Storm season is back, bringing with it the potential for significant weather events. If you have clients in areas prone to infrastructure disruption, visit the Disaster Recovery Resources guide for preparedness information. Datto recommends performing proactive disaster recovery testing to mitigate potential downtime. See our articles about the importance of disaster recovery testing and Preparing For A Cloud Virtualization Test: Policies, Procedures, And Partner Responsibilities to learn more. For live updates, follow @datto on Twitter.

Booting a Target Machine with Datto Utilities



This article provides the steps required to boot a target machine into the Datto Utilities environment from a USB drive.


  • Datto Utilities



  • This article assumes that you have already imaged a USB stick with Datto Utilities. If you have not already done this, see the article Imaging a USB Drive with Datto Utilities.
  • If the Datto is using a second NIC to communicate to another subnet specifically or another network, they both must meet the networking requirements in the Troubleshooting Network Issues section, below.
  • Datto recommends ensuring only 1 NIC on the target hardware has a connection to the Datto device, to avoid networking and transport issues. 


On the target machine:

Plug the USB drive into the target machine.

  • If you are imaging or restoring physical hardware, Datto recommends using the USB ports that are directly connected to the motherboard. These are often the USB ports located on the back of the machine. For best performance, use a USB 2.0 port or better.
  • If you are imaging or restoring a virtual machine, you will need to enable USB passthrough or attach the Datto Utilities ISO to the virtual machine as a logical drive.
If the target machine cannot natively boot from USB, you can use Plop Boot Manager (external link) to enable USB support. While Datto cannot provide support for the use of Plop Boot Manager, it has historically produced reliable results.

Boot the target machine into its BIOS or Motherboard Firmware (uEFI) settings. Configure it to boot from the USB drive. Then, reboot the production machine.

If you imaged the Datto Utilities USB drive with UNetbootin, you may need to select Default Mode when the production machine boots.

When the target machine finishes booting, you will see the prompt shown in Figure 1. Select Boot and persist changes.

Figure 1: Boot and persist changes (click to enlarge)

The Datto Utilities environment will attempt to autoconfigure networking via DHCP. If the environment cannot obtain an IP address, you will be prompted to manually configure networking, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Network Configuration (click to enlarge)

Following a successful network check, you will see the Checking for Updates message shown in Figure 3. Allow the environment to download and apply updates.

Figure 3: Datto Utilities updater (click to enlarge)

If the updater is unable to complete, and exits with a failure state of "Error during stick update: Unable to determine if stick is out of date," this indicates that the imager cannot reach Datto's servers to check for updates. You will need resolve any issues in the production environment which may be preventing the target machine from configuring networking. Make sure that the target machine's environment meets the SIRIS, ALTO & DNAS Networking and Bandwidth Requirements. Then, click Retry.

Bypassing the update process may cause the imaging process to fail.

When the updates complete, you will be redirected to the Datto Utilities application menu. Select the application you would like to launch.

Figure 4: Datto Utilities application menu - standard version (click to enlarge)

Figure 5: Datto Utilities application menu - Direct to Cloud version (click to enlarge)

Next Steps

Select the process you are performing to continue:

Troubleshooting Network Issues

If the Datto device does not appear when booting:

  • Make sure the Datto device is on the same IP scheme as the target hardware.
  • Make sure the network has proper routing.
  • Make sure the Datto device is using the same public IP address as the target hardware.

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