancelling the restoration process, you will lose all the progress and your system might become unbootable. Furthermore, you cannot cancel any ongoing restore for individual volumes or disk during the restoration process.

When you cancel the WinRE restore after initiating it, you will receive the following warning:


Troubleshoot bare-metal restore — access data when restore fails 

The bare-metal restore operation may fail or the computer may not boot up if the restored computer does not have the same hardware configuration as the original computer. There may be new hardware devices present on the target computer and the necessary drivers for them may not be installed. We recommend you to have identical hardware configurations on both the computers.

In case the bare-metal restore fails, you can still access all the backed up data by using ‘File Restore’ or ‘Virtualization’ facility from the ‘Dashboard’ tab.

Troubleshoot bare-metal restore — restore of RAID-based storage failed 

Troubleshoot hardware RAID

Go to the RAID configuration utility and set up the RAID configuration as per your requirement. During configuration you can choose the drives that you want to assemble as an individual RAID. If you don’t configure the RAID settings, the WinRE media will fail to identify the RAID-based disks and thus the restore process of hardware-based RAID storage will fail.

After configuring the RAID settings, start the WinRE recovery process. 

Note: The WinRE media being based on the Windows operating system will support most of the commonly used hardware RAID controllers.

​​Troubleshoot software RAID

IDrive BMR doesn’t support bare-metal restore of software-based RAIDs or fake RAIDs.

Tip: In case the bare-metal restore still fails, you can access all the backed up data by using the ‘File Restore’ or ‘Virtualization’ facility from the ‘Dashboard’ tab.

Troubleshoot bare-metal restore — blue screen error with the error code 'Stop x0000007B INACCESSABLE_BOOT_DEVICE'

You may get a blue screen with an error code “Stop 0x0000007B INACCESSABLE_BOOT_DEVICE” as shown in the image below:


This is because, when the OS restarts after a bare-metal restore, it automatically disables unused storage drivers to speed up the Windows startup process.

Note: This issue is observed in old Windows operating systems such as Windows 7 and below.

To fix this issue temporarily, you can reset the SATA mode from AHCI or RAID to IDE in BIOS. However, you will get the same error when you reboot the computer.

To fix this issue permanently,

  1. Sign in to Windows and go to the following path in 'Registry Editor':
    1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\msahci
    2. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\pciide
  2. Double-click 'Start', set 'Value data' to zero and click 'OK'.
  3. Close 'Registry Editor' and restart the system.
  4. Go to BIOS settings and change the SATA configuration settings as per your requirements.

After Windows starts booting, it will automatically detect the change and install the appropriate drivers. Once the drivers are installed, Windows will boot without any problem.

Troubleshoot bare-metal restore — network connectivity issue 

If you are unable to connect to the BMR server due to a network connectivity issue ensure that the following requirements are met and reboot your machine if necessary:

  1. Ethernet cable is properly connected to the primary NIC in your machine.
  2. DHCP is enabled in the router to which the machine is connected.

If there is still a network issue, you can fix it by following these steps:

  1. On the restore application’s home screen, click on the ‘Tools’ button.


     
  2. Click the ‘PE Network’ utility.


     
  3. Set up a DHCP or Static IP address through this utility.

While setting up the IP address on the ‘PE Network Manager’ screen, you can obtain an IP address either automatically or manually. 

Note: If there is any connection failure between the BMR server and the machine when the restore operation is in progress, you should reboot the system and restart the restore operation.

Activating Windows license after a bare-metal restore

Windows licensing links your purchased product key to the hardware configuration of the backed up machine. Therefore, in case of a hardware change during restore, Windows may prompt you to re-activate your license.

The solution depends on the type of your Windows license.

Solution for retail license: Windows allows retail licenses to be transferred to another machine. You can simply enter the product key on the new machine and reactivate the Windows license.

Note: Retail licenses can only be installed on one machine at any particular time. Avoid activating Windows on multiple computers with the same product key.

Solution for OEM license: OEM license is non-transferrable and links your purchased product key to the motherboard. To secure license activation for a restored machine, you will need to contact your OEM-license provider. IDrive BMR cannot assist you with third-party licensing issues.