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Windows Server 2008 Thread, Full restore from tape backup? in Technical; So, it's happened.. server hard drive gone poop! Got tape backups done via backupassist (which in turn does it via ...
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    dgsmith's Avatar
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    Full restore from tape backup?

    So, it's happened.. server hard drive gone poop! Got tape backups done via backupassist (which in turn does it via it's own zip-to-tape module), however despite alot of googling and time wasted, we're still no closer to figuring out how we can/should actually recover the the full system to a new HDD from the tape.

    We tried to add the drivers for the Sony AIT drive when booting into the Windows installation and selecting full pc restore, but despite finding a list of drivers to choose from, none of these associated with the drive and allowed the drive to be selected.

    Where are we going wrong, and is there an actual procedure to restore server 2008 from tape?

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Isnt it just a case of reinstalling backupassist and then hitting restore inside that?

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    dgsmith's Avatar
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    For a full OS and system state recovery?

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Would have thought so yes. Some products provide a boot disc for this (for example Backup Exec System Recovery), not sure about backup assist.

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    dgsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    Would have thought so yes. Some products provide a boot disc for this (for example Backup Exec System Recovery), not sure about backup assist.
    Can't see anything specific like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marci View Post
    This is for a backup image, whereas on tape it's just written as-is..

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    That sounds nasty - it does underline the need for a comprehensive disaster recovery plan that has been tested - well worth the effort

    Good luck with your ongoing problem though

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    salan's Avatar
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    A few years ago we had the dentist next door blow up from a gas leak (owing to some 'people' removing the gas pipe!) We made National news!!
    The shock wave moved our 600KG cabinet four inches across a closed room!
    All disks were wiped (including the disk backups). No problem we thought, we have tape backup.
    WRONG!!
    It took us nearly a week to get back up and running. Yes the tape backups worked, but the amount of things we had to re-install first was large.
    A valuable lesson learnt. Backup disks are in a nother part of the school. Backups are tested regularly. The tape system is modified to require less 'pre install' before restoring.
    Even now though, I do not trust tape. We have found that they are a 'last resort' only as they can easily 'fail' even if they verify on making.
    We use BE for tape and VEEAM for disk to disk and replication.
    As an aside, In 'another lifetime' I worked with someone who implemented disaster recovery systems for large companies. VERY few would actually fully test the system, as they said if it failed for what ever reason, they would loose so much money that it was not worth the risk! These are systems for major chemical plants etc.!!!

    Alan

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Ok, couple of questions - what version of BackupAssist were you running? And what type of backup is it that you ran?

    As far as I know, pre v7, a restoration involved doing an OS re-install yourself, installing BackupAssist, and then recovering.

    v7 has a 'bare metal recovery' option, which produces a recovery disc which you boot from and then recover using.

    With the tape backup, you have to use the "Retrieve backup from tape" option, which gets the zip backup back.
    Last edited by localzuk; 8th May 2013 at 08:39 AM.

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    dgsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffMonkey View Post
    That sounds nasty - it does underline the need for a comprehensive disaster recovery plan that has been tested - well worth the effort

    Good luck with your ongoing problem though
    It's fortunately not one of our main domain controllers (which all run on RAID so the hot spare would just kick in), but rather our intranet server which is a simple ML115 with a single HD so not mission-critical but still we hold stuff on there that is causing some inconvenience!

    Quote Originally Posted by salan View Post
    Even now though, I do not trust tape. We have found that they are a 'last resort' only as they can easily 'fail' even if they verify on making.
    We use BE for tape and VEEAM for disk to disk and replication.
    All our servers bar 1 run on tape (the exception is the latest which uses RDX). It would cost too much for us to replace the tape system with something newer.. money we simply haven't got, and especially considering there would have to be an actual explosion to cause this level of suffering on the other servers.

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Ok, couple of questions - what version of BackupAssist were you running? And what type of backup is it that you ran?

    As far as I know, pre v7, a restoration involved doing an OS re-install yourself, installing BackupAssist, and then recovering.

    v7 has a 'bare metal recovery' option, which produces a recovery disc which you boot from and then recover using.

    With the tape backup, you have to use the "Retrieve backup from tape" option, which gets the zip backup back.
    We use version 6 with the zip-to-tape addon on Svr2008 which runs a full backup daily (as there isn't really a whole lot on there). Alot of info for backupassist quite annoyingly does refer to v7 with the previously stated BMR and recovery option, neither of which we can use.

    Whilst we have reinstalled the base OS and can get the tape to be read, it doesn't help that we can't just restore within Windows given that the Windows OS is running at the same time, as is system state (which obviously is expected).

    What we are going to try, if our luck will allow, is to disk clone the old one onto a new one (which could go either way as it only detects the HDD in the bios after a few reboots and is unstable even then), so the only other thing we could think of failing that is installing the new HDD as a slave to the new windows install and try and recover from tape onto that, but again no idea if this would actual restore it as-it-was (including boot sectors etc).

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    I know it may be a silly question but have you contacted backupassist about this you have paid for there software so i'm sure they will help.

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    dgsmith's Avatar
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    We didn't contact backup assist as all info we read (even on their own site) does suggest needing to install a fresh OS first then recover, perhaps in this scenario that would perhaps mean restore to a secondary HDD.

    Fortunately, we were able to (by some miricle) clone the failing HDD onto a new one with just the boot sector/files not copying/corrupt, so recreating MBR etc and some hair pulling later we managed to get up and running using this approach (so we didn't even need to use the backup in the end)!

    Suffice to say, we may look at what backupassist v7 offers with regards to better handling or bare metal and disaster recovery!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dgsmith View Post
    We didn't contact backup assist as all info we read (even on their own site) does suggest needing to install a fresh OS first then recover, perhaps in this scenario that would perhaps mean restore to a secondary HDD.

    Fortunately, we were able to (by some miricle) clone the failing HDD onto a new one with just the boot sector/files not copying/corrupt, so recreating MBR etc and some hair pulling later we managed to get up and running using this approach (so we didn't even need to use the backup in the end)!

    Suffice to say, we may look at what backupassist v7 offers with regards to better handling or bare metal and disaster recovery!
    v6 should be able to restore over the top, even on the same disk - as it'll boot itself into an environment on RAM disk to do the job IIRC?

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