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 The time in Wales is: 7 December 2021 09:14:36

AISBackup Restore CD and Flash Drive.

AISBackup makes the bootable restore CD or USB flash drive using a pre-compiled boot image that is downloaded and updated using the Tools / Create AISBackup Restore CD or USB Flash Drive menu option.

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.

Features and constraints.

  • IMPORTANT The boot media must be booted using MBR rather then the commonly used UEFI boot mode of modern PC's running Windows 10, Windows 11, Server 2016 and Server 2019. To do this you may need to alter the CMOS settings of your PC, however some PC's offer to boot from a CD in MBR mode by using their built in boot menu. Please refer to your PC manufacturer's instuctions for how to do this.

    Alternatively: Following a disaster, that results in swapping a hard drive with a new one, you could download and install Windows by downloading the installation media from Microsoft's website, install AISBackup and then restore from the backup.
  • A bootable AISBackup restore CD / USB Flash Drive enables you to restore from a backup on a PC that cannot otherwise be booted, or if 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 drive partitions 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 32-bit Windows 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 32-bit Windows set-up DVD?

These instructions are for making an AISBackup Windows Restore CD, however if you have access to a Windows set-up DVD then you may restore from AISBackup using that. To use the Windows set-up DVD you must also have a copy of AISBackup.exe on a CD or USB flash/disk drive.

No resources to make the AISBackup Restore CD.

You could also use a second PC to restore your system to a new disk by using a SATA to USB adaptor to connect the new disk to another PC.

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.

  • Download the instructions here on page 31.

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 or STFP 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 and enable MBR booting.
  • 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 or SFTP 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.