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Restoring a client from "bare metal" can I use a USB drive?


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If I want to be able to restore a windows client from the ground up, can I do that from a USB drive?

Is there a tutorial on how to do that?

Can the same USB drive be used on different machines, or would I need a separate USB drive for each machine?

Minus 10 points for anyone who replies with "burn a disk" ūüėě - unless you can back-date your post to 1999 :when that was a valid option :-)

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Thank you for your reply. This is good news.

Is there documentation on how to create one of these Microsoft WinPE boot USB drives?

Can the PE drive include the needed retrospect client?

Also -- how to do the restore from Retrospect after it has booted on the PE drive?

Is there anything special that I need to do during the backup phase to make sure the restore is successful?

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I went through creating the bootable Windows PE USB stick.

The biggest problem is that the USB stick must be MBR, while it appears that GPT is now the default (at least for my machines and my USB stick). Once I got through using diskpart to make the USB drive an MBR drive, it all went well.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Update: It all went well as far as booting Windows PE from the USB drive and starting the Retrospect utility on the client PC.

Restore of the ~230GB data backed up from the old Samsung 850 Pro 1TB would not restore to a brand new Samsung - 870 EVO 1TB. Retrospect claimed not enough space, even though it said there would be ~700GB free. Spent ~2hours on phone support and in a remote control zoom session proving that this is what happened.

Strangely enough the restore kind of worked to another brand new Samsung - 870 QVO 2TB (yes, this exercise is getting expensive). Logging in with the user account gave Windows error message: "We can't sign in to your account". I was able to patch it up using the "Fix a corrupted user profile" procedure, but that is not a successful restore in my book.

The phone tech "escalated" the problem -- as far as I can tell that just meant opening a support ticket on my behalf, which remains totally silent from the Retrospect side.

This has not been a good experience.

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