4 4 3:Restoring System State

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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 together.

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 healty 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 for Windows 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 for Windows.
  • SEP sesam BSR for Windows 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.

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 Administrators group member to restore Windows 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.
  • Restoring system state also restores ASR files when running in WinPE (Windows Preinstallation Environment).
Information sign.png Note
Take the following into account before starting system state restore:
  • The system state should be backed up regularly, at least before and after each major system update and on a weekly basis to ensure a copy which you could use to rollback.
  • You should have at least two versions of the system state backup to ensure recovery to any working version if the system state gets corrupted.
  • The age of the system state backup can be an issue for the domain controllers (the supported backup lifetime for the domain controllers is equal to the maximum tombstone age (60 days by default), which means that they can soon be out of sync) and for the Active Directory data, such as computer accounts. Restoring from an old system state backup can cause a number of problems, such as mismatched accounts within AD.

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 save sets 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 save sets 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, 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 files (set by default): the system state will not be restored if it already exists on the target server
      • overwrite existing files: if system state data exists on the target server, it will be replaced by the restored version
      • create a new version: if system state data exists on the target server, the restored data will be restored under a different name
  8. Then select whether you want to start auto recovery after restore or not by setting the option Auto recover after restore or No recover after restore.
  9. To start your restore immediately, click Start. To save the restore task, click Save.

You can view the status of your restore jobs by selecting Job state -> Restore 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.

See also

Backing up System State