Restoring a System Volume

The primary purpose of Recovery Environment is to restore a system volume. The Recovery Environment's Restore Wizard supports two types of restore for a system or boot volume:

One Step Restore This method restores a system volume from a selected backup image file in a single operation.
Note: Use the Recovery Environment for Windows to restore from a VHD/VHDX formatted image file. The Recorvery Environment CrossPlatform only supports restores from .SPF and .SPI image files, not from VHD or VHDX format files.
HeadStart Restore The HeadStart Restore (HSR) operation in Recovery Environment breaks up the volume restore process into multiple stages. Doing this is useful when restoring a large volume--a process that can take days.

Note: While similar to the ImageManager HSR, HeadStart Restore in Recovery Environment is a manual process. ImageManager's HSR is automated; the Recovery Environment version requires a reboot, using the Backup and then the Restore Wizards to capture and apply the latest changes to the backed up volume prior to finalizing it. The Recovery Environment version of HSR however does not require a license.

Supported Sector Sizes

Contemporary hard drives and SSDs ship with a 4096-byte physical sector size. Most also support the 512-byte logical sector size. (These drives are often labeled 512e for "512 Byte Sector Size Emulation".) ShadowProtect supports backing up both 4096- and 512-byte logical sector sizes.

In the unusual situation of restoring a partition/volume from one logical sector size to another:

  • 512 bytes per logical sector  -> 4096 bytes per logical sector (and the destination does not support 512e)
  • 4096 bytes per logical sector  ->   512 bytes per logical sector

ShadowProtect will issue an error message during the restore if it encounters a mis-matched sector size.


Restoring Windows 8.x System/Boot Volumes with UEFI Secure Boot

Many computers now support Secure Boot, an anti-malware feature available in UEFI . Secure Boot ensures that a system only boots from a safe operating system. However, many safe OSes don't support Secure Boot. Currently, the only Windows operating systems that support Secure Boot are:

  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows 8
  • Windows Server 2012

Earlier OSes, including Windows 7, Vista, and Windows XP do not support Secure Boot (and therefore do not require enabling Secure Boot).

In addition, there are many other safe OSes and boot environments that do not support Secure Boot. This includes the ShadowProtect Recovery Environment for Windows and Recovery Environment CrossPlatform.

ShadowProtect Recovery Environment for Windows, however, can only be booted on a computer with UEFI when:

  • The UEFI either does not support Secure Boot or if Secure Boot is not enabled.
  • The UEFI is booted into BIOS Compatibility Mode. (This mode is often referred to as CMS.)

The ShadowProtect CrossPlatform environment does support booting in native UEFI mode (with Secure Boot in disabled mode) rather than BIOS Compatibility Mode (CMS). It will not boot, however, when Secure Boot is enabled.

To allow either Recovery Environment to boot, temporarily disable the Secure Boot feature. To do so:

  1. Boot the system into the UEFI management screen.
  2. If Secure Boot is an option AND enabled, temporarily disable this feature. (Some systems refer to this as UEFI Boot. Verify the option in the system's documentation.)
  3. Change the Boot order so that the CD or DVD is the first boot item.
  4. If booting the ShadowProtect CrossPlatform Recovery Environment, simply reboot the system to start the CrossPlatform environment.
  5. If booting the ShadowProtect Recovery Environment for Windows, verify that the option to boot into BIOS Compatibility Mode (sometimes referred to as CMS) is enabled.
    Note: Some UEFI systems list the same CD or DVD in two ways--one with a “UEFI:” prefix and one without. On these systems, to boot using BIOS Compatibility Mode, select the CD or DVD entry that does NOT have this prefix.
  6. Proceed to perform the volume restore.
  7. After performing the restore, boot into the UEFI screen again and re-enable Secure Boot (if required). 
  8. Continue with booting the restored system.

Restoring to a Virtual Machine

When restoring a system to a VM, ensure that the VM:

  • Has a properly configured network connection.
  • Has access to the destinations of any existing backup job destinations.

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