4 4 3:Restoring System State

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Any form of reproduction of the contents or parts of this manual is allowed only with the express written permission from SEP AG. When compiling and designing user documentation SEP AG uses great diligence and attempts to deliver accurate and correct information. However, SEP AG cannot issue a guarantee for the contents of this manual.

Docs latest icon.png Welcome to the latest SEP sesam documentation version 4.4.3/4.4.3 Beefalo V2. For previous documentation version(s), check documentation archive.


Overview

SEP sesam supports system state data restore and uses Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to restore system state components. These components include core files and registry settings and are related to various aspects of Windows operating system. By default, all system state components are restored as a group. You can also restore individual system services components, while other system state components can only be restored as a group.

You can perform a system state restore to recover a fully functional system without having to reinstall the Windows operating system. For example, if your system data gets corrupted, you can perform a rollback to any recent healthy system state data. You can also use a system state restore as part of the disaster recovery procedure, however to prepare your system for disaster recovery, it is strongly recommended that you use SEP sesam BSR Pro instead (used locally on the client to create a boot image used to recover the client system).

Information sign.png Note
System state restore and Bare System Recovery (BSR) are serving different purposes:
  • System state recovers OS core files and registry settings to a previous known state. Therefore you should only use it to perform a rollback on the same system. If you intend to restore to a different system, the alternate system must have the same make, model, and configuration (identical hardware). In such cases, it is recommended to use SEP sesam BSR Pro.
  • SEP sesam BSR Pro is a disaster recovery solution and is used to perform a full system recovery to the same or alternate system using the same or dissimilar hardware.

Note that SEP sesam provides the web Restore Assistant interface (in v. ≥ 4.4.3 Tigon) which is designed to be more intuitive and offers additional advanced options compared to GUI restore wizard while, on the other hand, it does not support the restore of special tasks types, such as MS SQL, PostgreSQL, NDMP, System Recovery, etc. For these task types you can only use the GUI restore wizard to restore your data.

System state components

Note that system state elements are machine-specific and depend on each operating system installation version and configuration. SEP sesam allows for dynamic discovery of existing system state elements to be backed up and restored.

At a minimum, the following components are included:

System state data
Registry, COM+ class registration database, boot and system files, DFS namespaces/replications
A domain controller system state
Active Directory Domain Services, Windows Registry, COM+ database, SYSVOL directory
System services components
Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS), Cluster Service information (cluster node only), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) meta-directory, Removable Storage Management Database (RSM), Remote Storage Service, Terminal Server Licensing, Windows Internet Name Service (WINS), Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)

Prerequisites

Make sure that the following conditions are met when restoring system state data:

  • You must be an administrator or a backup operator to restore system state information.
  • Your Windows client must be available with SEP sesam Client (BSR SW – customized Windows PE, or BSR Windows Boot Image – generated via BSR Windows).
  • If Active Directory is installed, you must be in AD restore mode.
Information sign.png Note
CAUTION: Take the following into account before starting system state restore:
  • Incorrectly restoring Windows system state can make your computer inoperative! Use caution and plan in advance before recovering system state data.
  • When restoring Active Directory Service, make sure that your system state backup is not older than the Active Directory backup lifetime (the supported backup lifetime for the domain controllers is equal to the maximum tombstone age (60 days by default)). Restoring an old version can cause a number of problems, such as mismatched accounts within AD.
  • Restoring system state also restores ASR files when running in WinPE (Windows Preinstallation Environment).

Steps

  1. From the SEP sesam GUI menu bar, select Activities -> Restore. The New Restore Task window opens.
  2. Select the backup task with the required system state data for the client you want to restore. You can search savesets by task name or by filename or path.
  3. Under the Saved in period drop-down lists, specify the time frame for which you want to conduct the search. Click Next.
  4. The search results are displayed. From the list of savesets matching your query, select the desired version by clicking on it, then select other relevant restore options (complete/as path restore). Click Next to display the Select Files dialog.
  5. Select the data you want to restore: if you select the root node, all components are selected. You can also restore individual system services components, while the startable system state nodes can only be restored as a unit because of their dependencies. Click Next.
  6. Select your restore target: Under the Target path settings, choose between the Restore to original target path or New restore target options. Typically, a system state restore is used to restore all components to their original location. You can also restore the system state data to a different directory. This way your active system directory is not replaced. However, you are advised against using a system state restore for purposes other than system recovery.
  7. Under the Execution options drop-down list, select one of the following options:
    • Do not overwrite existing items (set by default): Use this option if you want to recreate some missing or deleted files, but do not want to overwrite files that already exist in the target location.
    • Overwrite existing items: Use this option if you want to restore the computer to a previous working state; the existing system state in the target location will be replaced by the restored version.
    • Create new version: If system state files already exist in the target location, the restored files will be recreated under a new name; use this option sparingly as it may result in thousands of renamed files. If you have deleted some particular files, you may consider restoring to another location instead. This way the data will be restored to another target but will retain the original directory structure, enabling you to easily find the required files.
    You can skip the next option (Auto recover after restore) since it does not apply to system state restore. Click Next.
  8. System state restore Beefalo V2.jpg

  9. To start your restore immediately, click Start. To save the restore task, click Save.
  10. After restoring the system state, you have to restart your computer.

You can view the status of your restore jobs by selecting Job state -> Restores from the Main Selection. Restore overview provides detailed information on the last run of restore jobs, including the task name, status (successful, error, in queue ...), start and stop time of the last backup, data size, throughput, client and message.

As of 4.4.3 Beefalo V2, you can also monitor the restores online by using new Web UI. For details, see SEP sesam Web UI.