Rapid Rollback: Getting Started



This article describes the Rapid Rollback process for disaster recovery.


  • Datto Utilities
  • Rapid Rollback


Rapid Rollback is part of the Datto Utilities tool suite. It is similar to the Bare Metal Restore utility; however, it allows you to incrementally revert changed data on a production machine to a previously-backed-up state without reformatting or re-partitioning the target hardware.

If you are restoring to a backup point created before May 3rd, 2020, you may have to update the agent software on the protected machine after the restore is completed. See Updating expired root certificates for backup points created prior to May 3rd, 2020 for additional steps that may be required.


Which recovery method is right for you?

Disaster recovery needs can take many forms. The following table will help you make an informed decision about which recovery utility is best-suited to your scenario.

Rapid Rollback Bare Metal Restore Direct Restore Utility File Restore
Ransomware recovery Reimaging a production machine Deploying a new production machine to replace an old one Restoring a single file or small number of files
Restoring uninstalled software Restoring production partitions  Migrating a server  
Restoring damaged system files   Restoring to brand new hardware    
Undoing widespread file changes      

What happens during a rollback?

The Rapid Rollback utility works by reverting a production machine's filesystem to the state it was in at the time of the selected recovery point. The chart below illustrates the actions that the Rapid Rollback utility will take to restore a production machine to a designated point in time.

Production System vs. Recovery Point Rollback action taken
File A: Deleted since recovery point File A restores from recovery point
File B: Modified since recovery point File B reverts to recovery point version
File C: New file created after recovery point File C deletes from production

Any files that were created or updated by the Rapid Rollback environment will restore to their original directories.


  • The target machine must be able to boot from USB.
  • The target machine must be on the same network as the Datto appliance containing your backups.
  • The target machine must use 64-bit hardware.
  • The environment of the target machine and the Datto appliance must meet Datto's networking requirements. In particular, Rapid Rollback requires outbound access via TCP to ports 80, 443, and 3260. See the SIRIS, ALTO, and DNAS Networking & Bandwidth Requirements article for more information.

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

  • A USB stick that is at least 8 GB
  • The encryption passphrase for the protected system you are restoring (if encrypted)


Rapid Rollback is only available for Windows-based operating systems. Datto has tested it for compatibility with the following platforms:

  • Windows XP
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 10
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012R2
  • Windows Server 2016

Rapid Rollback cannot restore systems encrypted with BitLocker. For more information, see our BitLocker Considerations article.


  • Rapid Rollback for ReFS is currently unsupported. Any ReFS volumes in the selected snapshot will be excluded from the restore. To perform a restore of a ReFS volume, use the Volume Restore feature.
  • Before performing a rollback, shut down the target machine cleanly. Attempting a rollback on a production machine that did not gracefully shut down can result in a failed restore attempt and potential loss of data.
    • If you are restoring a Windows 10 machine, disable the Fast Startup feature and shut the target machine down gracefully before attempting a rollback.
  • You cannot perform a rollback to any hard drive which has a different volume serial number than what existed at the time of the backup. If the Rapid Rollback utility cannot match the volume serial numbers of the target hardware to those in the selected snapshot, it will automatically fail.
  • "Rapid Rollback decompresses data when writing back to the target hardware. If the target machine is using compression, its storage disks must have enough free space to accommodate all of its production data in a decompressed state.
    • Using Rapid Rollback on a production system with inadequate storage space could leave the target hardware in a non-bootable state.
  • The rollback process will revert any new data created on the production machine since the last backup. The further back in time you restore from, the more data will change, and the longer the restore will take.
  • You cannot stop or undo a Rapid Rollback operation once started. Interrupting the rollback process could leave the target hardware in a non-bootable state.
  • The Rapid Rollback utility will not modify the following files and registry entries. If these files are missing from the target machine, Rapid Rollback will not restore them.
    • swapfile.sys
    • pagefile.sys
    • hiberfil.sys
    • DattoCtrl (datto.ctl for Datto Windows 2.1 endpoints)
    • DattoSnap (datto.snp for Datto Windows 2.1 endpoints)
    • endptconfig.sqlite3
    • /Windows/Temp and all files and folders within
    • \\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices
  • Software and firmware-based RAID configurations are unsupported.
  • Rapid Rollback is not tested or guaranteed to work with any encryption method listed in Encryption Compatibility With The Datto Solution that is not compatible with file restores. Datto recommends reviewing this article when preparing to restore to any encrypted system. 


Rapid Rollback is not currently compatible with Windows CompactOS (external link). If this type of compression is in use on the target machine's filesystem, you will need to disable it before attempting to restore the target hardware.

Performing a Rapid Rollback from any previous snapshot taken with CompactOS enabled on the production machine may produce unreliable results. To ensure a successful restore, CompactOS must be disabled on both the production machine and in the snapshot.

See Disabling CompactOS on Target Hardware for more information information about checking for and disabling the feature before beginning the restore process.


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. Proceed to the Booting a Target Machine with Datto Utilities article to continue.

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