SIRIS, ALTO, and NAS: Introduction to Screenshot Verification



This article explains the Screenshot Verification feature of SIRIS and ALTO devices and gives resources to troubleshoot failed screenshot errors. For more information about the mechanics of virtualizations on Datto appliances, and how they relate to screenshot verification, see the How Virtualizations Work article.


Screenshot Verification verifies that the device's backups are healthy and working. This feature automatically builds and boots virtual machines from preexisting backups and performs context-sensitive tests against the virtual machine's output to evaluate a pass or fail state. You can configure Screenshot Verification on the Configure Agent Settings page of the Datto appliance GUI.

As a way to let a partner know the state, the screenshot verification is sent in email form as an alert detailing the results of the recently taken screenshot(s).

This article focuses on common problems that can be resolved through these configurable options.

Due to a limitation of the libvirt virtualization API, if an agent-based protected system's hostname is 50 characters in length or more, or an agentless protected system's name is 42 characters or more, screenshot verification for the agent will fail.

Diagnosing Screenshot Verification Failures

If the screenshot verification process does not detect a successful boot, it will simply capture an image of the screen after a preset amount of time.

In efforts to diagnose a failed screenshot, there can be times where the captured image is not displaying the correct error or state which caused screenshot verification to fail. To check, boot the virtual machine manually through the Datto Remote Web to observe its behavior.

 To spin up a virtual machine manually, see the following steps (Figure 1):

1. Log in to the device's web interface.

2. Click on Restore.

3. Select the protected machine to be virtualized by clicking the corresponding button under Start a Restore.

4. Under Choose Recovery Type, select Local Virtualization.

5. Under Choose a Recovery Point, select the same point in time for which the screenshot failed.

6. Finally, after confirming the information is correct, click Start Virtualization.

7. In the Local Virtualization screen (Figure 2), select the number of CPU cores, the amount of RAM, the boot disk, the storage controller, and the networking options for the virtual machine. For more information about the different options, check out Remote Web - Local Virtualization - Local Options.

Figure 1 - Setting up a local virtualization

Figure 2 - Local virtualization settings

Testing The Screenshot

1. To replicate the exact behavior of the virtual machine during screenshotting, select the same amount of virtualization resources and the same storage controller used by the screenshot verification process

Note: By default, screenshots for 32-bit virtual machines use 1 CPU core and 2GB (2048MB) of RAM, and screenshots for 64-bit systems use 2 CPU cores and 3GB (3072MB) of RAM

The screenshot verification process will use whichever storage controller is set in the Configure Agent Settings screen for the desired agent

2. After confirming the resources and storage controller, start the virtual machine: Start VM.

3. Observe its behavior by downloading the automatically-generated RDP link.

RDP access to virtualizations requires the connecting workstation to be running Windows Server 2008 SP3 or newer.
After testing, stop and unmount the virtual machine through the Restore menu. Automated screenshots will not occur if a virtual machine is already mounted.

Screenshot Error Resources

If you need to solve an error with screenshot verification, click on the article that pertains to the error that you are seeing:

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