Restore Scenario FAQ



This article provides disaster recovery guidance for partners with production systems that may have specific restoration needs.


  • File Restore
  • Bare Metal Restore (BMR)
  • Image Export


While a Datto appliance is capable of restoring data to a production environment, disaster recovery scenarios sometimes require a partner to take certain post-restore actions in their environment to bring the newly-restored system back to full production.

In other situations, a full restore may not be necessary. The following FAQ provides answers to common questions about both scenarios.

While Datto can provide guidance related to mounting and accessing restores, support for methods described in external content must be requested through the listed software vendor.


Q: How do I restore an Active Directory system or an Active Directory object from backup media?

A: The most efficient way to perform an Active Directory restore is to follow the Microsoft best-practices article which most closely applies to your disaster recovery scenario:

Q: How do I perform a System State Restore?

A: The Datto-supported method of performing a System State Restore is by following the Bare Metal Restore (BMR) process. If a Bare Metal Restore is out of scope for your disaster recovery scenario, you can follow Microsoft's Restoring System State process (external link).

Q: How do I restore an entire SQL database without reimaging the production server?

A: If an SQL Granular Restore is out of scope for your disaster recovery scenario, you can perform the following steps to restore the database to production:

  1. Shut down the production machine.
  2. On your Datto appliance, start a local virtualization of the most recent snapshot of the production machine which contains the data needing to be restored. Configure the virtualization to temporarily act as the production machine.
  3. Back up the SQL database from the virtualization to your local SQL backup media.
  4. Shut down the virtualization, and bring your production machine online.
  5. Restore the backup of the SQL database from your local backup media to the production machine. The database should now be restored.

Q: I restored a partition that contained a Windows share. What do I need to do to restore local users and permissions to the newly-restored share?

A: After restoring a production machine or production partition which contained one or more Windows shares, see Microsoft's Saving and Restoring Existing Windows Shares article (external link) to restore the share's local users and permissions.

Q: How do I restore an Act! database?

A: Refer to this Knowledge Base article by Act! for guidance.

Q: My production machine is infected with Cryptolocker, but it still boots. Do I really have to do an Image Export or Bare Metal Restore?

A: No. You can perform an iSCSI Restore, mount the share in Windows and then use Robocopy (external link) to transfer the files back to the production machine while preserving their permissions.

Q: How do I migrate a VHD into VMware?

A: See this article (external link) for an overview of the process.

Q: I only need to restore a data partition, or I want to restore my server with permissions in place. Do I really have to do an Image Export or a Bare Metal Restore?

A: No. You can perform an iSCSI Restore and then use Robocopy (external link) to transfer the files needing restoration back to their destinations while preserving their permissions.

Q: How do I restore X as a thin-provisioned VM?

A: The process will vary by scenario. See our Knowledge Base content on the subject.

Q: How do I use robocopy? Is there a GUI version?

A: See Microsoft's Get to Know Robocopy for More Powerful File Management for an overview of the command-line utility, and Utility Spotlight: Robocopy GUI (external links) for an overview of the GUI version.

Q: What if I only want to restore files that changed?

A: While they are not officially-supported by Datto, products such as WinMerge and BeyondCompare (external links) can compare the contents of a Datto file restore or iSCSI restore with a production system, and restore only those files that have changed.

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