Backing up Windows for Bare Metal Restore (BMR)

Modified on Tue, 05 Mar 2024 at 11:26 AM


A Bare Metal Restore is the restore of an entire machine (usually to replacement hardware and to a new operating system installation).

To be able to perform BMR, you must protect the target computer with a single backup set that contains:

• System state and services database

• Operating system volume

NOTE: Some applications can be installed and can store data across multiple volumes. You must include all of those volumes in this backup set if you want to be able to restore those applications.

It is recommended to configure the BMR backup set with the VSS option (select backup through volume shadow copies but do not select the sub-options do not involve writers and do not process components). If the VSS option is not selected, you may need to stop some applications running on the target computer for the first backup session, to facilitate a smooth BMR. Create separate backups with corresponding special backup sets to protect those services after the first backup and when they are running (i.e. in 'hot' mode).



To ensure that any locked files used by those applications are backed up at least once, perform at least one backup of the target computer with the service applications stopped. Otherwise, those services will not start after you perform the BMR.

To restore from the special backup sets (e.g. Microsoft SQL Server), DS-Client needs to connect to a running service. If the service does not start, repair that service installation with the corresponding Installation Package.

The steps for BMR of a Windows computer running Microsoft SQL Server are:

1. Assemble the replacement hardware for the target BMR computer.

2. Re-install the same Windows Operating System (you do not need to apply any Service Packs).

3. If the hardware is different from the original computer, you must install the corresponding hardware drivers.

4. Restore from the target computer’s backup set (including operating system volume, system state and services database). The restore of system state, services database and operating system files must be done in one step (at the same time).

5. Restart the Microsoft SQL Server (if applicable).

6. Restore the latest version of Microsoft SQL Server from the separate special backup set (if applicable).

System Reserved Partition (Windows 2008 & up)

Starting from Windows 2008 (including Windows 7 and higher versions), Microsoft’s operating system installation includes a “System Reserved Partition” (usually 100MB). This partition contains the boot files for the operating system, but it does not have an assigned drive letter (by default).

For these operating systems, the following considerations should be made when creating a BMR backup set:

• If you assign a drive letter to the System Reserved Partition, you will be able to select it as a separate drive for backup. However, if you select this drive for backup along with the System State, the System Reserved Partition will be backed up twice (see the next bullet point, below).

• Even if it is not assigned a drive letter, the System Reserved Partition is automatically included as part of the System State backup item for Windows File system backup sets. As long as you include the System State as part of your BMR backup set, DS-Client will automatically restore the System Reserved Partition when the System State is restored.

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