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Top 10 Windows restore and recovery tips of 2006

Whether you need to perform recovery on a failed server, database or shadow copy, these tips related to restoring and recovering Windows-related components can be of help.

No matter whether you need to perform recovery on a failed server, database or shadow copy, these tips related to restoring and recovering Windows-related components can be of help.

Retrieve a lost Automated System Recovery disk. To perform an Automated System Recovery (ASR) on a server, you'll need is the ASR disk you previously created. But if you've lost or misplaced the disk, don't panic! Rahul Shah explains how you can get the ASR disk back if you have current backup media for the system generated from an ASR-based backup

Restore shadow copies from command line with volrest tool. The shadow copies feature in Windows Server 2003 automatically creates point-in-time copies or snapshots of files in shared folders. This lets users recover accidentally overwritten or deleted work without having to ask an administrator to restore from backup. Still, admins may face several problems while restoring shadow copies, including searching for files on a server and locating previous versions of a file and restoring them to a specific folder. Rahul Shah writes about the command-line tool in the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit that can help admins resolve these problems.

Recovering encrypted files from an NTFS partition. There are special techniques for recovering data from an NTFS partition. This tip from Brien M. Posey builds on that concept by showing how to recover encrypted files from an NTFS partition.

Five musts for NetBackup restores. NetBackup, like any other backup software product, must be properly configured and managed to ensure that missing data can be recovered as needed. Here are five things you can do to ensure successful recoveries.

Restore Remote Storage Database in Windows Server 2003. Rahul Shah documents the steps to follow in order to restore the Remote Storage Service (RSS) database in Windows Server 2003 after the operating system has been recovered or if the service cannot be started.

Install XP Recovery Console locally as boot option. The Recovery Console in Windows XP has saved Serdar Yegulalp's bacon countless times. In this tip, he chronicles why he recommends installing the Recovery Console locally, on one's hard drive, as a boot option.

Don't install XP Recovery Console from OEM recovery disk. Many PCs are shipped with an OEM restore CD, a disc designed to rebuild the operating system installation on the computer if the OS preinstall gets damaged. In this tip, Serdar Yegulalp explains why installing the Recovery Console from an OEM restore disc may not always work as intended.

A last-ditch data recovery technique. Most data recovery techniques depend on you being able to read at least one copy of the disk's file allocation table. So they don't do you much good if your file allocation table has been completely destroyed. But in this tip Brien M. Posey shows you a recovery technique that you can use if the file allocation table is damaged or missing, or if all the other recovery techniques have failed.

How the data recovery process works. Data recovery is possible because a file and information about a file are two different things, stored in two different places. The Windows operating system uses a file allocation table (FAT) to keep track of which files are on the hard drive and where those files are stored. The FAT is like a table of contents, while the actual files on the hard drive are like the pages in the book. So the key, writes Brien M. Posey, is knowing how to use the FAT to find the file that needs to be recovered.

Recover data fast with Data Protection Manager. Quickly recovering data that has gotten lost or corrupted is a top priority for Windows administrators. The options that Microsoft's Data Protection Manager provides for recovering data include the capability to recover specific files or file shares. But it's usually better to recover data at a higher level, especially if you have to recover protected shares.

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