Automated System Recovery (ASR) is used to recover Microsoft® Windows® Server system in the event of a catastrophic system or hardware failure. The goal of ASR process is to return the operating system to the point of last backup.
IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) interfaces with Microsoft Windows to provide system recovery.
ASR is a two-phase process.
- Microsoft Windows installs a temporary operating system image using the original operating system media.
- Windows invokes TSM to restore the system volume and system state information.
The article describes the ASR Process in Windows 2003 Server System.
For ASR using TSM, following are the requirements that are to be met.
- Hardware Requirements
- ASR diskette
- Microsoft Windows 2003 operating system installation CD
- TSM Client CD
- The TSM node password
The hardware configuration of the target system must be identical to that of the original system. Exception to this could be the hard disks, video cards, and network interface cards.
The ASR Diskette consists of files like asrpnp.sif , tsmasr.opt, tsmasr.cmd, and waitforevent.exe etc. which are used in the restore operation.
Windows 2003 Server operating system installation CD
This CD must have the identical operating system level as the systems that were backed up. If you installed Microsoft Windows 2003 from the original CD, and subsequently installed any service packs, then you will need a CD with the matching service pack on the disk.
TSM Client CD
The TSM client CD (Compact Disk) should have the same or higher release of the client version that was used to backup the system.
The TSM node password
The original node name and password is required in order to establish a session with the server to authenticate the request and restore the data.
ASR diskette creation
Backup the ASR System State and System Services followed by the data backups. Once the backup is completed copy the ASR files to the Diskette. This is done by clicking on "Create ASR Diskette" in the "utilities" menu of the client GUI as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Create ASR diskette
If the ASR diskette is not available at the time of restore or is damaged, we can create a new diskette on another machine which is at the same Operating System Level as the machine to be restored and insert the 'virtualnodename' parameter in the tsmasr.opt file in the newly created diskette.
For more instructions on creating the ASR Diskette if diskette is damaged or is not available at the time of restore refer to the 'IBM Tivoli Storage Manager:Bare Machine Recovery for Microsoft Windows 2003 and XP'redpaper at "http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redpapers/pdfs/redp3703.pdf".
TSM Client CD Creation
The TSM ASR process requires the TSM client installation package to initiate the restore process. The client package is a CD labeled "TSMCLI". Follow these steps to create the CD.
- Download the TSM client package.
- Rename the package to TSMCLI.EXE. (To rename the package use the command "RENAME <downloaded package name> TSMCLI.EXE" at the command prompt in the download directory)
- Use CD-ROM burning software and specify the volume label to be TSMCLI.
- Burn the TSCLI.EXE file to the root directory of the CD using the CD-ROM burning software.
Automated system recovery process
To recover the system first insert the operating system CD into the CD-ROM drive and restart the computer to boot from CD. At the Windows Setup Screen Press "F2" to enter ASR recovery mode.
Figure 2 shows the Windows Setup Screen.
Figure 2. Windows setup
The Windows setup now enters the ASR recovery mode. When prompted insert the TSM created ASR floppy diskette labeled TSMASR (that was created earlier) into the floppy drive.
Figure 3 shows the Insert floppy drive screen during the setup.
Figure 3. Insert floppy screen
On pressing any key after inserting the floppy diskette, the setup formats the hard disk and partitions it using the information from the ASR diskette.
The setup then checks the partitioned disk for any errors and copies certain files to the windows installation directory.
The setup then prompts for the Windows Client installation package CD. At this point insert the Windows client installation package CD labeled TSMCLI (that was created earlier) into the CD-ROM.
Figure 4 shows the windows setup prompt for TSMCLI disk.
Figure 4. Prompt for TSMCLI disk
At this point the TSM client package (TSMCLI.EXE) is copied to the "%SystemRoot%\temp" directory.
Insert the TSMASR diskette again in to the floppy drive. The setup now copies 'tsmasr.opt, tsmasr.cmd, and waitforevent.exe' files to the "%SystemRoot%\temp" directory. Once the setup copies the required files, remove the diskette when prompted. The system is rebooted and prompts for the Operating System CD as shown in Figure 5. Insert the operating system CD into the drive and click on "Retry" to continue the setup.
Figure 5. Prompt for operating system CD
At any point in the setup, if an error as shown in Figure 6 throws up on the screen in a notepad, then insert the TSMASR diskette into the FDD and copy the following files to the "C:\WINDOWS\REPAIR" directory.
Figure 6. Setup Error
The files 'smss.asr' and 'ntdll.asr' can be copied manually to the "C:\WINDOWS\REPAIR" directory. To do this, Click on "File->open->31/2 floppy" in the Notepad as shown in Figure 7.
Figure 7. File Open
Then select individual files required and copy to the destination directory.
To do this right click the file as shown below and click on "copy" as shown in Figure 8.
Figure 8. Copy File
Now navigate to the "C:\WINDOWS\TEMP" and paste the file here as shown in Figure 9.
Figure 9. Paste File
Once these files are copied to the destination, check whether the file named
'tsmasr.cmd' is present in the "C:\WINDOWS\TEMP" directory. Else copy this file also
to the temp folder as illustrated earlier.
The setup completes and opens a command window. The 'tsmasr.cmd' file is run in this window. Also a second command window is opened which can be used for diagnostic purposes. At this point The TSM client is silently installed as shown in Figure 10. The second command window that is used for diagnostic purposes is minimized at the left corner of the screen and is as shown in Figure 10.
Figure 10. TSM client install
Once the TSM client installation is completed we are prompted to choose whether to
restore from a network connected TSM server or a local backup set.
To choose network connected TSM server "Press 1" and for local backup set "Press 2".
This screen is as shown in Figure 11.
Figure 11. Choose backup set
For DHCP environments
In the above screen "Press 1" here if the network is DHCP enabled.
For static IP environments
In case the environment is using static IP's then open the diagnostic command window at the bottom of the screen and see whether the Ethernet driver is installed. To check this enter 'IPCONFIG' in the diagnostic command window as is shown in Figure 12. In case the driver is not installed, it returns a screen as shown in Figure 12.
Figure 12. IPCONFIG command output
If no driver is present then insert the Ethernet driver installation software CD and install the driver. (Find the appropriate driver for your machine configuration and install the same)
Once the Ethernet driver is installed, enter the following in the command prompt to assign a Static IP to the system.
To assign a static IP, follow these steps.
a) Goto C:\>Netsh->Interface->IP
b) Enter the command as shown below:
set address name="Local Area Connection"|source=static addr="192.168.1.1" mask="255.255.255.0" gateway="192.168.1.0"
The command is run as shown in Figure 13.
Figure 13. Set static IP
Once the output of the command is 'OK', check whether the IP address is assigned, exit from the netsh command and enter 'IPCONFIG' in the command window.
The output of the command should return the Static IP address that was assigned earlier. Now go back to the Command Window opened for installation of the TSM Client and "Press 1" to continue.
TSM now invokes the command line interface and invokes the restore function. The setup prompts for the Client ID and password used to authenticate to the TSM Server.Enter the Client ID and password that this TSM client uses to authenticate with the TSM server and proceed.
During the ASR process TSM issues commands to restore the system drive, system state and system services.
On completion of the operation, the command file exits and the machine reboots. At this point remove the TSMASR diskette from the drive.
The operating system will now come up in a fully recovered state.
To Recover user data and applications we can use other traditional TSM Client restore functions.
TSM provides is an effective tool used in a wide range of backup functions. By restoring ASR backups in static IP environments we ensure that a wide range of systems can be backed up and restored effectively providing availability of data round the clock.