Performing a local authoritative disaster recovery

A local authoritative disaster recovery is when you are recovering a Backup Exec media server which is also a domain controller, with no assistance from other Backup Exec media servers. If you have more than one media server, it's easier to perform a remote disaster recovery using another media server.

To perform a disaster recovery (restore from scratch) of a Windows XP, Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 computer, the relevant section of the Backup Exec 11d Administrator's Guide is page 659 onwards.

The basic process is:

  1. Reinstall Windows on the PC, using the same filesystem type (NTFS or FAT) as before. Give it network settings, and the same computer name as at the time of backup. Don't join it to the domain.
  2. Install Backup Exec, however you MUST select a different installation path from where your normal Backup Exec installation is located. Don't enter any serial numbers, as you don't need the options at this point.
  3. Run Backup Exec, and step through the first time configuration wizard.
  4. Inventory your backup media, then catalog it. This may take a while.
  5. Using Backup Exec, restore all the media server's hard drives and Shadow Copy Components. Set the Restore over existing files option. Set the Mark this server as the primary arbitrator for replication… option
  6. Reboot the server.
  7. As soon as Windows starts booting, press F8.
  8. At the menu that appears, select Directory Services Restore Mode.
  9. You may need a second reboot as Windows redetects hardware devices. If so, reboot into Directory Services Restore Mode again.
  10. Using the Services MMC, change the logon account for each of the Backup Exec services to LocalSystem Account. Start each of these services.
  11. Using Backup Exec, restore the PC's Shadow Copy Components again. You will need to change the logon account to reflect the DSRM account and password. Set the Mark this server as the primary arbitrator for replication… option
  12. You will be warned that you need to reboot, but don't reboot yet.
  13. On the restored domain controller, restore AD by using the following commands:
    1. Open a command prompt
    2. ntdsutil
    3. Authoritative restore
    4. Restore Database
    5. OK at the warning
    6. Click Yes
    7. Exit
    8. Exit
  14. Reboot
  15. Your media server will now be at the state it was when the backup took place, but before the backup completed – i.e. with serial numbers installed, catalogs and jobs restored, but not the media you have just restored from (or any later backups) in the catalog.
  16. If you need to perform further restores from the media you've just restored from, you need to re-catalog it.
  17. Delete the folder location where you installed your temporary Backup Exec installation (optional).

Note that there are some steps you can take to speed up the above process. There are also some potential problems which can occur. These hints and tips are used at your own risk.

  • When installing the temporary Backup Exec installation, there's no need to install the documentation.
  • To save having to re-catalog the media after performing the first restore, copy the contents of the temporary installation's catalogs folder to your restored catalog folder before starting the Backup Exec services.
  • As soon as you've restored the media server, put any scheduled jobs on hold – you don't want to accidentally overwrite your media! For this reason it's a good idea to use the write protection tab on the media before starting.
  • If you have problems with the media not being able to be catalogged, delete the media from Backup Exec (you will have to move it to Retired Media first). This won't delete the tape contents, but will make Backup Exec "forget" about it.