This article describes how to prepare your Windows system for disaster recovery with SEP sesam BSR Pro version ≥ 2.1. For previous BSR Pro for Windows versions, check SEP sesam BSR Pro for Windows archive.
SEP sesam BSR Pro is a fast and efficient disaster recovery solution for Windows systems. It is based on O&O DiskImage. This solution enables you to recover and have a fully functional Windows system within a very short period of time by simply recovering your system to the same or a different (dissimilar) hardware configuration (M.I.R.).
By creating a recovery disc with BSR Pro, you ensure that your backups are restorable (on EFI/UEFI or BIOS-based systems) even when Windows are no longer able to start. Note that you cannot restore individual files from the BSR Pro backup set. At present, only FULL restore is supported, as described in SEP sesam BSR Pro – Recovery.
BSR Pro for Windows meets Microsoft's licensing requirements by supporting the creation of a bootable disk on the customer side with only a few clicks.
For details on supported Windows versions, see the latest SEP sesam OS and Database Support Matrix. To find out more about creating the images of the computer or the system partition, check Frequently asked questions.
Limitations for SEP sesam BSR Pro
With SEP sesam BSR Pro (on the client) only the following functions are released and supported for SEP sesam:
In the menu: START
- BSR Pro Quick Start: Start of a restore from the client with the SEP sesam Server as 'data provider'.
- Restoration: Restore directly from an image file which is provided to the client, e.g., via a CIFs share or local access (USB-HD...).
- Recovery media: Create a boot ISO.
In the menu: TOOLS
- Mount/Umount drive: With this function a backup can be made available as read-only.
In the menu: PROPERTIES (Gear)
- Security: Adjust the data for the server authentication.
- BSR Pro is a part of the SEP sesam installation.
- It is used locally on the client to create a boot image which is later used to recover the client system (as required by Microsoft). The BSR ISO boot image contains the SEP sesam Server component that allows for disaster recovery of SEP sesam Client or Server system. Before the boot image is created on a client, a BSR backup of the client must have been run beforehand, as this is the only way to create the data relevant for the restore.
- BSR Pro images can be stored in any SEP sesam-managed storage.
- The option Machine Independent Restoration (M.I.R.) automatically adjusts the recovered system if the hardware and drivers are changed. During the recovery, it scans the system for missing drivers and automatically adapts the restored OS and its drivers to the dissimilar hardware. (Note that if the drivers are not available, they must be provided manually.)
- All BSR backups required for the recovery of your system are stored to savesets and managed by SEP sesam.
- The BSR Pro for Windows component must be installed on each SEP sesam Client you want to prepare for recovery. If your SEP sesam Server is a Windows system, BSR Pro should be installed on this server too (recommended).
Note that when you update a SEP sesam Server, RDS or Client component in silent mode, e.g. via the powershell command line, BSR Pro is not updated. Start a regular GUI-based update or use the SEP sesam GUI (sm_update_client), which includes updated version of BSR Pro. For details see BSR Pro for Windows Troubleshooting.
- If the Windows Firewall is enabled on the SEP sesam Client, you can check if the firewall rule applied during SEP sesam installation is still valid. If it is not, create an exception for oodiag.exe (a process used by BSR Pro) to explicitly allow a connection through the firewall.
- To create an exception, select Advanced Settings in the Windows Firewall, right-click Inbound Rules then click New Rule. The New Inbound Rule Wizard opens.
- For the rule, select Program then specify the path to the SEP sesam BSR Pro executable file oodiag.exe. The default path is most likely C:\Program Files\SEPsesam\SEP sesam BSR Pro\oodiag.exe.
- Ensure that you have sufficient space for your boot image on your target device (USB drive, local disk space or network share) (max. 2 GB).
- On the SEP sesam Server, run a test to ensure that the SEP sesam file system backup (type Path) of the corresponding client is working and that data can be restored. For details, see Standard Backup Procedure.
|BSR Pro does not support recovery from tape media. If your savesets are stored on tape media, they must be migrated to a SEP sesam data store or restored to a network share before recovery. For details, see Restoring the image file to a network share.
Migration from obsolete BSR CBMR
SEP sesam BSR Pro substitutes the old SEP sesam BSR 2.3, also known as BSR dissimilar. To upgrade to the new version, the SEP sesam version must be upgraded to version 4.4.3 or higher and the optional package SEP sesam BSR Pro must be selected during upgrade on the Windows system. Old BSR Windows backup tasks will be automatically applied to the new BSR Pro for backup.
|Savesets created by previous SEP sesam BSR 2.3 version can only be restored with the same old BSR Windows version. For disaster recovery with the new BSR Pro, only the savesets backed up with BSR Pro can be used.
Preparing for a disaster recovery
Preparing for a disaster recovery consists of the following steps that must be performed on your Windows client and SEP sesam Server.
- Before the backup, make sure that your SEP sesam Server has a FQDN name specified in the client properties.
- Back up your Windows system using BSR Pro Windows backup to introduce the required credentials and security information.
- Only then should you proceed to create a bootable image on your Windows client.
|Follow the general recommendations for disaster recovery preparation to ensure a successful recovery.
Setting SEP sesam Server FQDN name
To ensure efficient data protection and restorability of your data, it is recommended that you configure your SEP sesam Server with a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) name. This step should be performed before the backup is triggered as the FQDN name is included in the BSR boot image.
- From the Main selection -> Components -> Clients, double-click your SEP sesam Server.
- Check the Interfaces field: Make sure that your server has a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) specified. If the FQDN is not yet specified, enter it into a new line, e.g, sesam-srv.demo.com, and click OK to apply the changes.
- Make sure that the FQDN is resolvable by using sm_setup tool from the command line. For details on syntax, see Using sm_setup check_resolution. The returned addresses and hostnames must match. If the reverse resolve returns a name different from the name specified in the command line, there will be problems with backing up the client.
Configuring BSR backup on the SEP sesam Server
Configuring a BSR backup on a SEP sesam Server involves creating a BSR Windows backup task for your Windows client, setting up a backup schedule (specifying when you want to back up your data) and linking the schedule to a backup event (specifying how to back up the data and where to back it up to).
For general information on backup configuration and prerequisites, see Standard Backup Procedure. This section deals only with BSR-specific information.
- In the Main Selection -> Tasks -> By Clients, select your Windows client then click New Backup Task. The New Backup Task window appears.
- To specify the Source, click the browse button and select Bare System Recovery.
If BSR Pro is working, the specification Bare System Recovery ... appears under the Description column.
By selecting Bare System Recovery, your system configuration is specified as the source and the BSR task type and the task name are set automatically.
- You can use the browse button to include additional volumes (D: E: F: etc.) that you want to back up and to exclude specific files or folders from the backup by browsing.
Excluding files also works with version 4.4.3 Grolar (but not with previous versions), however, you can only exclude patterns (directories or files) from BSR image backup. For details, see Creating Exclude List.
Note *In Grolar, if you use the Exclude list the task type is automatically reset to Path; you must set it back to Bare System Recovery manually by selecting it from the Task type drop-down list.
- The Exclude list is compatible only with the imaging method Used sectors (refer to the next step). It cannot be used with any other imaging method.
- The following imaging methods can be applied as standard to every new image:
- Used sector imaging is used by default. It limits the imaging process to only used sectors on a drive.
- Forensic imaging is useful when creating images of non-supported file systems or when, for example, you would like to recover deleted data from a source drive using special data recovery software. The imaging process is focused on an exact sector-level copy of the source drive.
- Direct forensic (see additional driver installation info) creates a complete copy of a source drive, thus enabling to image an encrypted hard disk using encryption software. This option is intended for imaging encrypted disks using encrypted data. The data remains encrypted even after the image is restored. If the source drive being used is an encrypted drive, only sector-based restoration is possible. The file-based restoration or browsing of such an image is not possible. In addition, spanned volumes (stripped/spanned) are also excluded from this, since the logical link here between the regions is taken over by the operating system.
- Forensic imaging of an active operating system is only possible if a special snapshot driver is installed. For details, see below steps for installing additional driver and setting the method in the GUI.
- Steps for using Direct forensic option
- To use Direct forensic, install additional required snapshot driver on the system you want to backup directly by this method: Execute the existing BSR Pro installation package on the client in the directory
- In the SEP sesam BSR Pro setup window, select Change.
- In the Custom Setup step, select Filter Driver and then Will be installed on local hard drive.
- After installation, restart the computer to activate the driver.
- In the SEP sesam GUI, open the backup task properties, switch to tab Options -> Backup options (previously Save options), and enter the following:
- You can compress image files. To enable compression, switch to the Encryption and Compression tab and set Compression to yes.
Two standard compression algorithms are supported:
- Set by default. With this compression type speed is preferred over the rate of data compression.
- A block type compression where compression rate is preferred over velocity. If you want to use the BZIP2 compression type, you must set it explicitly by switching to tab Options -> Save options, and entering the following:
- Click OK to save the task.
- Once your BSR task is configured, create a backup schedule. For details, see Creating a Schedule.
- Create an event to link to the schedule. Under Backup level, select COPY. For general information on creating a backup event, see Creating a Backup Event.
- Finally, run the BSR backup. You can use the Immediate Start button to start your BSR backup instantly.
By default, option Used sector is used as it is recommended in most cases. Supported imaging methods are provided by O&O DiskImage; the following description of the available methods is an excerpt from the O&O DiskImage article Select imaging method:
|*Direct forensic should only be used if the drives are encrypted and your SEP sesam version is ≥ SEP sesam 4.4.3 Tigon V2.
After the BSR backup of your Windows client finishes successfully, you can create a bootable image on your Windows client.
|To successfully recover your clients from disaster, you should ensure that consistent backups of your client's file system data are performed regularly and that all data can be successfully restored.
Creating a bootable image on a Windows client
|Before a boot image is created on a client, a BSR backup of the client must have been run. Only then will the data relevant for the system be entered in the ISO.
Keep in mind that the information about the image data must always be kept up to date. Create a new bootable disk with the latest configuration whenever you upgrade your Windows operating system. Make sure that the latest version is safely stored to a bootable disk (CD/DVD/USB drive/local disk space) or network share.
To find out more about creating the images, check O&O DiskImage 12 – Frequently asked questions.
- Start the SEP sesam BSR Pro application on the Windows client you are preparing for recovery.
- On the start page, click Create bootable disk. The Creating a bootable CD image window appears.
- Depending on your Windows installation, the available system configuration and the most appropriate option is selected by default, so you only need to click Create.
Note It is recommended to use the "Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows®". Using anything other than the ADK may cause more or less serious problems depending on the Windows version. If you install ADK, it is enough to select the item with (Windows PE). When you click it, another corresponding point will be selected.
- Wait until BSR Pro processes the volume image. Note that some errors may be encountered during processing but they do not affect the overall operation. Ignore these errors and wait until the message "Processing was successful" is displayed. Then click Next.
- Choose a location to which you want to save your bootable image. Create a bootable USB drive or save the image to a safe place on the network. If you are creating a bootable USB drive, all data previously stored on the drive will be deleted. Select your target device from the drop-down list or enter a path if you are storing the image as an ISO file. Click Create.
- Optionally, you can burn the ISO image onto a CD or DVD using BSR Pro. This will create a bootable CD or DVD. In BSR Pro, under the Tools tab, click Burn image files and follow the wizard. Note that the Burn image file(s) option will not appear if your CD/DVD is not ready.
Once the Windows client bootable image has been created and is available for disaster recovery, you are prepared for a recovery. Two recovery methods are available depending on the size of your Windows client system volumes:
- Direct recovery by using SEP sesam BSR Pro option Execute BSR Pro Quick-Start. This is the simplest and the recommended method, suitable for all savesets that are smaller than 120 GB.
- For recovering savesets that are larger than 120 GB, it is recommended to use a 2-step network share restore instead. In such cases, throughput via network share could be better than via STPD data store restore. For example, a direct recovery of a 120 GB saveset could last approx. 2 hours because of the slow throughput (30-60 GB) of a direct restore via STPD data store. If a 2-step restore via network share is used instead, the restore time can be significantly reduced.
|The given time estimates are only approximate and depend on each individual environment. The network share restore also requires an additional preparation task – manual restore.