Configuring a Windows Server for Disaster Recovery Best Practices

So, our backup server BSOD’s today. I’m going through these steps here:

But this part:

copy X:\Windows\System32\config\*.*

Yeah… that didn’t exist. So I got the box back up and am making a backup of the registry right now, but how the hell do I make it so that shit populates if this happens again. What setting do I not have on this 2012 R2 server?

Basically, what are some best practices for disaster recovery for a Windows Box. I means it’s great it’s making a backup of it’s registry right now, but how do I load it if I can’t even get into the machine… see what I’m saying?

Mods you can toast this if you’d like.

I doubt I’ll get any responses, but man that was not a fun day.

Not sure if you’re in a position to check now, but is X: actually the boot drive that the Windows directory is on once you boot into recovery?

It looks like they’re suggesting you copy the contents of what would usually be C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack to what would usually be C:\Windows\System32\config. I think they’re using “X” as a placeholder (like in arithmetic equations)

As far as I know X: is the normal mount point for the “System Reserved” partition on normal boot, but it’s always hidden. Using “X” as a placeholder is a pretty silly thing to do in a Windows article, I might have used “n” to avoid confusion. (Not sure how to strike-through)

Apologies, above is incorrect, System Reserved is not mounted on normal boot. When you boot into recovery the temporary disk created is mounted at X: After this it mounts the partitions it can see starting from C: including the System Reserved. This means that your boot partition may be at C:, D: or another letter depending on how many partitions you have. If you don’t have multiple partitions with a “Windows” folder in the root then checking for that should be sufficient.

If you are still working on it I would suggest you try doing this again, but use “dir” to check the mounted letters for “Windows” starting from C:

Also, you could also do this from a Linux LiveCD if you wanted, you might have to override the “hibernated” state of the disk though.

1 Like

IMHO, it’s easiest to setup some backup routine that offers a bare metal restore option. This is usually done with some sort of disk imaging using VSS in Windows. Get a full image once a week on the weekends and incrementals during the week. This can be done with the built-in Server Backup I believe, but I almost always use third-party backup software for this. I know this doesn’t really address how to fix this issue directly, but in my experience it is often faster to refer to the last good image for whatever files you need or even a full restore from that point (especially if it’s a backup server that can resync current data or accesses networked storage).

Consider Acronis backup software. It can do everything (depending on version) and will allow you to recover from scratch even on a dissimilar system.
You can try it for free for 30 days and if you ask them nicely they will extend your evaluation period.

I would download Redo Backup & Recovery, it’s a linux based disk image cloning and recovery tool i use alot at work. You can use it to create a full disk image to an external device. That way if you’re box ever goes tits up once you get the hardware solution un-f***ed you can just use Redo to live boot and restore the image back to the hardware.

Not a perfect solution but it’s certainly better than starting from scratch.