How does ASR decide which partitions to backup?

Posted on 2006-05-12
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
The documentation I've seen says, in effect, the boot and system partitions are saved. For me, that will be the partition I call my C drive. I ask because on one of my systems there is a small (5GB) partition left over from from the manufacturer setup. It became my G drive when I upgraded to XP/Pro and I dont really use it. I dont think my G drive is a boot or system partition but ASR seems to save that partition also. During the ASR restore, right before it asks you where your bks file is, I see the following message:

Please wait while Windows restores the Volumes present on your computer.
Formatting volume \DosDevices\G

This can become an issue because I have a second hard drive installed (my D drive) that I have data that is dear to me (my ASR backup, user backups, etc.).

To drive the point home, During an attempted ASR recovery of another (a windows 2003 sbs) machine I put the wrong machine's diskette in (my bad, my very big bad). ASR formatted my D drive that contained my backups, putting the above message on the screen. (On that same day the drive containing the backups to those backups had a hardware failure. A very bad day.)

I really want to understand how ASR decides which drives to save and to format when it restores.

Thank you in advance.
Question by:MikeBroderick
    LVL 24

    Accepted Solution

    The boot partition is the usually the first partition on the drive. Does your G drive have the boot.ini, ntldr etc. located on it? If so, it's the boot partition.

    Author Comment

    No there are no boot.ini, etc on this drive. It only contains 2 folders; Recycler and System Volume information. Note that there is stuff in the system volume information folder. No other machine will let me see in the system volume folder; I get "Access denied".
    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    Hmm, the only partitions I've ever had it try to backup, are the System and Boot. Only thing I can think of....System Volume Information is where System Restore information is stored. The Indexing service also stores its catalog in one of the System Volume Information folders. I don't know if either of those would make ASR work with that partition or not, but only things I can think of.

    (BTW, to see whre the Indexing service is storing its catalog, look under Computer Management|Services and Applications|Indexing Service in Computer Managerment)

    Author Comment

    Indexing is storing its catalog on the C drive.
    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    I don't use ASR too much unfortunately. As far as I can tell from playing with it, It looks like it does recreate all partitions, regardless of whether it's data was included in the backup or not. So if I had to guess, a seperate drive would be safe, but not partitions on the drive that contains the boot or system volumes. I don't know for sure, but as noone else has responded, and this thread is getting pretty far might want to have the question closed by posting in community support. You can then post a new one and hopefully more people will respond that might have more actual experience with ASR.

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