Restore from ntbackup to new hard drive

Posted on 2006-07-13
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I've done a complete backup, including system state (Windows 2003 server OS), to an external hard drive, now I want to put it on a new internal hard drive to replace the previous hard drive.  How do I restore the complete system from ntbackup?  Do I have to install the OS first, then do system restore?
Question by:maharlika
LVL 32

Assisted Solution

jhance earned 50 total points
ID: 17103670
That won't accomplish your purpose.  I'm assuming you want to end up with a bootable image on your new hard drive.  NTBACKUP, while it backs up a lot of stuff, is not capable of this.

You need a drive imaging product.  I'm partial to Symantec/Norton GHOST (DriveImage was better but I don't think it's available anymore since they were taken over by Symantec) and I've also heard that Acronic TrueImage is a good product.

There are also some open source options by way of Linux-based tools but I've not used any of them myself.

Accepted Solution

rgutwein earned 100 total points
ID: 17103744
Hi Maharlika, have you tried doing an ASR backup?  This type of backup saves everything, you just need a floppy disk to complete the process.  If you do not want to try the ASR Backup, then I would use Norton Ghost as Jhance has suggested above.

Below are the steps if you want to try an ASR Backup:

Create the ASR backup

In order to use ASR you first need to create the ASR backup. Follow these steps:
1.      Run NTBACKUP.EXE from the Run command or from the Program Files > Accessories > System Tools.
2.      When the program starts click on the “Advanced Mode”, you will now see the ASR button to invoke it's wizard.
3.      The Wizard will start with a Welcome screen, advising that a Backup and the ASR (Automated System Recovery Wizard) disk will be created. Click Next.

4.      Choose a destination and filename for the ASR backup. Make sure you do NOT select A: as the destination (duh...) nor C:, and that you have at least 2GB of free space on that partition.

5.      The "Completing the ASR Preparation Wizard" will appear.When you click Finish, the Wizard creates a backup of your system files. You will then be asked to insert a floppy disk. You will later use this disk and the backup to restore your System in an event of a major failure.

6.      To close this wizard and to begin the backup, click Finish".

7.      The system will create a list of all files and then start the backup processes, creating a disk-backup-file. Once the disk-backup is done, you will be prompted for a floppy disk (blank, formatted) to store some ASR-data.

Use ASR to recover your system

In case all other methods to start the XP/2003 system fail, you can use the ASR backup and floppy disk to restore the system to the status as during the creation of the ASR backup.
1.      Insert your Windows XP Professional Installation CD-ROM and boot from CD-ROM. If you get the message to "press any key to boot from CD...", press any key.
2.      As soon as you see "Press F2 to run Automated System Recovery (ASR) ..." on the bottom line - press F2. You only have about 2 seconds to do so, so be prepared.
3.      You will then be prompted to insert the ASR floppy disk. Do so.
You have for a few seconds still the time to abort the ASR process by pressing ESC.
4.      Warning! The system will now start to format your C: drive. When it's done it will start with a process very similar to the XP installation.
5.      After the file copying is done, the system will reboot and continue with the installation process, but it will not continue a complete installation. It starts the Automated System Recovery Wizard. This screen will wait for 90 sec, then it will continue automatically.
6.      A screen will appear, asking you to confirm the location of the disk backup-file.
7.      At the end of the ASR process, NTBACKUP.EXE is automatically used to restore the information on the C: drive.
8.      After the process is over check to see if all data and settings have been restored properly.

***Important Note about ASR Backups is that the hardware configuration of the target system must be identical to that of the original system, with the exception of the hard disks, video cards, and network interface cards.

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