USB Bare Metal Restore: Booting the target machine from USB

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Scope

This article explains the process of booting a target machine from a USB drive imaged with Datto Utilities containing Datto's Bare Metal Restore Environment, and starting a Bare Metal Restore (BMR).

Prerequisites

This article assumes that you have already imaged a USB stick with the Datto Utilities. If you have not already done this, see the article Imaging a USB Drive with Datto Utilities.

Procedure

On the target machine:

Plug the USB drive into the target machine. We recommend that you use the USB ports that are directly connected to the motherboard. Usually, this means using the USB ports on the back of the machine. Datto also recommends using at least a USB 2.0 port, if available.

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.

On EFI systems, you must temporarily disable EFI booting in order to boot from the USB drive.

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, 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 1.

Figure 1: Network Configuration 

Once the networking check succeeds, you will see the Checking for Updates message shown in Figure 2. Datto recommends allowing the environment to download and apply updates.

Figure 2: Datto Utilities updater

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is unable to complete, and exits with a failure state of "Error during stick update: Unable to determine if stick is out of date," this indicates that the imager cannot reach Datto's servers to check for updates.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 that 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 menu. Select the BMR option.

Figure 3: Datto Utilities application menu

Select the the Datto appliance that contains the restore information. When prompted, log into the device with the user credentials you created to access its GUI. Then, click Next.

Figure 4: Select Backup Location  

Select the protected system that you want to restore from, and click Next.

Figure 5: Select Protected Machine

Select a recovery point to restore to the target. If you created a Rescue Agent for the Disaster Recovery virtualization, you can apply any changes made in the VM during the BMR to the production machine by checking the Continuously Mirror box. Then, click Next.

Continuous mirroring requires automatic partitioning to ensure adequate space for incremental changes. You will not be able to select the Manual Partition option in the next step if the Continuously Mirror option is enabled.
In the event that the mirroring process is interrupted by an unexpected crash or a reboot of the production machine, it can automatically resume. If the most recent snapshot the mirroring process captured is unusable because of the crash, the process will take another snapshot, and perform a differential merge between the new snapshot and the last good snapshot to reconcile differences between the two points.

Figure 6: Select Recovery Point

The wizard will calculate minimum volume sizes, and then display the Partition Machine screen shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7: Partition Machine

Click Automatic Partition, and proceed to the Data Transfer article. Alternatively, if you need to manually partition the target machine, click Manual Partition, and proceed to the USB Bare Metal Restore: Advanced Partitioning article.


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