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AISBackup Restore CD.

AISBackup makes the bootable restore CD using a pre-compiled boot image that is downloaded and updated using the Tools / Create AISBackup Restore CD or USB Flash Drive menu option. AISBackup version 2.8 build 389 must be installed and the boot image downloaded. AISBackupRestoreCD is about 120 MB.

The pre-compiled boot image is in a separate download as it is unlikely that this large file will changed when new features are added to AISBackup.

We no longer recommend using the Windows Automation Installation Kit (WAIK) method of making the restore CD as all of the functionality is available using the AISBackup pre-compiled image file.

Features and constraints.

  • A bootable AISBackup restore CD / USB Flash Drive enables you to restore from a backup on a PC that cannot otherwise be booted, or AISBackup recommends using the AISBackup Restore CD during a regular restore process.
  • Many new PC's have the ability to reset back to factory default; an AISBackup Restore CD and backup is equivalent to the factory reset but will restore your PC back to the same date as when the backup was made rather than possibly several years ago.
  • An AISBackup Restore CD enables restore to new disk drives and will also create and format the disk partitions for you.
  • An AISBackup Restore CD may be used to restore complex PC system's containing multi-boot partitions, data partitions etc in one go.
  • If you have access to a Windows Vista set-up DVD then that may be used instead of an AISBackup Restore CD.
  • The PC must have at lease 500MB RAM installed.

Have you got a Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 set-up DVD?

These instructions are for making an AISBackup Windows Restore CD, however if you have access to a Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 set-up DVD then you may restore from AISBackup using that. A Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 set-up DVD can also be used to restore Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. To use the Vista set-up DVD you must also have a copy of AISBackup.exe on a CD or USB flash/disk drive. See here for an example of using the Windows Vista set-up DVD.

No resources to make the AISBackup Restore CD.

If you have not got the resources to make an AISBackup Restore CD, and you have not got a Windows Vista or Server 2008 set-up DVD, it is not the end of the world as a second computer can be used to restore Windows.

For an example of using a second PC to make a restore click here.

All Windows Users (2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, 7, 8 and Server 2012)

A Windows restore CD may be built for use with AISBackup when making disaster recovery restores. The Windows restore CD is suitable for restoring Windows client and server 2000, XP (all versions), Server 2003, Windows Vista (all versions) and Windows server 2008 & 2012; the Restore CD has also been tested with Windows NT4.

The minimum memory requirement for the AISBackup Restore to work is 512MB, with 256MB the restore CD will boot but AISBackup will not work. If your PC has less than 512MB please consider adding more memory as this will improve the performance of your PC, especially when running Windows XP and Vista.

The AISBackup recovery CD must be made on a PC running Windows XP,Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008, however it may be used to restore Client and Server Windows NT4, Client and Server Windows 2000, All versions of Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, All versions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

Making the boot CD Flash Drive using the AISBackup pre-compiled boot image.

To make the bootable CD or USB flash drive choose the menu option Tools / Create AISBackup Restore CD or USB Flash Drive.

  • If you have already installed WAIK and have not downloaded the pre-compiled boot image file you will be asked to download the boot image file. Choose No to continue using WAIK. We no longer recommend using WAIK.
  • If you have installed the pre-compiled boot image and WAIK you will be asked which product you wish to use to make the boot media. If there is no requirement to add additional device drivers the recommended reply is Yes to use the pre-compiled boot image. We no longer recommend using WAIK.
  • Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 users will be asked whether the boot files should be copied to CD or USB flash drive. Please note if the USB Flash drive does not already contain an AISBackup boot image the existing contents of the flash drive will be removed when the flash drive is formatted.
  • An option to add additional device drivers to the boot image.
  • Choose the filename for the CD boot image file, then click Save.
  • The AISBackup set-up program may also be included in the boot image, to use this option the set-up program must be downloaded to the PC. Choose No to proceed without adding the AISBackup set-up program to the CD / Flash drive.
  • If making a bootable CD click Yes to make the CD now. Choose No to make the CD later or if you intend to use the boot image file with a Virtual PC.
  • Download the instructions here on page 22.

Using the AISBackup Restore CD

The AISBackup Restore CD may be used to boot and restore a PC with Windows, the source of the backup can be CD, DVD, Local Drive, External Drive, FTP Server or a Network Drive. Please test that the Restore CD is compatible with your PC and that you can access the hard drives and network cards (if a network or FTP restore is required). You should be able to install compatible drivers from your hardware manufacturer to enable access to disk drives and network interfaces.

  • Boot your PC from the AISBackup restore CD - Please note you may need to change the boot order on your PC to boot from CD.
  • Press a key to boot from the restore CD - Please note that it may take several minutes before AISBackup starts.
  • AISBackup will start automatically, if you close down AISBackup you may restart it by typing AISBackup into the command prompt window and pressing Enter.
  • Along with AISBackup a command prompt window is displayed, if this window is closed the PC will re-boot. The command prompt window may be used for entering commands, e.g. DiskPart for manual disk partitioning; Net Use * \\Server\Sharename to manually map disk drives; IPConfig to check the network connection; ChkDsk to check hard drives for errors etc.
  • When AISBackup starts it displays a wizard style dialogue from which you make a selection and then click Next, to close the wizard and work directly with the AISBackup menu options click Cancel. The options are:

    • Restore From Backup: Choose this option to restore from a backup.

    • Disk Maintenance: This option enables you to create disk partitions on new hard disk drives; format existing drives etc.
    • Create and run a backup job: If the AISBackup Restore CD was made with a registered copy of AISBackup the normal and quick backup options are shown. Using these options you may backup a 'dead' PC prior to running the restore; this option may be useful to preserve documents created since the backup you are about to restore.
    • File Viewer: This option shows the disks and files in an explorer style window. Right click options are available for copying and renaming files etc. This option is only present if the AISBackup Restore CD was made with a registered copy of AISBackup.
    • Check and Change Boot Menu: This option may be used to view and correct errors in the Windows boot menu.
    • Check and Change Disk Drive Assignments: This option may be used after restoring more than one disk drive to ensure that the restored copy of Windows gives the additional drives the correct drive letter.

  • From the options form choose the option Restore From a Backup then click Next. If you closed the wizard then choose the menu option Tools / Open Job From Backup Media instead.
  • Choose the source of the backup from either:

    • Restore from a local drive, CD, DVD, External drive etc: Use this option for all backup media that is not on a network.
    • Restore from a networked drive: Select this option if the backup media is on a network drive.

      You will be asked to map the network drive that contains the backup media. Please note that the Username and Password are mandatory.
    • Restore from a FTP Server: Select this option if the backup is on a FTP server.

      You will be asked to locate the backup on the FTP Server.
    • Restore from backup job <name>: This option is displayed if you have already opened a backup job for restore

Multiple Drive Recovery

It is okay to restore multiple drives to different drive letters as the drive letter is actually held within Windows and can be corrected using AISBackup’s option Tools / Windows Drive Assignments option. The Windows Drive Assignments option may be used to review and correct drive letters for all installed copies of Windows.

If multiple drives are restored to a new disk, or a disk that has been reset using the DiskPart clean option then there is a chance that the original drive letters will need correcting.

The disk drive containing Windows will be set-up with the correct logical drive letter, which is normally but not necessarily C:\, however additional drive letters may need correcting using the Tools / Windows Drive Assignments option.

As a guide you should generally marry drives that show as Disk Drive Not Mounted with drives you have just restored, these may be shown in the list as Unassigned.

Windows Drive Assignment: Options.

Any disk drive not known to the selected version of Windows will be shown with the status Unassigned Known to booted Windows as: X: where X is the drive letter where the disk was restored. Select the disk by clicking on the list entry then use the Assign Drive Letter drop down list to select the drive letter that the disk should be known to Windows as. If the drive letter you want to use has already been used then you should remove this entry by clicking the List and choosing the option Remove.

The entries shown as Disk Drive not Mounted are either to be replaced with restored disks or are external drives that have been previously used with the restored version of Windows.

Checking the Boot Menu

AISBackup automatically checks and corrects the boot menu, however it is worth checking that this was done correctly by using the Tools / Edit Windows Boot Menu option.

Windows on Dynamic Drive Volumes

If you are restoring Windows to the original Dynamic Volume then there is no problem, and it is also okay to re-format the volume prior to restore. However if you are restoring Windows to a new dynamic volume then there is a high probability that Windows will not boot. To work around this problem restore Windows to a Basic Drive Partition and then convert that to a Dynamic Drive using Disk Manager when you boot the restored Windows.

Restore Example

Restore a backup from CD or DVD to a disk that has not been formatted (a brand new disk).

  • Restore a backup from CD or DVD to a disk that has not been formatted (a brand new disk).
  • Remove the existing disk from the PC and install the replacement disk. If you want to keep the old disk in the PC and make the new disk the 'master' disk containing Windows then ensure that the correct Master / Slave jumpers are set for IDE disks or the correct boot order is set for SATA disks - with SATA disks plug the cable from the existing disk into the new disk and plug the old disk into a different SATA socket on the mother board.
  • Some PC's require that SATA drives are activated in the CMOS settings - contact your PC manufacturer for instructions.
  • Select the Disk option and create a disk partition of sufficient size to hold the restored data. AISBackup will automatically create a Primary Active partition the first time it is used on a new drive; this type of partition is required to boot Windows. If you are restoring Windows do not worry if the drive letters are different, e.g. a J: drive Windows restored to a C: drive, as AISBackup will automatically correct the drive letters after restore.
  • After AISBackup starts you may remove the AISBackup Restore CD and load the last CD/DVD of the backup set. Use the Restore from a local drive option to open the backup, or use the menu option Tools / Open Job From Backup Media. The restore will continue as normal.
  • If you are restoring to a new disk then there is an option to restore to unallocated disk space, AISbackup will make the disk partition of the size you specify and format the drive. Please note that the drive letters you restore to do not have to correspond to the drive letters on the backup as these will be corrected after the restore.
  • After restore AISBackup will check the System boot menu files on disk and may ask to change the style of Master Boot Record of the newly created or formatted drive.
  • After restoring Windows AISBackup checks the boot menu and any necessary adjustments are made to enable a correct start. If you want to check and make manual adjustments to the boot menu use the Tools / Edit Windows Boot Menu option.
  • If you have restored multiple drives then check the drive letter assignments using Tools / Windows Drive Assignments.

Additional Features (Not available on the trial version)

  • The backup options are fully functional, however any jobs created using the AISBackup Restore CD will not be remembered after a re-boot, but you can open backup's using Tools / Open Job From Backup Media when running from Windows and/or the AISBackup Restore CD.

    The ability to backup prior to restore may be important if the backup you want to restore was taken a long time ago and you do not want to lose documents etc from the faulty copy of Windows.
  • Tools / File Viewer: This option shows the files on the PC and allows some right click options for deleting, copying and moving files and folders. This option is not intended to be a replacement for Windows Explorer.
  • Tools / Disk to Disk Copy: Option to copy files from one drive to another.

DiskPart and Format

If you are restoring to a new disk then you may have to use the command line utility DiskPart to create a partition. Here are the instructions for creating a single partition of using the whole disk and making the drive letter C:

The commands you type are shown in yellow, optional parts are shown in green, for example in the create partition primary section you may specify the size of the partition in megabytes, if the size is not entered the remaining disk space is used.


X:\windows\system32:>diskpart

Microsoft DiskPart version 5.1.3565

Copyright (c) 1999-2003 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: MININT-UPF0UTC

DISKPART> select disk 0

Disk 0 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> create partition primary size=20480

Diskpart succeeded in creating the specified partition.

DISKPART> select partition 1

Partition 1 is now the selected partition.

DISKPART> assign letter=c

Diskpart successfully assigned the drive letter or mount point.

DISKPART> active
Diskpart successfully marked the current partition as active.

DISKPART> exit

Leaving DiskPart...
 

  • Once the disk partition has been created it must be formatted using the NTFS file system, the following example formats the disk with the volume name Windows:


X:\windows\system32:> format c: /fs:ntfs /v:Windows
The type of file system is RAW.
The new file system is NTFS.

WARNING ALL DATA ON NON_REMOVABLE DISK
DRIVE C: WILL BE LOST!
Proceed with Format (Y/N)? y
Verifying 20477M
Creating file system structures.
Format complete.
  20968444 KB total disk space.
  20902068 KB are available.

X:\windows\system32>