Knowledge Base

Using Universal Restore in Cloud Backup

When recovering to dissimilar hardware, the most recent operating systems remain bootable, including the VMware or Hyper-V platforms. You can use the Universal Restore tool to update drivers and modules critical for the operating system to startup if a recovered operating system does not boot.

Universal Restore can be applied to Windows and Linux.


Applying Universal Restore

Here’s how to apply Universal Restore:

  1. Boot the machine from the bootable media. If you want to know how to create a bootable media using Cloud Backup, click here.
  2. Click Apply Universal Restore.
  3. If multiple operating systems are on the machine, select the one to apply Universal Restore to.
  4. Configure the additional settings for Windows by referring to the description found below. Otherwise, skip this step.
  5. Click OK to begin Universal Restore.

Congratulations! You have successfully applied Universal Restore in Cloud Backup.


Universal Restore Preparations in Windows

To apply Universal Restore in Windows, you will first need some preparations:

  • Prepare Drivers
    Before Universal Restore is applied to a Windows operating system, you need to make sure that you have the drivers for the chipset and the new HDD controller. These drivers are critical in starting up the operating system. You can use a CD or DVD supplied by hardware vendors or download drivers from a vendor’s website. The driver files should have the *.inf extension. If the drivers are downloaded in the *.exe, *.cab, or *.zip format, use a third-party application to extract them.

    It is best to store drivers for all your organization’s hardware in a single repository sorted by device type or hardware configurations. A copy of the repository can be saved on a DVD or flash drive by picking some drivers then adding them to the bootable media; creating the custom bootable media with the necessary drivers and network configuration for each of your servers. Or, simply specify the path to the repository each time Universal Restore is used.
  • Check Access to the Drivers in Bootable Environment
    When working under bootable media, you need to make sure you have access to the device with drivers. If the device is available in Windows, use WINPE-based media, as Linux-based media cannot detect this.

Congratulations! You are now ready to apply Universal Restore in Windows.


Universal Restore Settings in Windows

Once the preparations have been made, you can proceed with Applying Universal Restore using the steps provided above. For step 4, refer to the Universal Restore settings below:

Automatic driver search Specify the program’s destination in searching for the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL), HDD controller driver, and network adapter driver/s:
  • Turn on the Search removable media option if the drivers are on a vendor's disc or other removable media.
  • Click Add folder to specify the path to the folder if the drivers are located in a networked folder or on the bootable media.
Universal Restore will also search the Windows default driver storage folder. The registry value DevicePath will determine its location, which can be found in the registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion. Usually, the storage folder is WINDOWS/inf.

Universal Restore will execute the recursive search in all specified folder’s subfolders, find the most appropriate HAL and HDD controller drivers of all those available, and install them in the system. The program also searches for the network adapter driver. Universal Restore then transmits the path of the found driver to the operating system. It will try to configure all the cards’ drivers if the hardware has multiple network interface cards.
Mass storage drivers to install anyway This setting is needed if:
  • The hardware has a fibre channel adapter or a specific mass storage controller such as RAID, especially NVIDIA RAID.
  • A system has been migrated to a virtual machine that uses an SCSI hard drive controller. You will need to use SCSI drivers bundled with your virtualization software or download the latest driver versions from the software manufacturer’s website.
  • The automatic drivers search does not help in booting the system.
Click Add driver to specify the appropriate drivers. The drivers you define here will be installed with appropriate warnings even if a better driver is found by the program.

Congratulations! You have now configured your Universal Restore settings in Windows.


Universal Restore Process in Windows

After you have specified the required settings and clicked OK, the Universal Restore Process in Windows will begin. If the program cannot find a compatible driver in the locations specified, a prompt will be displayed about the problem device. In which case, you will need to do one of the following:

  • Add the driver to any of the locations previously specified and click Retry.
  • Click Ignore to continue the process if you forgot the location. Reapply Universal Restore if the result is not satisfactory. When configuring the operation, specify the necessary driver.

Once Windows boots, the standard procedure for installing new hardware will initialize. If the driver has the Microsoft Windows signature, the network adapter driver will be installed silently. Otherwise, Windows will require confirmation on whether to install the unsigned driver.

After that, you can then configure the network connection and specify drivers for the USB, video adapter, and other devices.

Congratulations! You have now successfully applied Universal Restore in Cloud Backup for Windows.


Universal Restore in Linux

For Linux operating systems with a kernel version of 2.6.8 or later, a Universal Restore can be applied.

A temporary file system known as the initial RAM disk (initrd) is updated when a Universal Restore is applied. This is to ensure that the operating system can boot on the new hardware.

Universal Restore adds modules for the new hardware to the initial RAM disk, including device drivers. As a rule, the program finds the necessary modules in the /lib/modules directory. If Universal Restore cannot find a module it needs, the module’s file name is recorded into the log.

Universal Restore may modify the GRUB boot loader’s configuration. This may be required, for instance, to ensure the bootability of the system when the new machine has a dissimilar volume layout than the original machine.

The Linux kernel is never modified when Universal Restore is applied.


Reverting to the Original Initial RAM Disk in Linux

If necessary, you can revert to the original initial RAM disk in Linux.

The initial RAM disk is in a file that is stored on the machine. Universal Restore saves a copy of it to the same directory before updating for the first time. The name of the created copy is the name of the file, followed by the _acronis_backup.img suffix. If you run Universal Restore more than once; for example, after you have added missing drivers, this copy will not be overwritten.

To revert to the original initial RAM disk, you can do any of the following:

  • Rename the copy accordingly. For example, you may run a command similar to the following:
  • Specify the copy in the initrd line of the GRUB boot loader’s configuration.

Congratulations! You have now successfully reverted to the original initial RAM disk in Linux.

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