KesterHouse

Server Bare Metal Recovery Tutorial Questions?

24 posts in this topic

Hi ho,

Just a quick note to say I've posted a three part series (it just kept getting longer and longer!) about performing Bare Metal Recovery over in the WGS Tutorials section. I realize "comments" are available within the Tutorials section, but I thought it might be easier to use the forums to deal with any questions that may come up. I hope that's okay.

Here's some links to the tutorials:

BMR Part I - Backup Preparation

BMR Part II - Finding the Backups

BMR Part III - Restoring the System

Hope that helps,

-Jeff K.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upgrade to a WGS Supporter Account to remove this ad.

Jeff, outstanding job on this tutorial! I intend to go through the test BMR later this week and will report back if I encounter any issues. I will be attempting the test headless.

Thanks for your substantial effort and for sharing it with the community.

/jerry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[snip]

I will be attempting the test headless.

Thanks for the kind words - much appreciated

I'm very interested to hear how this works out - I can't imagine how one works through all those WinRE questions without a GUI available - then again I've had zero experience running a headless system. Hopefully you have an spare, blank HDD to test with since I've got no idea what it might do to your existing system. Please be careful, and good luck!

-Jeff K.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the very good and useful guide! I wonder if it is at all possible to schedule the BMR backup to run every other week, for example...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You bet. IIRC, though, WHS2011 wants to do it every day. :)

The Server Backup feature does the BMR image when it backs up. The dashboard does a basic configuration, but if you use the actual management console to set up backups, you can do a heck of a lot more stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You bet. IIRC, though, WHS2011 wants to do it every day. :)

Aha, even better!

Also, is it correct that the backups stored under Stablebit Drivepool can't be used for BMR? Stablebit claims that "data is stored in standard NTFS files. You can always access your files even if the Windows Home Server completely crashes or this add-in can't be used."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the StableBit "DrivePool" doesn't use NTFS... so it cant' be backed up. But you can backup all the drives that are in the pool. In fact, that's what StableBit recommends. Though you're bsaically screwed if you want to backup more than 2TB worth of data..... :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the StableBit "DrivePool" doesn't use NTFS... so it cant' be backed up. But you can backup all the drives that are in the pool. In fact, that's what StableBit recommends. Though you're bsaically screwed if you want to backup more than 2TB worth of data..... :(

Ok, it's not a problem for me as I want to do BMR backups just for a system drive - I have system installed on 64GB SSD, and want to be able quickly restore it when (not IF :( ) that SSD goes south... BTW, I don't see any reason to do BMR backup for anything else... do I miss something here?..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to just the System disk, that's perfect. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Question regarding this statement, "BMR does not have the ability to "shrink-to-fit" the partitions stored in a system image if you are attempting to recover the system to a smaller capacity hard disk than the one that was backed-up. The target recovery disk must be of equal or greater capacity than the disk it is replacing."

My system drive is a 500GB that uses two partitions -- the default action from the WHS install. I think the C: is 60GB so the D: must be about 440GB. It's a WD Blue drive, whereas I use Black drives for all my other server drives. I expect the Blue drive to fail before any of my Black drives, so when it does, if I replace it with a 1TB Black drive, how does the restore function deal with the new 500GB of disk space? Does it become part of the D: drive, or is it just unallocated space?

I use my D: partition to store the client backup database, so if I start to run out of space on D:, I may want to replace the system HDD even before I get a disk failure, so I can have a larger D: partition. I don't really want to model what it takes to replace a system drive untill its time to do so.

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Famousdavis: if you're talking about the server backup stuff, that's completely different. That actually should be able to restore a backup to a different size.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, so I'm a little confused - please enlighten me.

What's the difference between what my server does twice a day -- writing what I thought was everything it needs to build a new system disk if mine crashes -- and the ad hoc process called BMR?

I thought by doing twice-a-day backups of my system disk (C: partition and the D: partition which only contains the client backup database, no shared data folders), I was already good to go when it comes time to restore my server. Right or wrong?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's how it's handled. Server Backup uses a very different format than the WHS Client backups. Namely, the Client Backups use a proprietary format for storing "cluster data", while the Server Backup is basically just a VHD used for copying the system (VHD is a) what a VM uses, and B) why there is the 2TB limit for backups).

As for BMR, that just means any "full system" restore to a "bare metal" computer.

Restoring from a Server Backup basically just copies the data from the VHD and applies it to the system. the WHS client restore copies the data over the network, cluster by cluster. So you *must* have enough available clusters on the HDD for how many are used on the disk originally for that client.

That help clarify for you? If not, please ask what you need clarification on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just tried the links to your three tutorials but they appear to be broken.  Are they still available?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey,

 

I've been talking with Terry about how to get the tutorials back - he had to remove them since the code that ran the tutorial section was apparently not very secure.  I'm in the process now of digging through my local systems trying to find all the old screenies and text in case I have to re-post them all.  Stay tuned.

 

-JeffK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But you can backup all the drives that are in the pool. In fact, that's what StableBit recommends. Though you're bsaically screwed if you want to backup more than 2TB worth of data..... :(

I certainly hope that is not what the tutorial says because it is false. You _can_ backup more than 2TB of data with WHS2011, even with the regular Server Backup Wizard. What you can not do is backup _volumes_ that are, individually, in excess of 2TB. In fact, I have just ordered two 8TB Seagate Archive HDDs for this purpose. I'll be having 2 DrivePool pools, each of 2x2TB HDDs and full duplication. I will be backing up one 2TB drive of each Pool. IMHO, if you want to backup data stored in duplicated DrivePool Pools, this is the way to do it. Server 2012 just allows you to build Pools with larger HDDs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, but Terry has taken down the Tutorials section for security reasons. However, the Internet Wayback Machine is always a good fallback:

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20120519034036/http://forum.wegotserved.com/index.php/tutorials/article/89-windows-home-server-2011-bare-metal-recovery-part-i-backup-preparation/#

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20120825214010/http://forum.wegotserved.com/index.php/tutorials/article/88-windows-home-server-2011-bare-metal-recovery-part-ii-finding-the-backups/

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20120519035529/http://forum.wegotserved.com/index.php/tutorials/article/87-windows-home-server-2011-bare-metal-recovery-part-iii-restoring-the-system/

 

I have just ordered two 8TB Seagate Archive HDDs for this purpose. 

I'm sure curious to know how those perform after a month or so of usage. Please let me know.

(I suspect "atrocious performance" will be what is used to describe them... but if they're backup, that's fine.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. What is artrocious performance and why would you expect that from these? Would they, for instance, do worse that WD Greens and if so, why?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on the use case.

 

Specifically, they use "shingle writting", which means the writes are overlapped. 
Also, because of that (how they're designed), They're not going to do anywhere near as well with non-sequential writes. 

 

For a server backup, this may be fine. However, for "normal use", such as a file server, part of a pool or RAID, it may not do as well.

 

I don't know exactly, but I'd guess after a while, it would perform close to a Green drive (one of the worse models of).

But that's why I'm curious. I'd like to know how it'd work in a real world situation. Because I'm not willing to spend the money to test it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah yes, I am guessing/hoping that as a Backup HDD they'll do fine. I would expect, specifically:

- That a growing .vhd (new files within) will have good write performance as it'll write to new sectors. AFAICS, Server Backup would never _change_ files or overwrite existing data within it.

- Once a .vhd grows full, i.e. to 2 TB, all .vhds are deleted and new .vhds with just a backup of the current Server contents will be written.

 

But who knows..

 

I'll try and time backups for a bit once I actually get them. I'll report.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've still got an HP510 Data Vault so it looks like I ought to get the KVM cable.  I was wondering whether it would be feasible to create an updated WHS 2011 Server Recovery DVD based on the original WHS v1 recovery disk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't you have the install media for WHS2011? That _is_ the Server Recovery DVD. Just disconnect all drives except for the OS drive and the Backup HDD, boot from the DVD and it should be a breeze.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The HP is headless unless I get the KVM cable.  The original Recovery DVD allowed for the Server to be PXE booted and the restore was carried out from the Client.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By THZ
      Hello
      Almost all my server backups are incomplete. When I look at the properties, I have green marks for EFI, System Reserved, Operating System and my 3 HDD's. When look in server management, I can see that the backups did complete with warnings:
      Bare Metal Recovery: could not be terminated System State was cancelled  What can be the reason? From time to time, the backup completes successfull, but very rarely.
      Shadow copies are enabled on all 3 HDD's.


    • By THZ
      Hello
      Actually I'm backing up my Server (only 3 clients) to external USB HDD's. I'm thinking about cloud backup, and read about OneDrive, which is integrated with Office 365: 1 TB data storage.
      In case of a server damage, will I really be able to restore the server from my cloud backups? 
      Or - does this work with Azure only?
    • By rlb214
      I understand that you can't have a backup bigger that 2TB.  I have about 3.5 TB of files on my WHS.  The OS is on it is 45GB, Drive D with pictures, documents etc, is about 473 GB.  My PC backups on F are up to 1.6 TB. 
       
      I added a 3 TB WD USB drive and tried to back up only System and C.  It fails with an I/O device Error what ever that is.  Any clue what this means?
       
      How can I backup C, D, and F since they total is over 2TB?  Can I set up some sort of separate backups?
       
      Any ideas are welcome.
       
      Thanks...
    • By jbarnett12
      I have just noticed that my WHS 2011 is backing up correctly and in the dash board it does show the twice daily backups. However when i go to restore it appears it is only allowing to restore specifix manual backups I have created on another external drive. When I remote in to the server and look at the windows server back up in server manager - again it does list successful backups but when I go to the recoverry- everything seems to have disappapeared, I can only find one backup I manually ran on a WD external drive. What has gone wrong and what should I be looking for? The client backups are all fine
    • By jw_
      Hi there,
       
      I am currently modifying my server backup setup. What I have done previously is to connect two external HDDs for rotating off-site storage. My next step is to encrypt both drives with bitlocker. Since I have opted for dedicating each whole disk for the server backup - which was advised because of performance advantages - they are not assigned a drive letter and don't show up neither in explorer nor in "manage bitlocker".
       
      inputting manage-bde -status in the cmd prompt, I am presented with all the drives, there assigned drive letters or other identification.
       
      The both drives dedicated for server backup are identified by a GUID stamp in the form of e.g. {cc566d14-44a0-11d9-9d93-806e6f6e6963}, so I tried to enable the encryption via cmd prompt, with the following combinations:
       
      manage-bde -on {cc566d14-44a0-11d9-9d93-806e6f6e6963} ....
      manage-bde -on \\?\volume\{cc566d14-44a0-11d9-9d93-806e6f6e6963}\ .... <-- as the syntax is for example when using wbadmin.exe
      manage-bde -on "{cc566d14-44a0-11d9-9d93-806e6f6e6963}" ....
      manage-bde -on '{cc566d14-44a0-11d9-9d93-806e6f6e6963}' ....
       
      But I always get a syntax error. I realise that in the TechNet documentation for manage-bde there is no (official?) syntax for GUID identification of drives but what else am I supposed to do?
       
      Sure I could assign a drive letter in diskmgmt.msc to the drives and "normally" enable bitlocker on the drives, but I am hesitating because I don't want to forfeit the performance advantages for dedicated drives. Also, encyprting before hand is  no option since the drives are formatted when dedicating them to the backup.
       
      Has someone a useful tip on how to go forward?
       
      Cheers, jw