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Backup Exec 12.5 or earlier Virtual Restore/Dissimilar hardware

At my company we are lucky enough to not have to do a lot of restores for our clients. However, we do run into the situation every once in a while. We currently have a client who's server was stolen. It was a Windows 2003 R2 SP2 server on a Dell PE2900 with an LTO3 tape drive running Backup Exec 12.5.The server was the only server at the client site so it did everything, SQL, DC, File Server, backups, etc.  When the server was stolen we attempted to use one of the backup tapes and another tape drive to restore to a provisioned VMware ESXi virtual server. Things did not go so well. The restore went fine but the server just would never boot correctly. Is this just a symptom we will have to get used to when restoring ANY system? Or is this a domain controller specific issue? I know that DCs have special restore criteria than other systems. Has anyone done this successfully with ANY server using Backup Exec (any version?
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bacchus1106
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bacchus1106
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Ned RamsayCommented:
On a DR test at my last workplace we found that out of 20 servers only 2 would restore fully from tape.
If the hardware doesnt match the backed up hardware (especially chipset) then you will get failed boots all the time.
We were told to backup AD/DNS etc but NOT the OS itself. If we had a failure it would be a fresh reinstall of OS then restore the file structure over the top.
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bacchus1106Author Commented:
Just to make sure I am clear. You just backup the System State information (AD/DNS) and the data off the drive (not the windows folder?) then do a reinstall of a fresh OS, restore the data (minus the windows folder) and the AD/DNS information? And that worked?
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Randy_BojanglesCommented:
Backup Exec 12 introduced that the Intelligent Disaster Recovery (IDR) agent was included with the base license

An IDR backup should be a lot happier about restoring to dissimilar hardware
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bacchus1106Author Commented:
All IDR does is allow you to restore without installing windows first if I remember correctly. Still would restore the same data and result in the same non-booting system. However I've never tried it. Anyone?
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Randy_BojanglesCommented:
That's basically what IDR does - but because it includes the O/S with it then it is a bit more forgiving (as it has to be) of hardware changes. Its not as good as Backup Exec System Recovery (BESR) but worth a go as its included with the base license now anyway.

The other thing you could do in the future is do a P2V of the box whilst you still have it and then you'd only need to do a data and authoratative AD restore
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bacchus1106Author Commented:
Ahhhh, I see what you are saying. That does makes sense. I have BESR at another client and it has worked great but obviously for a small office it is hard to justify the additional expense. The P2V option is a good one as well but it consumes a lot of space we don't typically have at most sites. Good suggestion.

Have you tried the IDR option to alternative hardware/VM sucessfully?
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Randy_BojanglesCommented:
Tried it to "slightly" different hardware Ok but never to a VM or anything really esoteric compared to the original
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bacchus1106Author Commented:
Was it at least a different chipset?
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Randy_BojanglesCommented:
Dont think so - we're pretty much an HP shop so the server was changed from an ML350 to a ML370 (or it might have been the other way round, cant remember), both G4s
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bacchus1106Author Commented:
Alright, so if I can get someone to give me a definitive "yes" to the IDR solution to dissimilar hardware you get the points :) Either that or I'll have to test it out here.
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bacchus1106Author Commented:
I still do not have a definitive answer but all indications point to it working with the BackupExec IDR.
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