USB Bare Metal Restore (BMR): Getting Started



This article describes the USB Bare Metal Restore (BMR) process for disaster recovery. The Bare Metal Restore utility is a tool to restore downed servers.

For best results, review the Datto Disaster Recovery Guide before you get started.


  • Datto Bare Metal Restore



  • The Bare Metal Restore feature is not intended to be used as a deployment tool. To deploy a new server instead of recovering a downed one, install the new server's operating system, and then use the Direct Restore Utility to migrate its data.
  • Bare Metal Restore for ReFS is currently unsupported. Any ReFS volumes in the selected snapshot will be excluded from the restore. To perform a restore of an ReFS volume, use the Volume Restore feature.
  • A Bare Metal Restore will cause the target server to perform a full backup when the restore finishes. Depending on the speed of your network, you might need to order a RoundTrip to move this backup to the Datto Cloud.
  • The Datto Utilities version of USB Bare Metal Restore is only available for Datto appliances running the Datto IRIS 3 (Ubuntu 16.04) OS. For Datto IRIS 2 (Ubuntu 12.04) appliances, or if you are attempting to recover a 32-bit system, image the USB drive with the Legacy BMR ISO environment, and follow the Legacy Bare Metal Restore process. You can see which version of Ubuntu your Datto device is running on the Advanced Device Status page.
  • Datto does not endorse or support backing up laptops because of their mobile nature. Laptops must be inside the LAN, and not on a wireless network, to perform backups in a timely manner. Attempts to back up laptops are at your own discretion.
  • Due to the wide range of touchpad drivers, custom drivers, and hardware configurations available for both laptops and all-in-one workstations, restoration support for these platforms is 'best-effort' only.



  • Performing a Bare Metal Restore of a BitLocker-protected system will result in a non-encrypted restored machine. For more information, see our BitLocker Considerations article.
  • If you are performing a BMR from a VM on a Datto appliance, make sure that all volumes have been backed up successfully, and are restored to the production machine, before you remove the VM from the Datto appliance. Otherwise, you can lose data.
  • Touchscreens may not work after a Bare Metal Restore until you manually reinstall their drivers.

Requirements for the target hardware:

  • Datto recommends verifying that the target hardware is healthy, including checking the SMART values on hard drives to ensure healthy target disks.
  • Must be able to boot from USB
  • Must be on the same network as the Datto device
    • Make sure the Datto device can communicate to other subnets through proper routing on the network
    •  Any subnet with which the Datto device must communicate to perform the BMR must have the same public IP as the Datto device.
  • Internet access is required for the BMR. 
  • Must be 64-bit hardware
  • The hardware must be able to fully support the system image you are restoring to it
  • Bare Metal Restore to EFI Linux agents is not supported. See the Installing the Datto Linux Agent article for more information.
  • If you update a protected machine to Mac OS X to version 10.12.5 from an earlier version, you may need to force a new full backup of the agent for continued compatibility with the Bare Metal Restore process.
Operating systems will be restored as a single partition.
Support of RAID hardware is dependent on compatibility with the Bare Metal Restore environment's kernel and version. See Ubuntu's list of certified compatible hardware for compatibility guidelines.
Bare Metal Restore does not support software RAID or FakeRAID (also known as 'HostRAID' or 'BiosRAID').

Networking requirements:

Figure 1 illustrates the data flow for the Bare Metal Restore solution. See the SIRIS, ALTO and DNAS Networking & Bandwidth Requirements article for more information.

Figure 1: Bare Metal Restore data flow (click for larger image)

You should have the following items available when starting this process:

  • USB stick that is at least 8 GB
  • We will automatically detect storage controllers and inject them as needed. You may still want to collect any other drivers to apply after the imaging is complete.
  • If your backups are encrypted, then you will need the encryption passphrase for the protected system that you are restoring.

Image the USB Drive

  1. Image a USB stick with the latest version of the Datto Utilities Image. For more information about this process, see Imaging a USB Drive with Datto Utilities.
  2. Once the imaging process completes successfully, unplug the USB stick, and proceed to the article USB Bare Metal Restore: Booting the target machine from USB.

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