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Testing Disaster Recovery


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I installed Retrospect on our SBS 2003 server earlier this year, and have finally gotten around to testing the Disaster Recovery CD (I created it a couple months ago). I'm on Retrospect 7 with SBS 2k3 standard. I back up nightly to 3 external USB hard drives (1 per week, rotated on/off site).

 

Anyways, I created the DRCD with Set 3, and was trying to restore set 2 (set 3 is offsite atm). The initial install didn't recognize my USB drives, so I rebooted and it installed the full-er windows, and it saw the USB drive. Then I started the restore wizard (I got errors about it not finding the catalog for set 2 - is that normal in this situation?), and couldn't locate any catalogs... Hang on, I'll find the dialog.

 

Hmm... Ok, does the limited install of SBS from the DRCD have a special password? I used the admin one, and it didn't work... Workstation's locked and I don't know the password... Oh well, its a spare PC, so its not a problem, I can redo this again, tomorrow.

 

Anyways, back to the problem... Is there something special I should have done to get the catalog onto the drive? Or am I being stupid (not uncommon) and missed a setting in retrospect when setting things up?

 

Anyways (hmm, I guess I like that word today), is that enough to offer a suggestion or 2? If there is anything I can clarify, I will. I'll restart the recovery again tomorrow AM so I can get the things its looking for.

 

Mike.

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Mike,

 

Retrospect will only include the catalog file for a particular backup set on the Disaster Recovery CD if there is enough space to do so. With larger operating systems it is quite uncommon to see a catalog included. If the catalog you are looking for cannot be located, try recreating the catalog from the source data. Tools> Repair Catalog> Recreate from (media type).

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Thanks for the reply, Foster.

 

I thought I had tried doing that, but I tried again later and realized I used the wrong option for recreating the catalog (I used disk and I should have used file - or maybe I have that backwards). In any case, I was able to recreate the catalog and restore the data.

 

When I went to bring up the 'restored server', I found another problem, but it may be outside of Retrospect's purview.

 

I did the test restore to a different PC, a desktop machine instead of the server (no spare server), and the PC wouldn't boot after the restore (hard BSOD - don't remember stop code). The hardware is different (Both Dells w/3.0Ghz P4E but mobo/chipset may be different), one's a Poweredge w/SATA RAID and the other a Dimension with a single SATA drive, so I expect that's the problem.

 

Let's say I was to have a disaster and have to replace the server. Is the only way the DRCD could actually work 'out of the box,' is to have the replacement server be the same as the original, so chipset drivers and such are compatible? That's what it appears to be at first blush.

 

Mike.

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Mike,

 

Basically you're right on. Restoring the entire system to heterogenous hardware typically will have problems, as the restored OS will be looking for the hardware it was backed up from when it boots. You can have a wide range of problems depending on how much 'new' hardware the OS is able to work with (or not).

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Thanks for the confirmation, Foster.

 

It appears to me that, at least in my case, the DRCD isn't worth anything. I have to have a copy of SBS and Retrospect CDs available off-site to recreate the server anyways. I may be able to get that exact server hardware today (the server was installed earlier this year), but next year or in 3 years it's not very likely.

 

Mike.

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