Restoring a system state backup

The Windows Server system state is your computer's set of system-specific configuration components. The components of system state differ for these operating systems. LiveVault handles system state restores differently, due to the different components for these operating systems.

Incorrectly restoring a computer's system state can make the computer unusable. Restore the system state only when recovering the entire computer, including the system volume, as part of a disaster recovery.

What is restored

For a Windows computer, system state data is the set of system components, as defined by Microsoft, that collectively define the state of a Windows system. This includes the following components:

  • Active Directory directory service (if the computer is a domain controller)
  • COM+ Class Registration database
  • Boot files and system files (including the System File Protection database, Internet Information Services (IIS) database, and Performance Counter Configuration)
  • Certificate Services database (if the Certificate Service is running on the computer)
  • SYSVOL directory (if the computer is a domain controller)
  • Registry

LiveVault restores the Windows system state data as a group; you cannot restore individual components.

Attachments to this KB article

LiveVault, Disaster Recovery Guide.pdf


Before attempting a system state restore,

  • Refer to the LiveVault, Disaster Recovery Guide, attached to this article.
    • The LiveVault Disaster Recovery Guide is a comprehensive document. Your attention is drawn specifically to Chapter 4, Recover a Windows Server, that details a disaster recovery procedure in 26 steps. It is recommended that you print out Chapter 4, and use it as a checklist for your disaster recovery procedure.

To ensure the highest success rate, you must complete the tasks in order and exactly. Do not omit or skip any step, unless instructed to do so. Failure to follow the steps in order will cause the recovery to fail, and you must start the recovery process from the beginning.

  • Contact Cloud Direct Technical Support for assistance.

As you work through the disaster recovery procedure, you are advised to collect the following logs: 
     -  Windows System and Application event logs, as evtx files.
     -  Windows System Info file, as an NFO file.
     -  LiveVault logs - lvMessage.0.log and lvSuper.0.log.
     -  Output of FLMTC, run at the command line.
Then, following the attempted restore, but before rebooting, collect the same logs again.
Finally, after rebooting, collect the same logs for a third time.
In the event of a failed disaster recovery attempt, forward all three sets of logs to Cloud Direct Technical Services. These will be an invaluable aid to troubleshooting.


Restoring a computer's system state

You request to restore a computer's system state through the LiveVault Portal. You can restore any historical version that is backed up. The system state can be restored to the Agent computer over the Internet or from a restore device.

Windows system state restore notes

  • LiveVault backs up and restores a Windows system state as a group. Due to the interdependencies of system state components and Microsoft rules, LiveVault does not support backing up or restoring individual components of system state.
  • The restored system state data replaces the existing system state data on the computer.
  • If you are restoring Active Directory Service, do not restore a system state version that is older than the Active Directory "tombstone lifetime." The default is 60 days. This is the period of time during which an object deleted from Active Directory is still on the domain controller. If you restore an older version, the domain controller can contain objects that have already been deleted from the Active Directory replicas on the other domain controllers. In this case, you must delete these restored objects from the domain controller.

Windows 2003/2008/2012 domain controllers: Non-authoritative versus authoritative restore

LiveVault restores Windows 2003/2008/2012 system state in non-authoritative mode by default. If you are restoring a Windows 2003/2008/2012 domain controller, you must determine whether to restore the system state in non-authoritative or authoritative mode. This determines whether the replicated and distributed data (such as Active Directory) that is restored will be updated by newer data replicated from other domain controllers.

Restoring system state for a Windows 2003/2008/2012 system that is not a domain controller

If you are restoring System State for a Windows domain controller and want to perform a non-authoritative restore, you must start the computer in directory services safe mode, and run the LiveVault Portal to restore the System State data.

Starting from the LiveVault Portal Welcome HOME page,

  1. In the left hand navigation pane, In the Computers section, select the Agent computer.

The Home page for the LiveVault Portal opens.

  1. Select the Restore tab.

The Restore page opens, displaying any previously submitted restore requests.

  1. Click New Restore.

The Restore Wizard, New Restore Request page opens.

  1. Select one of the following options:


a.  Restore data over the Internet

Important: Select this option only if you are sure that you have sufficient bandwidth and the connection stability to restore your data. 

If selected, a Restore Request page opens. Proceed to step 5.


b.  Have Media Device Shipped to you

i.Please contact your account manager. There will be a cost associated with having a media device shipped out to you.

Depending on the amount of data you have to restore, if you request a device before 10 a.m., it may ship as early as the next business day. Restores larger than 100 GB may ship on the second business day (Mon-Fri).

The system displays a page for you to select the version of data to restore, and the shipping method.

ii.Select the version of data to restore, and the shipping method.

iii.Click Next.

The Restore Wizard Shipping Information page opens, requesting the address for shipment of the appliance.

iv.Enter an address for shipment.

v.Click Done.

The restore device will be sent to you.

When the restore device arrives, attach it to your network. You can then proceed to step 5 to restore the backed-up files.

In the LiveVault Portal, on the Restore Request page,

  1. In the Name to use for this restore request box, type a name for the System State restore job.
  2. In the Policy filter menu, ensure All Policies is selected.
  3. From the Version dropdown menu, specify the version of the System State that you want to restore.
  4. Tick the Restore System State checkbox.
  5. Click Next.

The Restore Request for <computer> confirmation page opens.

  1. Review the information in the Restore Request for <computer> confirmation page.
  2. Click Done.

The system processes the restore request. You can track its progress in the LiveVault Portal.