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arcserve-KB : How to recover a system without having an (up-to-date) Machine Specific Disk?

Last Update: 2015-12-15 22:05:52 UTC

CA ARCSERVE BACKUP WINDOWS DR OPTION COMMON: 11.5, 12.5, 12.0

Last Modified Date:    10/12/2009
Document ID:    TEC499087
Tech Document
Title:  How to recover a system without having an (up-to-date) Machine Specific Disk?

Description:

What is needed for a Disaster Recovery

When a system crashes you can use Disaster Recovery Option (DRO) to recreate the system by using:

  • The Operating System CD,

  • An ARCserve CD,

  • A Full Backup of the system,

  • A Machine Specific Disk. (MSD)

Note! This can differ for some Operating Systems, but as example the list is given for Windows 2000.

For the MSD it is important that it belongs to the Full Backup, because the name of the tape is being written in the file <machinename>.DRF (for release 11.x) and in <machinename>.ses (for release 12.x).

In this document the file will be named <machinename>.drf, but for other releases the procedure is the same, except the file might have a different name (<machinename>.ses).

The file is being created as the last action of a full backup and written to the folder C:\Program Files\CA\BrightStor ARCserve Backup\DR\<MACHINENAME> and to the destination of the backup. This can be the tape itself when directly is being backed up to tape. However using the staging mechanism there is a mismatch between the tapename and the name mentioned in the file. First will be explained how the procedure is, before being able to tell why there is a mismatch.

The procedure for Staging:

The procedure for staging is as follows:

  • The full backup is being performed to Destination 1

  • In the file <machinename>.drf the name of Destination 1 is written.

  • The file <machinename>.drf is being written to C:\Program Files\CA\BrightStor ARCserve Backup\DR\<MACHINENAME>

  • The file <machinename>.drf is being written to Destination 1

  • Then the migration starts to Destination 2

  • The complete contents of Destination 1 is being copied to Destination 2

  • On the location C:\Program Files\CA\BrightStor ARCserve Backup\DR\<MACHINENAME> the name of Destination 1 is being replaced by Destination 2

  • A Machine Specific Disk should be made to match the contents of the Full Backup tape.
    (This is being done using the contents of the folder C:\Program Files\CA\BrightStor ARCserve Backup\DR\<MACHINENAME> including the updated <machinename>.drf file)

The contents of the <machinename>.drf file.

On the location C:\Program Files\CA\BrightStor ARCserve Backup\DR\<MACHINENAME> the correct name of the tape (Destination 2) is there and also will be written to the MSD correctly. When the system crashes you'll have no problem recovering the system.

However when the MSD is being created too early (before the migration has finished) the Destination 1 is in the file, and only recovery from that location is possible. Since this mostly is a FSD (File System Disk) it will be doubtful whether this location is available since the machine did crash. Using the MSD and the full backup tape will fail since the tapename is different from the one in the .drf file.

On the tape (of Destination 2) the same information is being copied as on the FSD (Destination 1) since the file <machinename>.drf only has been updated after the migration process has finished. So restoring the .drf file from the tape won't help you.

You'll need to edit the file (is just a text file) and update the name so that it matches the name of the backup tape (Destination 2).

When no MSD exists:

When there is no MSD being created, there are two scenarios' to recreate the diskette or CD.

The first is when there has been no Full backup after the tape you would like to use to rebuild the system with. Then the correct information is still on disk (if it is reachable) and/or in the alternate location (which is mostly also set up for DRO, but resides on another system). With the Create Boot Kit utility in the ARCserve manager GUI the MSD can be created.

Secondly there is a utility called DRScanSession which can be found on the installation CD in the utilities folder. Copy this DRScanSession.exe and DRScanSession.dll to a folder on a system where you also have a tape drive on and run it to scan the tape and recreate the information about the system from which the backup is being made. You'll be prompted to insert an empty diskette and it will be made. But... the .drf file won't match the name of the tape since it pulls data of the tape and we've seen that the file on the tape won't be updated after the migration process has finished. So when the diskette has been created, the file on it needs to be changed so that it reflects the full backup tape.

For further information on the DRScanSession check the manual and also the online Help has some sections dealing with it.

Note! There are different sections in the manual for Windows XP/2003 and for Windows 2000.

Solution:

Create new MSD and adjust <machinename>.drf file to reflect the correct tape information

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