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Take steps now to prepare for a system failure

Choose the option to run ASR

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Having good backups to recover from Windows Server 2003 domain controller woes is all good and well, but what if worse comes to worst and you're faced with a system failure--i.e., that DC won't boot?

Yes, of course you can reformat and reinstall. But if time is of the essence--when isn't it?--and you have the whole restore process weighing down on you, the last thing you need is to worry about getting the system back on its feet.

To expedite matters, you have to be prepared. In this article, I'll show you what you need: ASR.

I'm sure all of you know enough about the Recovery Console, so I won't cover that here. Instead, I'll concentrate on two other essential aids to attempt recovery from system failures: an Automated System Recovery (ASR) disk and a boot floppy. Because we're racing against the clock while recovering from system failure, I'll also cover an easy way to back up and restore all those Windows drivers, as it can speed up the process considerably.

The ASR is (basically) what used to be called the Emergency Repair Disk (ERD), in the days of NT Server. (I say basically because the registry information is not included in the ASR as it was with the ERD.)

Creating an ASR is a simple process:

1. Start the Backup Utility and choose the option to run the Automated System Recovery Wizard.

2. As you'll see, backing up the system data is part of the process. Specify a location to back up to. (A floppy doesn't have enough space, so choose some other medium.)