ASR Restore On To Different Hardware? (SBS 2003)

Hi Experts,

We are currently going through some DR tests for our network and I am looking at the possibility of using ASR restore to restore our SBS 2003 server to different hardware if needed (as well as thrid part solutions). I have run into a problem though:

Using a test network, I perform an ASR backup of an SBS 2003 server, remove it from the network and perform a restore on to a different box. This goes fine, and the machine boots up OK. I then perform a full restore of the system partition (using Backup Exec 11d) and reboot.

All still fine. I then boot to DSRM to restore the system state. When I then reboot, I get a stop error 0x0000007B every time. I know this error usually relates to drivers, which I thought might crop up eventually, but I'm not sure what to do about it.

Now the system seemd to be running OK before I performed the system state restore - Sharepoint was up and running, network services were running. I hadn't got as far as restoring the Exchange DB though. I also have a second DC on the network which the SBS server can replicate from.

My question is really - does anyone have any ideas as to what could be causing this stop error? More to the point, could I even get away without restoring the system state? What would be the issues with leaving the system state as it was at the point of the ASR backup? (considering that I have a second DC to replicate AD from).

Is ASR restore a viable solution for restoring an SBS server to different hardware?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Zaheer IqbalConnect With a Mentor Technical Assurance & ImplementationCommented:
There is slight hack that you can implement

Possibly need to so an inplace upgarde of the OS.
gczAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the quick reply. I am away from the test network at the moment but will read these and give the in place upgrade a go when I can get to it tomorrow.

I'll let you know how I get on.

I don't see why it should fail. ASR is intended to work here. MS says: "ASR is intelligent enough to allow restoring an ASR backup to different hardware, making it an easy way to migrate to larger, more powerful servers". Did you follow the instructions? The instructions for example don't use backup exec in between.
By the way: 0x0000007B  usually means the driver for the mass storage controller is not found.
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gczAuthor Commented:

The actual ASR restore worked OK. It was only when I restored the system state from a backup did the reboot fail. I used backup exec after performing the ASR restore.

What instructions are you referring to? If you mean the above MS article, no I didn't, as this isn't referring to an ASR restore. I performed a standard ASR restore, the same as I would if it was to the same hardware.

I am assuming that a registry entry being written from the system state backup is causing the problem?

I will read the the above links in detail, try the repair install and let you know how I get on.

Many thanks,
McKnifeConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Instructions are here To restore your data files afterwards, you don't make use of system state restore but of simple ntbackup.
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyConnect With a Mentor Principal ConsultantCommented:
I'm wondering why you are going through all that trouble when the built-in SBS backup works just fine.  Please see for details.

gczAuthor Commented:
Hi Guys,

Thanks for the posts.

McKnife - yes, I followed these basic instructions. In my case I would have thought I would have to restore the system state subsequent to the ASR restore, as the SBS server is a domain controller. The ASR set includes the system state, but only at the time of the ASR backup. My thinking was that I wouldn't regularly perform an ASR backup, only after changes to the system, or once every one or two months. My data backups run on a weekly full/daily diff schedule.

TechSoEasy - my reasoning for looking at ASR was down to speed. We already use Backup Exec across our network, so we don't back any of our servers up locally, and I would have thought that ASR takes care of the OS installation and patching in one go so I assumed this would be quicker than manually installing the OS, patching and then restoring. We also need the granular restore that Backup Exec offers. Would I also not be in the same situation as I am now, once I restore the system state?

Problem is - I have just ran through the same process again from scratch, and I got no stop error this time! I had to re-install network drivers twice - once after the initial ASR restore, then again after the System state restore, but apart from that, everything is back up and running on the new box, as far I can tell.

I am going to continue to test, and also try to recreate the stop error. I'll submit a post on how I get on. Thanks.
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
"We also need the granular restore that Backup Exec offers"

What exactly do you think that BE offers in more granularity?  Because the ONLY thing I ever hear folks say they want from BE that the built-in backup doesn't offer is brick level mailbox backup.  This is really a falacy.  Since the built-in backup automatically configures deleted item recovery to allow users to recover items themselves, and because Exchange offers the ability to mount a recovery store, there is no real advantage to using BE, especially considering the added management overhead.

The built-in SBS Backup does an ASR backup automatically, so there's no need to perform a separate task.  So, if you still want to stick with BE, then I'd suggest that you just manually run an SBS Backup every one or two months instead of just doing the ASRs that you are currently doing.

If SPEED is your primary concern, then you really should consider using a block image backup such as Acronis True Image for SBS.

gczAuthor Commented:
Hi Jeff,

We chose BE because of it's ability to easily restore individual mailboxes/emails (without having to mount a recovery store) and sharepoint documents, and it's SQL and AD agents. We also use it to centrally manage backups for all of our servers, across the network, rather than locally on each sever using NTBackup. The SBS server is just one of them.

I am currently jusy investigating our possibilities, and as I originally stated, I am also looking at third party software as well; I am also currently testing Acronis with it's Universal restore option. I was looking at ASR to see how flexible it actually is when restoring to different hardware, as it is built in to Windows.

The link you provided makes no mention of an ASR restore using the SBS backup; the restore procedure advises you to manually reinstall the OS and then patch, nor does the backup procedure mention the production of the ASR floppy. I have looked at the backup wizard on our SBS server and I can't see where it refers to an ASR backup. If you could advise it would be appreciated.

gczAuthor Commented:
I have re-tested this process a number of times now and have been unable to reproduce the stop error. In fact the process has been pretty painless.

Apart from having to re-install the NIC drivers, and having to disable the windows firewall initially after the ASR restore, there have been no problems. The whole process of restoring the server (albeit a test server) and getting all services up and running on the new box took about 1.5 hours.

Thanks for your comments, I will distribute points evenly.
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