Bare metal recovery is a technology that lets you recover your system directly to bare hardware without a prior OS installation. The technology relies on a custom recovery distribution running from a bootable media.
Requirements and definitions
- Windows Vista
- Windows 7
- Windows 8 / 8.1
- Windows Server 2008 / 2008 R2
- Windows Server 2012 / 2012 R2
The OS requirement applies to the source computer and to the computer on which the bootable media is created.
A source computer is the computer that has failed or requires replacement for some other reason.
A source system is the operating system installed on the source computer (the list of supported operating systems is available above).
The following data from the source system should be backed up:
- The "System State" data source: all data
- The "Files and Folders" data source: the whole system disk (C:\ or any other depending on the configuration of your computer)
You can back up any other data that is important to you as well. Data belonging to the "Files and Folders" data source can be recovered together with the system disk. Other data sources can be recovered after the bare metal recovery process is completed (see section "3. Recover other data" of the current article).
A target computer is the hardware that you want to recover the source system to.
- The target computer should be the same as the source computer (same model and configuration). Any differences in the manufacturer, processor, architecture, network interface controller, storage controller etc. could prevent the bare metal recovery process from completing successfully.
- The number of physical disks on the target computer should equal or exceed the number of disks on the source computer.
- The physical disks on the target computer should have the same capacity as the original disks or larger.
- The physical disks on the target computer should be clean (no data and no partition into logical disks). If you are not sure whether an existing disk partition has been completely removed, please start cmd.exe and run the "diskpart clean" command.
- The physical disks on the target computer should have the same partition table as the disks on the source computer: MBR (BIOS firmware) or GPT (UEFI firmware).
- The target computer should be connected to the Internet using a network cable.
We recommend you use a USB drive of 8 GB or larger for you boot media to ensure sufficient room for the catalog and log files. It should be recognized as removable media.
All data on the USB drive will be overwritten so please make sure the drive doesn't contain any important files.
Here is how to recover your system using the Bare Metal Recovery tool.
1. Create a bootable USB drive (Option 1)
- Start the source computer or any other Windows computer that meets the OS requirements.
- Connect the USB drive to that computer.
- (optional) Disconnect all removable hardware from the computer (USB thumb drives, memory sticks, and flash drives). This will prevent you from selecting a wrong device during the installation and overwriting its contents (see step 5).
- Download the USB Bare Metal Recovery tool. ( 250mb)
- Start the installer and install the Bare Metal Recovery tool to the USB drive.
- When the installation is completed, disconnect the USB drive from the computer.
2. Recover the source system
- Insert the created Boot CD or connect the USB drive to the target computer.
- Turn on the computer and boot it from the CD or USB drive.
- Configure or confirm network settings using the command line options.
- Configure a path to network storage if booting from CD.
- A Backup Manager installation wizard will open in a browser.
- Follow the set-up wizard (it will ask you for your backup device name, password, and encryption key).
- Go to Restore > Bare Metal Recovery. Adjust the settings as appropriate.
- Choose the session to restore.
- Choose the data to restore. It should be sufficient to boot the system.
- Enable the restore-only mode (optional). If you choose this option, the Backup Manager will function in the restore-only mode on the current computer after recovery (no new backups will be performed).
- Customize the amount of space the system disk should occupy on the current computer (optional).