Disaster recovery - Windows NT/2000

Posted on 2002-04-08
Last Modified: 2010-04-13
I'm trying to write a disaster recovery plan for our network.  I'm trying to figure out how I could restore a server in the event of a fire or some other catastrophic event.  If we had to restore all of our data to a new machine, would ERD's in Windows NT and the ERD and registry backup from WINNT\REPAIR in Windows 2000 help to restore the server?  Or would the fact that we're using new hardware in the servers make these things useless in that instance?  If these things are useless, I imagine we'd have to make sure we keep a copy of a document which listed share permissions for all the servers offsite so we could manually set those after our recovery.  
Question by:shawn313
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Expert Comment

ID: 6925833
1) Get another piece of identical HW
2) Copy files to 'backup'
3) Periodically swap the two.

This is handy for upgrades that minimize server downtime, and 'proves' out the backup/contingency plan.

(when they are identical, there are other tricks that can be employed, such as swapping physical parts, boot disks, media, HD, etc to best face troublesome conditions)

> ERD's in Windows NT and the ERD and registry backup from WINNT\REPAIR in Windows 2000 help to restore the server?  

No Way. IMO these do very very little to help anything. But do get some good boot diskettes, and some built in redundancey. If HD is FAT rather that NTFS, at least the boot part, then you achieve alternate means to restore some of the essential files -- contingency -- backup.

Expert Comment

ID: 6925975
despite which ever backup software you use, you'll have to make a full backup (all drives) of your domain controllers and their system state data.  when you do DR, you'll have to make sure that the hardware you'll be using is similar enough to the one in production - at least the hard disk controller.  you can then rebuilt the OS from scratch and then restore everything (all data from all drives and system state).  ERD will be useless then because it's only for repairing an existing machine.

when you do the restore, make sure the DR server has the same name as the production one.  All drive mappings/partitions must also be the same - size doesn't matter.  

You must test it out and make sure the procedure works.

Veritas BackupExec has a useful feature if you're interested.  It's called Intelligent Disaster Recovery (IDR).  You can use it to clone the exact same domain controller as you have in production.

Author Comment

ID: 6925996
But if our server is physically destroyed by fire or something, and we call Compaq and find out that the server we had is no longer available, does that mean the System State is no good, because restoring the registry will restore all device settings?  Unfortunately, we can't afford to have duplicate servers for everything in case of a failure.
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Expert Comment

ID: 6926290
I prefer getting second hard drive, that is also bootable, as my first contingency. Less downtime. Also easier to prove out.
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Expert Comment

ID: 6926330
Windows 2000 Server Disaster Recovery Guidelines
Description of Safe Boot Mode in Windows 2000 how to add and remove drivers in safe mode.

and also :
contingency and disaster planning - compaq
symantec intro -
This site has a bunch of resources about Disaster plans and examples
  Disaster Recovery Journal is a GREAT resource. Check the DR Glossary!
  The University of Toronto also has a good DR Plan. Compare with others:
This site has a bunch of resources about Disaster plans and examples
  Disaster Recovery Journal is a GREAT resource. Check the DR Glossary!
  The University of Toronto also has a good DR Plan. Compare with others:

I hope this helps !

Accepted Solution

ritupatel112699 earned 100 total points
ID: 6929216
1 st step #
Take identical Hardware confirm the SCSI things must be matching with your current server.
2 nd step #
Install your Win NT or Win 2000 server on the new server and apply the same service pack which you have on the current server.
3rd Step
Restore your last Full System backup which have all files incuding registry/System State  information.

Reboot your server all set.

And special note your new server computer name must be same as your current server and dont join any DOMIN during the first setup. Because after restore your  all network and other configuration will take n acre by the restore.

And still if you have problem in the NIC just reinstall the NIC drivers and apply the same configuration settings and you server will be fine after Disaster Recovery.

This steps i am telling on based of my tested DR plan which i implementaed and tested for one of the Biggeset Financial instute. Hope this willhelp.

Author Comment

ID: 6929229
I'm guessing from the responses that we need to make sure we keep our hardware up to date and that we can procure an identical server if something destroys the original.  Not an ideal solution, but I'll live with it.

Expert Comment

ID: 6929232
many of Compaq Proliant models use similar hardware - array controller, NIC, etc.  I've successfully performed DR on a DL380 and 6400R from an 8500 backup.  If your servers are Compaq Proliant servers, you shouldn't have to worry.

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