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Bare Metal Restore Concept and implementation

Level 4
I am having an issue performing a Bare Metal Restore and I would like to question the concept and explain what I'm experiencing and get some feedback.
My understanding of BM Restore is that the server you are restoring an image to is completely unconfigured.  Thus, the BIOS sees the Hard Drives and the Controller but no setup such as RAID configuration has occurred.  Therefore, no OS is installed, no partitions are setup etc...
Am I correct on this?
So here is my issue
I have a Dell 2950 Server with a PERC 5/I Controller that I setup with Windows 2003 and setup the partitions.  I then imaged that server and placed the resulting image on a USB Hard Drive.
I then used the Dell utility to completely wipe out the Hard Drives and the Dell partition utility.  On boot-up the BIOS reports seeing 3 drives but naturally not-configured in a RAID.
I then booted the server with BESR 7 SRD disk.  I went through the restore my system wizard and selected the image from the USB harddrive and on the next screen where it indicates target I am only presented with my USB harddrive not any of the harddrives on the Dell Server.  Thus, BESR is not recognizing the controller
Troubleshooting has been to locate the .INF file for the PERC 5/I controller and loading it into the BESR system prior to going through the system restore wizard.  It still does not recognize my controller.
I contacted Symantec Technical Support and they had me download an update to the 7 Version and the process still fails.  Tech support recommends I setup my RAID and then the partitions but to me this is not a true bare metal restore process.
So, apart from responses on why BESR is not seeing my controller and hard drives in a bare metal state and I under the correct understanding of what a true bare metal restore really represents?
Responses are appreciated

Level 4
Also would like to add that if there is a end-user in the Los Angeles, Orange County or San Diego County who uses BESR 7 to perform Bare Metal Restores please let me know so that we may have a phone or e-mail conversation on how you achieved success with this product.

Level 6
Employee Accredited Certified
Recovery points created by Backup Exec System Recovery include all the information required for that volume (or volumes) to be restored from scratch.  It contains, at a sector level, all of the data contained in the volume, as well as information about the volumes file system (NTFS, FAT32, etc), file system metadata, as well as boot sector information and the MBR of the drive itself.
This allows the volume to be recreated from scratch in the event of a disaster.  If a hard drive fails, then a new, blank, out-of-the-box drive can be inserted into the system and the recovery point can be restored to that drive without the need to format or partition the drive, or install the operating system.  The restoration process recreates the volume from scratch, and restores the volume bit-for-bit as it was when the recovery point was created.
In addition, the original disk signature and MBR can be restored to the new drive.
For RAID situations, the RAID array would need to be configured properly at the hardware level before the recovery point was restored.
In your situation, it appears that the correct mass storage controller for the RAID controller in your server is not present in the default recovery disk that comes with the product.  If the customizable SRD wizard did not result in a custom SRD that contained the necessary driver, then contacting support was the correct thing to do.
If the case is still open, can I inquire as to what your case number is?

Level 4
Case 2119564
I contacted Dell and verified that the Dell download R-149460 was the correct driver for the SAS Harddrives and the PERC 5/I controller on the PowerEdge 2950.  I indicated, I think, that after first failure, I went back in to the Load Driver portion of the software and loaded the Perc Drivers .SYS file and BESR indicates driver loaded succesfully.  So for all intent and purposes BESR now has loaded the correct driver for this server and should see the controller.
Regarding Bare metal,  say I had an HP server crash and my only available server is a Dell and I want to load my HP image on a Dell server I should be able to under the Bare Metal Restore concept.
I also contacted Dell regarding a comment by a Symantec Tech support about a controller issue because I ran the SMEDUMP and they indicated the following:

From PartInfo:

WARNING: Invalid End CHS values in partition above.

WARNING: Begin CHS does not match start sector LBA in partition above.

WARNING: End CHS does not match calculated end LBA in partition above.


I had further discussions with Dell Gold Enterprise Support and they have never heard of this error and indicated that their system was seeing the drives through the Bios on bootup.


Hope this helps

Level 6
Employee Accredited Certified
Is that a Dell case number?  Symantec case numbers have nine digits, for example: 345-342-948.

Level 4
Sorry about that:
Case 311-638-582

Level 4
I have the same type of hardware as you - and I have the same concerns as you.
Would you be so kind as to post the resolution, or your discoveries throughout this process?
I'm beginning to think that 'bare-metal' means that the drive subsystem has been configured already (raid arrays already partitioned to the correct size), and then the info on the drives will be restored.
Thanks - Joe

Level 3
We have a similar situation in that we were attempting to upgrade from an IBM server to a Dell PowerEdge 2950. The whole purpose of buying BESR was to make this hardware upgrade easy. For the most part, it has been, though not a walk in the park.
I experienced the same problem you have in that no drives were visible save the "X" drive of 28 MB. Numerous attempts, thinking I had a wrong setting, or skipped a step, eventually gave me the C drive, and I was able to accomplish the restore. This, with no hint as to just why it suddenly appeared. I did all the steps the same.
Since this was a dissimilar hardware restore, I had selected RestoreAnywhere and elected to delete all drivers and provide my own from the Dell Installation Disk driver utility.
I reported all that I had done to Symantec support and got this reply....
"That is a head scratchier. One thing that you could do is to open up a command prompt window run the diskpart utility prior to performing a restore or even mapping a network drive to see if we have detected a drive or not; type diskpart /help to learn more of this utility's syntax. If a drive that is planed to be restored to does not already have a partition, it will not be displayed under My Computer drive listings.

If no drives are detected, suspect either an incorrect disk controller driver, corrupt disk, or a flaky controller / ribbon; drives should not just show up to be restored to out of the blue.

A final test in BESR 7.0 that you can do to see if we are accurately seeing drives, is when in the recovery environment plug a USB thumb drive. With BESR 7.0 we should autodetect it and assigned a drive letter if formatted. If we do we are actively detecting and the issue is a driver/hardware related issue."

Because I did accomplish the restore, I had no need to try anything else. The network configuration worked fine as did the drive mapping. My recovery points were located on the network and I could see all that fine despite no local hard drive availability.

I am in the middle of another hardware upgrade of a similar type (IBM -> Dell) and it has worked fine so far. This problem comes and goes with no apparent reason. I hope a fix to this can be developed soon.

Good luck.


Level 4
Richard, thank you for your post.  I still have not resolved this issue with Symantec.  I opened a case with Dell and they indicate that I'm using the correct driver for their storage controller.  Also when I plug in a USB drive it is seeing it in the BESR configs so I still don't know why the issue.
What driver are you using for the 2950?
Also, am I correct on my first post on the true concept of a "Bare Metal" restore?

Level 6
Employee Accredited Certified
Using the diskpart utility might not be a bad idea at this point.  It will help us determine whether the issue is with the driver not loading, or not loading properly, or with the BESR recovery wizard not listing the drives properly for a different reason.
The BESR 7.0 recovery disk is based on the Microsoft operating system WinPE 2.0.  If WinPE doesn't have a driver for the mass storage controller, or if the driver isn't loading properly for some reason, then the controller (and its attached drives) will not be detected, preventing the BESR recovery wizard from listing the drives.  The diskpart utility will help us determine if this is the problem or if something else is preventing the disks from showing up in the BESR recovery wizard.
Try the following and please tell us the results:
1.  Boot the system to which you would like to restore recovery points with the Symantec Recovery Disk.
2.  Open a command prompt.
3.  Run the command "diskpart.exe".
4.  When the diskpart prompt appears, type the command "list disk".
Please let us know what disks are listed, and whether any of them correspond to the drives to which you are trying to restore recovery points.

Level 4
On first boot
Disk 0  Online    466GB  (obviously my USB HD)
Disk 1  No Media   0
Then loaded from USB Key the Dell Driver provided by Dell
Disk 0  Online  466GB
Disk 1  Online  1916 (USB KEY)
Disk 2  No Media
Obviously not seeing Controller or Hard drives
Just got E-mail from Symantec Support indicating they are creating a SRD ISO Image with all the Dell drivers for me to test out.  I will keep all informed.
Still would like to hear from others with are having this issue

Level 4
did you do any configuration of your drives or were you doing a true BARE METAL restore because you indicate it gave you the C drive which to me indicates you had some sort of partitioning already done on the drives.
Let me know when you can.

Level 4

To All;


Issue Resolved


Thanks to Greg Rodriquez and Hilson Mota from Dell and Mathew from Symantec for assisting in resolving the issue


ISSUE:  Unconfigured Dell Server attempting to perform a “Bare Metal Restore” using Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery Version 7 (BESR) would not succeed due to BESR not recognizing attached hard drives being controlled by Perc 5i/Raid Controller.


RESOLUTION:  Determined that BESR does not recognize Raid Controller unless some configuration has occurred on the controller such as setting-up in RAID 5 configuration.  On the Dell Server this is accomplished during boot process by selecting CNTL R when presented and setting the BIOS a RAID 5 configuration of the attached Hard Drives.  Once the hard drives in the BIOS have been setup in the RAID 5 configuration then BESR properly load the drivers for the RAID controller and allows for the continuation of the drive image restore process.


NOTE:  While I don’t consider this a true Bare Metal Restore it makes sense from a technical standpoint and the process to fix so that BESR works properly is straight forward.


Again thanks to Dell and Symantec for coming together on this issue.




David Abowitt

Sr. Systems Manager

Jewish Federation Council