What do we need for a bare metal restore (boot from a CD, then dump the entire tape to the hard drive and you are all set?

I've run into 2 new clients in the last 2 weeks that had computer failures and we had to rebuild their machines using their restore CD and then restore the data that they fortunately backed up.  A straigtforward process, but time consuming - install the OS from the CD, load all the patches that have come out since the CD was made, install drivers for hardware that wasn't on the CD (I would think Dell would build in their drivers on the restore CD without needing the driver CD seperately?!), install the backup software then restore the backup....

It's getting tiresome.

Is there a way to do a backup so we can do a 'bare metal' restore, I think it's called - I envision booting from a CD / floppy, deal with the drivers for the RAID controller, and simply restore the backup media to the hard drive, reboot and you are back to the time the backup was made.  Is that possible?  I think that's what ghost can do?  Any others?  Will ghost or others work with hardware raid?  I keep reading how you have to do what I've been doing - reinstall the OS, install the backup app then restore from the backup media...  that takes time.

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Bare Metal restore means booting then restoring straight from tape/backup without the need for an OS.

BackupExec (veritas) and others can do it.  BackupExec also offers a "laptop/workstation" backup agent.

It really depends on the software that you choose to go with on how it is done.

Technically Ghost essentially does do a bare metal restore, since you boot from a boot disk, connect to the Ghost image server, and then "ghost" the machine.

As far as best approaches for you, I would suggest looking into the idea of telling your clients that they have to save to the network if they want their stuff backed up.  Redirect their My docs, etc to their home folder on the network.

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LookingForITHelpAuthor Commented:
Backup to the network - sure.  they do that. but when a server goes down, everyone is sitting around whiel you reinstall the OS, etc... so Backup exec will do that bare metal restore - boot from CD, read from tape to the hard drive?!  The cost of the time you save if / when you need to do the restore is the cost of the app upfront, huh?  Pay me now or pay me later!?
Oh...you said computer failure and "clients" so I was thinking client workstations...sorry.

Yes, BackupExec does bare metal restores (you have to buy the option though), as do other backup programs at the "enterprise level".

It uses an "intelligent disaster recovery" option...see more info here:  http://www.veritas.com/Products/www?c=option&refId=95&productId=57

Veritas also has a product called Bare Metal Restore, so be careful of the differences:  http://www.veritas.com/Products/www?c=product&refId=140

Basically the BMR product is a "one size fits all" for all kinds of OS's, etc. and is geared for the high end market (to be used with Netbackup, not backupexec)

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Not to try and drag this off in a new direction, but.

What I do at all my clients is a full backup of everything each night, and also, i make a hdd mirror every 3-6 months or after a major change.

If there is a catastrophic failure, i can put the ide hdd in, boot to that, let clients on the network, mirror back to the SCSI and then restore the latest DATA from tape

it isn't bare metal, but i work smaller networks

LookingForITHelpAuthor Commented:
red - what do you use to make the mirror?  the SCSI raid card or something else?  (yeah, you can just take 1 drive of the mirror out, put in a 'replacement' let the mirror rebuild, then put in the original mirror?!)
For a HDD mirror I do the following.

Shut down machine
Install large capacity IDE HDD
Reboot to windows
Using Disk management, create a software mirror
Allow mirror to be built over a day (can take hours)
Next day (or week) Shut down server
Remove IDE HDD
Break Mirror


LookingForITHelpAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the points!
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Windows Server 2003

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