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Can you do a full system restore from tape?

Posted on 2006-11-14
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
The customer is about to go to a new server, running Win 2003 SBS.  In the past, they have been making a full Ghost image each night (while using an XP computer as their 'server'), but now they want to consider using tape for backup.

Question: Is there a tape 'system' available that is as good as Ghost in terms of being able to restore a complete image to a bare hard drive and get it back up and running, complete with the operating system and everything else--just like it was before the hard drive crashed?  TIA
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Question by:sasllc
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Scott C earned 1200 total points
ID: 17938795
We are using Backup Exec. 9.1 and between doing a full tape backup with the IDR (Intelligent Data Recovery) and a bootable CD made from Backup Exec we could do a complete system restore using the tape, CD and floppy with the IDR information.

If you are asking if there is a way to do a complete restore with a tape ONLY I doubt it as I've never heard of a way to boot from a tape drive.
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by:sasllc
ID: 17938894
No, I should have covered that important point...when you restore from a Ghost image, you must boot from their CD.  One difference is that Ghost apparently gets all the info it needs from the image you're restoring from, thus not needing a diskette.  But in your case, it sounds like the only extra item Backup Exec needs is a diskette drive and the appopriate diskette.  When and how is that diskette made?

The customer is planning to have a 3-drive RAID-5 setup.  Do you know if the Backup Exec system can do a full system restore to a RAID-5 array?

Finally, what brand and model tape drive are you using?  Have you ever had to restore files and/or a complete system?  Has it been reliable?  Are you happy with it overall?
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by:Scott C
ID: 17938933
The IDR information is made nightly.  We just back it up to a floppy disk.  You could redirect it somewhere else if you wanted to.

As long as the array is setup before you do the restore everything will work fine.  

We are using Compaq/HP 110/220 SDLT drives and they work just fine.

We've had to do a restore once and everything went very well.  So, yes, I'm very happy overall.

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Assisted Solution

by:dovidmichel
dovidmichel earned 800 total points
ID: 17938941
Backup programs have Disaster Recovery options that will bring everything back however it is doubtful they will be as good at it as Ghost at doing it. Some backup programs and some tape drives support One Button Restore. That is were you basically load the tape and the system reboots from tape and goes into an automated recovery. However tape has a few things to offer that Ghost does not.

If they need multiple copies, permanent copies, off site copies, then tape is a solution. However they need to consider the cost of a drive plus media.

If they do decide to go with tape the Disaster Recovery option should be tested and verified before getting rid of Ghost.
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