Recovering a failed server has traditionally been a tedious task involving reinstallation of the operating system, mounting and cataloging the backup tape, then performing a full restore. Automated System Recovery makes that process significantly easier. Automated System Recovery requires you to create an ASR set, consisting of a backup of critical system files, including the registry, and a floppy disk listing the Windows system files that are installed on the computer. If the server ever fails, you simply restart with the Windows Server 2003 CD-ROM and select the option to perform an Automated System Recovery. The process uses the list of files on the ASR disk to restore standard drivers and files from the original Widows Server 2003 CD-ROM and will restore remaining files from the ASR backup set.
To create an ASR set, open the Backup Utility from the Accessories program group or by clicking Start, then Run, and typing Ntbackup.exe. If the Backup And Restore Wizard appears, click Advanced Mode. Then, from the Backup Utility's Welcome tab or from the Tools menu, select ASR Wizard. Follow the instructions of the Automated System Recovery Preparation Wizard. It will request a 1.44 megabyte (MB) floppy disk to create the ASR floppy. The ASR Wizard is shown in Figure 13-2.
Exam Tip What is most important to remember for the 70-290 exam is that the System State can be restored only on a domain controller by restarting the domain controller in Directory Services Restore Mode, and that Ntdsutil is used to recover deleted objects in Active Directory by marking those objects as authoritative, following a normal, or nonauthoritative, restore of the System State with the Backup Utility.
The backup created by the ASR Wizard includes disk configuration information for each disk in the computer, a System State backup, and a backup of files including the driver cache. The backup set is sizable. On a standard installation of Windows Server 2003, the ASR backup size will be more than 1 gigabyte (GB).
The ASR floppy disk is created by the Automated System Recovery Preparation Wizard, and is specific to the system and the time at which the ASR set was created. You should label the ASR backup set and floppy disk carefully and keep them together.
The ASR floppy disk contains two catalogs of files on the system: Asr.sif and Asrpnp.sif. If the system does not have a floppy drive when you create the ASR set, you can create the floppy disk after running the wizard by copying these two files from the %System-root%\repair folder on the system to another computer that does have a floppy drive, and copying the files to the floppy disk on that second system. If you lose the floppy disk, you can restore the two files from the %Systemroot%\repair folder in the ASR backup set. You must have the ASR floppy disk to perform an Automated System Recovery. If the system does not have a floppy drive, you will need to connect one before performing the restore.
Tip The ASR set contains the files required to start the system. It is not a comprehensive backup of the entire system. Therefore, it is highly recommended to create a complete backup, including the System State, system volume, applications, and, perhaps, user data when you create your ASR set.
When you perform an Automated System Recovery, you will need
■ The Windows Server 2003 setup CD-ROM
■ The ASR floppy disk created at the same time as the ASR backup set
Tip You will also need any mass storage device drivers that are not part of the standard Windows Server 2003 driver set. To facilitate recovery, you should consider copying those drivers to the ASR floppy disk.
To restore a system using ASR, restart using the Windows Server 2003 CD-ROM, just as if you were installing the operating system on the computer. If the computer requires a mass storage device driver that is not included with Windows Server 2003, press F6 when prompted and provide the driver on a floppy disk. After loading initial drivers, the system will prompt you to press F2 to perform an ASR. Press F2 and follow the instructions on your screen. Automated System Recover will prompt you for the system's ASR floppy, which contains two catalogs, or lists, of files required to start the system. Those files will be loaded from the CD-ROM. ASR will restore remaining critical files, including the system's registry, from the system's ASR backup set. There is a restart during the process, and if the computer requires a vendor-specific mass storage device driver, you will need to press F6 during this second restart as well. Because there is a restart, you should either remove the floppy after the initial text-based portion of the restore or set the restart order so that the system does not attempt to restart from the floppy drive.
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