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Using the Full System Restore wizard

Updated: March 30, 2011

Applies To: Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials

After successfully using the recovery media to start your computer and verify that all hardware drivers are loaded on the restored or new client computer, the Full System Restore wizard appears. This wizard enables you to access the server, the computer backup, and the volume that you want to restore to the computer, and performs the actual restore process.


  • Before starting the full system restore process, connect the computer to the same network as the server using a network cable (a wired connection) and make sure that you have access to all hard drives on the client computer.


Do not attempt to perform a full system restore to a computer that uses a wireless connection to the network.

  • If you know that the computer is missing critical network or storage device drivers, you will need to locate and copy those drivers to a flash drive before starting the full system restore process. Because the full system restore recovery media is normally contained on a DVD, and that DVD must remain in the drive during the start portion of the full system restore process, you should not copy the missing drivers onto a CD or DVD unless you have a second CD/DVD drive. Instead, copy the missing drivers to a USB flash drive.

    For information about how to find the drivers for your computer, see Where can I find the drivers for my hardware?

  • If you cannot locate the Recovery DVD, you can create a bootable USB flash drive. For more information, see Create a bootable USB flash drive to restore a client computer.

To use the Full System Restore wizard

  1. Turn on the client computer that you want to restore, insert the restore media, and then turn the computer off.

    Turn the computer on again, and during Power On Self Test (POST), press the appropriate function key (F-key) to access the Boot Device Menu, and then select the CD/DVD drive. The Windows Boot Manager starts.


Check the documentation from your computer manufacturer to determine which function key accesses the Boot Device Menu.

  1. The computer restore media contains 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) format options. In the Windows Boot Manager, choose Full System Restore (x86) or Full System Restore (x64). If the computer hardware drivers are 32-bit, choose x86; if they are 64-bit, choose x64. Windows files are loaded, and the Full System Restore wizard performs a check to make sure that all hardware drivers are available.

  2. In the Full System Restore Wizard window, choose the appropriate Time and currency format, and the Keyboard or input method for this computer. Click Continue.

  3. If drivers are missing, the message “The restore process cannot verify the drivers” is displayed. Click Close, and then on the Welcome dialog box click Load drivers.

    1. On the Detect Hardware dialog box, click Install Drivers.

    2. Insert the USB flash drive that contains the hardware drivers, and then on the Install Drivers dialog box, click Scan.

    3. On the Install Drivers dialog box, click OK when the drivers are found.

    4. On the Detect Hardware dialog box, click Continue.

  4. If all drivers were found in the initial check or when all critical drivers are installed, on the Welcome dialog box, click Continue.

  5. On the Welcome to the Full System Restore Wizard page, click Next.

  6. The wizard searches for your server.

    1. If the wizard cannot locate your server, you are given the option to search again, or to enter the IP address of the server.

    2. If multiple servers were detected, you are asked to select one.

    3. If your server is located, the Log on to<YourServerName> page is displayed.

  7. On the Log on to <YourServerName> page do one of the following:

    1. If only a password textbox is displayed, type the server password that was set up during the server initial configuration, and then click Next.

    2. If user name and password textboxes are displayed, type <YourDomainName>\<AdministratorAccountName> in the Domain\User name text box, and the administrator account password in the Password text box, and then click Next.

  8. On the Select a computer to restore page, select the computer you want to restore, and then click Next. You can choose either <ComputerName>: (This computer) or choose a different computer on the network from the Another computer drop down list.


If this is a computer that is unknown to the server (for example, a new or a repurposed computer) This computer option is not displayed.

  1. On the Select a backup to restore page, review the list of available backups and select the one that you want to restore to the computer. For information about selecting the right backup, see Which backup should I choose?.


It is recommended that you select a successful (green-checked) backup. This helps ensure that all system and data files are restored successfully.

  1. (Optional) Select a backup and then click Details to open the Backup Details page and view more information about that backup. Use the information on the Backup Details page to compare multiple backups and help you decide which backup is the best choice. Click Close on the Backup Details page to return to the Select a backup to restore page.

  2. On the Select a backup to restore page, select a backup and then click the Next button.

  3. On the Select restore option page, click one of the following, and then click Next.


This page is not displayed if automatic partitioning is not supported.

1.  **Let the system manage the volumes to restore (recommended)**. This option helps assure that the computer is restored to the state that it was just prior to the time and date of the backup that you chose. If you choose this option, skip to step 15.

2.  **Let me select volumes to restore (Advanced)**. This option allows you to choose the volumes that you want to restore and where you want to restore them. You can also create partitions on the hard drive.
  1. On the Select the volumes to restore page, you can choose the volumes that you want to restore.


This page is displayed only if you have multiple hard drives on your computer or if you selected the advanced option in step 13.

1.  The wizard attempts to match the source and destination volumes. You should verify that the default mapping is correct.
    1.  To deselect a volume, click the list menu arrow for that volume, and then click **None**.
    2.  When you finish selecting the volumes, click **Next**.

2.  If the source volume and the destination volume are the same size, or if the source size is smaller than the destination, a green arrow appears between the two. If there is a volume size mismatch (where the source volume is bigger than the destination volume), a red X appears between the source and the destination.
    1.  Click **Run Disk Manager (advanced)**, and create a new volume that is the same size as the system reserved volume.
    2.  *(Optional)* Select the option **Do Not Assign a Drive Letter or Drive Path**.
    3.  Format the volume as **NTFS**.
    4.  When formatting is complete, right-click the new volume, and then click **Mark Partition as Active**.
    5.  If you require additional volumes to correspond with other volumes in the backup, repeat steps *ii* through *iv* to create and activate the volumes, and then close **Disk Management**.
    6.  On the **Choose Volumes to Restore** page, map the system reserved volume to the volume of the same size that you created in step *v*.
    7.  Map all other source volumes to the corresponding destination volumes.
    8.  Click **Next** to continue with the restore.
  1. On the Confirm volumes to restore page, review the mapping, and then click Next. If you need to make any changes, click Back, and then repeat step 14.

  2. The Restoring <ComputerName> from <Date and time of backup> page reports the progress of the restore process.

  3. On the Restore Successfully Completed page, remove the restore media, and then click Finish. The computer restarts.


If BitLocker Drive Encryption was enabled on the computer before the restore, you must enable Bitlocker manually after the computer restarts.

If you back up the server and then create new shared folders, after you restore the system drive from the backup, the shared folders are still on the data disk, but are not recognized as shared folders by the server. You must share those folders again.

To add an existing folder to the server Shared Folders

  1. Find the location of the shared folder on the hard drive.

  2. Right click the shared folder, click Properties, click the Security tab, and then write down the folder permissions.

  3. Log on to the Dashboard, click the Server Folders and Hard Drives tab, and then click Add a Folder in the Server Folders Tasks pane.

  4. In the Add a Folder wizard, type the name of the folder in the Name textbox.

  5. Click Browse, navigate to the \\<ServerName>\ServerFolders folder, select the folder that you want to share, and then click OK.

  6. Click Next.

  7. Specify the permissions that you wrote down in step 2, and then click Add folder.

  8. To add the shared folder to the Server Backup Configuration, click Open, and then follow the instructions in the wizard.