StorageCraft Recovery Environment ReadMe

General Information

This file contains additional information about the StorageCraft Recovery Environment for Windows (REWIND), Recovery Environment CrossPlatform (RE-X) and the Recovery Environment Builder (REBuilder). The Legacy Recovery Environment is no longer available. This information supplements the content of the Recovery Environment User Guide. Please read all the sections before you proceed with the installation.

This covers up to StorageCraft 32- and 64-bit Recovery Environment for Windows v5.2.7, 64-bit Recovery Environment CrossPlatform v2.2.4 (updated January 5, 2017) and REBuilder v1.1.10 (updated November 22, 2016).

Table of Contents

1. Features/Enhancements
2. Known Issues
3. System Requirements
4. General Usage Notes

1. Features/Enhancements

Recovery Environment for Windows

Recovery Environment for Windows version 5.2.7 (June 2016)

  • Fixed Windows update BCD edit issue/error

Recovery Environment for Windows version 5.2.5 (July 2015)

  • Fixed an issue where, in rare cases, the HSR finalize operation would fail with an encrypted backup chain.
  • Changed the Enable Logging default setting to "Off" to prevent an error when booting the Recovery Environment.

Recovery Environment for Windows version 5.2.4 (January 2015)

  • Fixed a issue where, in rare cases, the Recovery Environment could allow users of an HSR restore process to select an invalid incremental to close the restore. This would cause the HSR to fail and require the user to recreate the HSR.

Recovery Environment for Windows version 5.2.2 (December 2014)

  • Includes both 32- and 64-bit versions
  • Includes support for Secure Boot and native UEFI booting.
  • Supports 64-bit drivers within RE itself.
  • Fixed a bug when restoring direct from a NETGEAR ReadyDATA VHDX.
  • Dismount wizard includes a "shrink" option.
  • Restore wizard offers two original partition creation options.

Recovery Environment for Windows version 5.2.0 (July 2014)

  • Includes support for the NETGEAR® ReadyDATA® NAS.
  • Includes support for VHDX files.

Recovery Environment for Windows version 5.0.5 (July 2013)

  • REBuilder creates the new Recovery Environment for Windows (REWIND).
  • Supports both formatting and partition actions on MBR and GPT drives.
  • Can load custom drivers for use by REWIND to access drives or networks.
  • Based on 32-bit x86 Win7/2008R2 and supports all supported languages.
  • Includes the option to change the system keyboard layout within the booted Recovery Environment.
  • Based on a clean baseline WinPE build of Windows Server 2008R2, which has excellent default device support. Additional 3rd party storage/network/misc drivers (including drivers for various VMs) are found in the Additional_Drivers directory in the Recovery Environment ISO. These can be loaded manually, as needed, using the TOOLS -> LOAD DRIVERS menu item.
  • HeadStart Restore (HSR) capability makes it possible to begin restoring a backup image chain while new incrementals are still being created on that same backup image file chain.  HSR can apply new incrementals which were created after the HSR operation itself was initiated.  HSR in the Recovery Environment supports target volumes with a drive letter.  HSR can recommence where it left off after an interruption.
  • The Boot Configuration Tool supports the assignment of the permanent drive letters which are assigned to any volume for a given operating system.

CrossPlatform

Recovery Environment CrossPlatform version 2.2.4 (January 2017)

  • Improved Localization Strings
  • All BMR drives can be restored from a network location
  • Improved Functionality for HIR's (HIR decode will now appear if SP/SPX not installed)
  • Added ability to print root password "shadowprotect" with command /etc/motd 
  • Added support for Ubuntu 16 restores
  • Added confirm button for "Initialize MBR Disk"
  • Added "Cancel" option to "Format" popup
  • Added LVM Labels for LVM restores
  • Added "Cancel" option for HSR override
  • Added additional Boot repair functionality for Linux restores
  • Corrected issue with "Restore Disk Layout" not handling extended partition correctly
  • Corrected crash if user does not select any "Advanced Recovery Options"
  • Corrected repeatable crash after partitioning during restore
  • Corrected issue with not being able to unmount Images
  • Corrected grub install failure when /etc/mtab is a link to /proc/self/mounts
  • Corrected issue with recovery environment not shrinking image files
  • Corrected an error with not being able to explore .spi files
  • Corrected issue where Image Header Information was blank
  • Corrected an issue that caused a crash if additional files were added to a folder while exploring
  • Corrected an issue with LVM where a partition needed to be created before restoring
  • Corrected an issue where the recovery environment was not booting on EFI enabled machines
  • Corrected issue with partition sizes being incorrect from Image File Header and creating in OS
  • Corrected issue with a crash occurring after wiping disk partitions
  • Clicking "Unmount" in the restore wizard crashes the recovery environment
  • Restoring an image with a long MountPoints entry in the header crashes the recovery environment

Recovery Environment CrossPlatform version 2.2.2 (June 2016)

  • Fixed Windows update BCD edit issue/error

Recovery Environment CrossPlatform version 2.2.0 (March 2015)

  • Supports ShadowProtect SPX and Linux restores.
  • Includes Boot Repair option for preparing Linux system volume restores to new hardware.
  • Includes LVM utility to configure logical volumes on Linux.

Recovery Environment CrossPlatform version 2.1.1 (August 2013)

  • Disk Utility now uses megabyte/gigabyte (MB/GB ) measurements for disk and partition sizes rather than mibibytes/gibibytes (MiB/GiB).
  • Fixes a number of localization issues for onscreen text.
  • Automatically selects the Japanese keyboard layout when "Japanese" is selected as the language during the install.

Recovery Environment CrossPlatform version 2.1 (July 2013)

  • Restores all Windows environments supported by ShadowProtect.
  • Supports both formatting and partition actions on MBR and GPT drives.
  • Runs as a full 64-bit environment with significant contemporary 64-bit driver support.
  • Prevents saving a new incremental using the same name as an existing one.

REBuilder

RE Builder version 1.1.10 (November 2016)

  • Added support for Windows 10 ADK.
  • Added support for VMware LSI Logic storage controller.
  • Updated the PE Networking tool.
  • Improved driver injection for HIR.
  • Networking now starts automatically.

REBuilder version 1.1.9 (June 2016)

  • Updated to resolve BCD error caused by Windows updates resulting in the inability to boot a recovered system. 

REBuilder version 1.1.7 (July 2015)

  • Updated to generate Recovery Environment for Windows v5.2.5.

REBuilder version 1.1.6 (January 2015)

  • Updated to generate the Recovery Environment for Windows v5.2.4

REBuilder version 1.1.5 (December 2014)

  • Updated to generate both 32- and 64-bit versions of the StorageCraft Recovery Environment and the IT Edition.
  • Supports using either Windows ADK 8.0 and 8.1 to create the Recovery Environment. (There is no difference between the Recovery Environments created with ADK 8.0 or with ADK 8.1. However, the ADK 8.1 is a much larger download. Also, upgrading from v8.0 to 8.1 can have issues with REBuilder. See Known Issues.)
  • Fixed an issue where ISO creation failed due to spaces in the output directory name and path.
  • Improved localization in the UI for Japanese.
  • Fixed an issue where the Tab focus in the main dialog had an incorrect order.

REBuilder version 1.1.4 (July 2014)

  • Updated to generate ShadowProtectPE v5.2.0 for use with the StorageCraft Recovery Environment and the IT Edition.

REBuilder version 1.1.2 (September 2013)

  • Fixed various localization strings, including in Polish, in the generated Recovery Environment for Windows.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented systems which used SUBST drives from burning a generated Recovery Environment for Windows using REBuilder.
  • Fixed an issue where the generated REWIND UI would include inactive IT Edition options (Disk Copy, Restore Volumes).

REBuilder version 1.1 (August 2013)

  • Enables the Load Driver feature in the Korean version.
  • Fixes a potential problem where REBuilder would lay down a previously generated ISO image to a CD or USB driver instead of the subsequent image.

REBuilder version 1.0 (July 2013)

  • Generates the Recovery Environment for Windows ISO.
  • Runs on Windows 7 and newer systems.

HIR (Hardware Independent Restore) Decode

If a client is running a restore to dissimilar hardware they will need to use the HIR Configuration to complete the process.  This is a licensed feature of ShadowProtect.  If the HIR Configuration doesn't detect the activation within the image that is being restored the client may be prompted for an "HIR Decode" key.  If the client is using an OEM issued license then they will need to open a support ticket with the license provider for further assistance.

Note: The StorageCraft Recovery Environment for Windows will prompt for an HIR Decode.  The StorageCraft CrossPlatform Recovery Environment does not support that feature and the HIR process will fail.

2. Known Issues


Windows

Recovery Environment for Windows version 5.2.2 (December 2014)

  • Secure Boot and UEFI supported in most versions. However, with the variety of OEM products using this technology, addtional support may be issued in future updates to expand the number of supported products.
  • The Recovery Environment requires at least 1GB of RAM. If the target system has less than this amount, the Recovery Environment may fail to boot. Increase the amount of RAM as required to provide 1GB. If increasing the amount of memory is not an option, use the 32-bit version of the Recovery Environment instead.
  • The ShadowProtect Restore log may not provided all error messages if there are problems patching boot code or performing HIR. These conditions are extremely rare but may include problems writing data to disk. The result is a restore log with no errors but the restored system fails to boot. Run the ShadowProtect Boot Configuration Utility (BCU) to gather more information about the underlying problem.
  • When performing a manual HSR in the Recovery Environment, it is possible in some cases to select an earlier backup image file than the latest one when attempting to finalize the volume.Selecting an earlier backup file creates a volume that is not-bootable. It will require starting a new HSR in order to recover.
    Note: This is fixed in v5.2.4.
  • REWind cannot load a network driver for an unknown or unsupported network adapter. (This includes emulated network adapters in VMs.) This results in no network connectivity. With VMs, the most common cause is selecting "Other" as the OS type when initially creating the VM. The workaround is to recreate the VM using a specific OS (such as Windows).
  • If the HIR Configuration doesn't detect a curent license activation within the image to be restored, the Recovery Environment prompts the user for an "HIR Decode" key.  If the client is using an OEM-issued license then they will need to open a support ticket with the license provider for further assistance.

Recovery Environment for Windows version 5.2.0 (July 2014)

  • When restoring a VHDX file using the Restore Wizard, the Restore Destination dialog's "Advanced Options" page (which appears when using the right-click "Create partition..." option), displays only a single button labeled "Close". This should read "Apply" as clicking this button initiates the partition creation as well as closes the dialog.
  • A VM cannot attach to and boot directly from a NETGEAR-stored VHDX file. Instead, initialize a GPT disk as a Windows System disk, then restore the VHDX volume to that disk.
  • On NETGEAR ReadyDATA systems, the Restore From dialog shows the unallocated space of the volume that is often in the terbyte range (such as 63.77 TB). As the volume is stored on a thin-provisioned drive, this upper limit for the volume allows the NETGEAR device to store any sized backup (up to 64 TB). However, the backup file only consumes the actual space necessary for the backup file.

Recovery Environment for Windows version 5.0.5 (July 2013)

  • Supports UEFI motherboards but requires BIOS emulation on UEFI.
  • Currently does not support iSCSI. (If needed, use RE-X.)
  • May display an error message concerning file attributes when a user changes the default backup name (such as C_Vol). However, if the user closes the error, the Backup Wizard can complete the backup without an issue.
  • May display inactive StorageCraft IT Edition options (Disk Copy, Restore Volumes) in the UI which require the IT Edition license to function.
  • Does not include the Push Install executables. To obtain the Push Install installer files, visit: http://www.storagecraft.com/software_update.php.
  • REWIND uses a standard 32-bit network driver by default. On some systems, this driver may not work with the installed network card. The network dialog progress bar may halt and the interface freeze. In those cases, determine the correct driver for the existing hardware. Include this driver in the Additional Drivers list in REBuilder.
  • StorageCraft provides the REBuilder tool to create the Recovery Environment for Windows. This REBuilder tool may display an error message and fail to generate the recovery environment if the user specifies paths to additional drivers which change before the REBuilder tool creates the recovery environment. (This could occur, for example, when using the REBuilder to generate another copy of the recovery environment some time after the initial one was generated.) To prevent this error, do not delete or move the specified drivers until after the REBuilder completes the recovery environment creation.
  • Recovery Environment for Windows does not support double-byte characters. It does, however, support the backslash (\) character using the YEN key on Japanese keyboards. Use RE-X as an alternative if needed.
  • REWIND may display an error message when opening the Boot Configuration Utility (BCU). This occurs when two or more GPT exist in the system. The informational message states that the disks have duplicate signatures. Click OK to close the error to continue using the BCU.
  • The REBuilder tool may on rare occasions display an obscure error message when using an external USB CD/DVD burner connected to a USB 3 port. It will then fail to burn the disc. Use another device to perform this operation instead.

CrossPlatform

Recovery Environment CrossPlatform version 2.2.0 (March 2015)

  • RE-X can boot in Native EFI mode on an EFI system. It can restore Linux volumes on an EFI system but may require conventional Linux procedures for adapting to Secure Boot, changed device names, or other issues.
  • Unlike the Windows Recovery Environment, the StorageCraft CrossPlatform Recovery Environment does not support requesting an HIR decode key. If the Recovery Environment does not detect a valid ShadowProtect license on the image to be restored, it does not launch the HIR feature and the HIR process fails. 

Recovery Environment CrossPlatform version 2.1.1 (August 2013)

  • No additional known issues in this maintenance release.

Recovery Environment CrossPlatform version 2.1 (July 2013)

  • Holding down the right mouse button on a dialog in RE-X behaves differently than it does in REWIND. In RE-X, holding down the right button on a dialog which includes a pop-up menu not only displays the menu but also automatically selects the first option in the menu. This may result in unexpected actions. So note which option is selected before releasing the right mouse button.
  • Displays a "Connect to Driver Service" option in HIR which is not active in this version.
  • The Format Drive option includes the incorrect text "Erase or partition the drive". This option only formats the drive. The Create Partition option adds partitions.
  • Displays different drive and volume sizes in Disk Map and the Disk Utility. (One calculates using 1024 bytes as 1KB while the other uses 1000.) The dialog for selecting volume sizes, however, uses the more familiar Windows-style calculation. Thus when recreating a 60GB partition from the source drive, use 60GB in the selector for the restored volume size. This will be fixed in a later release.
  • Lacks various localized strings in Korean.
  • Accessing RE-X remotely using VNC may abruptly close dialog boxes. To prevent this, go into the Advanced Options and select "Enable 3-button mouse emulation" (under the "Input" tab).
  • Does not support loading custom drivers in the RE-X GUI. (If such drivers are needed, use REWIND.)
  • Saving an incremental file from a mounted image includes an option to shrink the volume to a user-defined value. RE-X attempts to shrink the volume to this size but may not due to environmental reasons. Try specifying a larger value and re-run the shrink operation.For example, if a 100GB volume has only 9GB of used space, and the user-selected value to shrink the volume to is 10GB, the shrink operation may fail. In that case, try selecting a value of 15GB and re-run the shrink operation.
  • Includes an option to "Encrypt underlying device" when creating a partition. Do not use this option, as it prevents mounting the new partition.
  • Includes an option to format an "Apple Partition Map". This option is not valid in ShadowProtect.
  • StorageCraft recommends downloading a fresh copy of RE-X at least every six months. StorageCraft continually updates RE-X with new drivers--network, video, and storage--to keep pace with updated hardware.

REBuilder

 

REBuilder version 1.1.7 (July 2015)

  • Upgrading REBuilder may, on rare ocassions, result in two entries in the Windows Add/Remove Programs list.

REBuilder version 1.1.5 (December 2014)

  • The output folder path must use ANSI-only characters.
  • REBuilder supports using Windows ADK v8.0 or v8.1 to create the Recovery Environment. (There is no difference between the Recovery Environments created with ADK 8.0 or with ADK 8.1.) However, the v8.1 download is much larger. Also, while Windows can upgrade the ADK from v8.0 to v8.1, the upgrade process leaves components from the earlier version that prevent REBuilder from creating a functional Recovery Environment. Instead, perform a clean install of the ADK before using REBuilder.

REBuilder version 1.1.4 (July 2014)

  • Does not support using Windows ADK v8.1.
  • There are no additional known issues in this maintenance release.

REBuilder version 1.1 (August 2013)

  • The IT Edition 3-Day ISO automatically detects the license status. If the IT Edition license is expired, the software notifies the user. Also, the IT Edition exclusive functions (including Disk Copy and Volume Restore) no longer operate. However, the remaining functions of the Recovery Environment perform normally. However, the same "License Expired" notification may appear when performing these remaining functions (including backup and restore operations). Simply close the notification dialog and complete the operation.
  • The dual-boot capability in the IT Edition requires the assigned volume name used on the USB drive as shipped. Do not change this. Doing so prevents the dual boot option.

REBuilder version 1.0 (July 2013)

  • Displays an error message "The System cannot find the file specified. (Exception from HRESULT:...)" when a selected driver in the Additional Recovery Environment Drivers field is 64-bit and not 32-bit as required for Recovery Environment. Confirm that the driver SYS file is 32-bit and correctly referenced in the .inf file.
  • Some non-localized strings may appear in various dialogs. These strings are provided by either a third-party developer or by the driver vendor and cannot be localized within REBuilder.

 

3. System Requirements

  • REBuilder: Requires Windows 7 or newer OS.
  • REBuilder also requires a download of the Windows ADK v8.0. or the ADK v8.1.
  • Recovery Environment (RE-WIND and RE-X): Supports most contemporary hardware platforms. System must meet the requirements for the restored OS.
  • 64-bit Recovery Environment for Windows and 64-bit RE-X can boot in native EFI mode.
  • Upgrading from ShadowProtect 4.x requires a current maintenance agreement.
  • To boot a system, the Recovery Environment for Windows requires a minimum of 768 MB of physical RAM.
  • When using the 32-bit version of REWIND, REWIND may require additional 32-bit storage or network drivers to access the new hardware for the restore. (Note that only the 32-bit Recovery Environment uses these 32-bit drivers, NOT the restored system volume.) RE-X is a 64-bit environment and so does not require  32-bit drivers.

4. General Usage Notes

Test the StorageCraft Recovery Environment

To do this for Recovery Environment Windows, use REBuilder to create the ISO then::

  • Burn the ISO to a CD or
  • Install the REWIND ISO on a USB key using REBuilder

To do this for Recovery Environment CrossPlatform, download the ISO from the STC website then:

  • Burn the ISO to a CD or
  • Use a third-party tool to copy the ISO contents to a USB key

Boot the StorageCraft Recovery Environment using the CD or the USB key. (The system may need to be set to boot from the USB port.)

If the StorageCraft Recovery Environment boots and runs as expected, then you can perform ShadowProtect operations from the Recovery Environment:

  • You need access to a volume In the event the system does not boot.
  • You need to restore a system volume from a backup image file.
  • You wish to create a cold state backup image using the Recovery Environment.

If the StorageCraft Recovery Environment does not boot, confirm that:

  • The system is configured to boot from the CD or USB key and that the system has a minimum of 768MB physical RAM.
  • The Recovery Environment CD or USB key is readable and includes all files from the ISO.

If these are okay, but StorageCraft Recovery Environment still does not run as expected, you should investigate the following issues:

  • If you cannot access the network, verify that you have the necessary network interface card (NIC) drivers to access the network. With older NICs, you may need to contact your NIC vendor for the required drivers. For instance, suppose you boot the Recovery Environment on a VMware guest. You  need to use the Load Drivers menu option to load both of the VMware NIC drivers found within the CD's Drivers directory.  After loading these two VMware NIC drivers, you will then be able to successfully start networking services.
  • If you cannot access local drives, verify that you have the necessary storage drivers to access the storage devices on the computer. In the Windows Recovery Environment, use the Tools menu’s Load Drivers option within the booted Recovery Environment to find a compatible driver. If you can, browse to the Drivers directory on the CD or USB key to find additional storage drivers for physical and virtual machines. 
  • Maintain a set of necessary storage drivers on a disc in the event you need to boot the Recovery Environment for Windows. You can dynamically load the required storage drivers by providing the directory where the drivers are located. Driver files for the 32-bit Recovery Environment must be 32-bit x86 Windows 7/2008R2 drivers in the .inf and .sys format. Please contact StorageCraft Technical Support (send an email to support@storageCraft.com) and identify these drivers so that they may be included in subsequent builds of ShadowProtect.

Be sure to store the Recovery Environment CD or USB key in a safe place for use in the event that you require a bare metal recovery of your computer. In that event, use the Recovery Enviironment CD or USB key to boot the system and restore the required volume(s).

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Copyright © 2015 StorageCraft Technology Corp. All rights reserved. This Software and Documentation are copyrighted.  Ownership of the ShadowProtect Server Edition Software is reserved to StorageCraft Technology Corporation.  StorageCraft, the StorageCraft logo and the ShadowProtect Server Edition logo are trademarks of StorageCraft Technology Corporation.  StorageCraft, ShadowProtect, ShadowControl, and HeadStart Restore are registered trademarks of StorageCraft Technology Corporation in the United States and elsewhere. ShadowProtect Server Edition, intelligentFTP, and ShadowStream are trademarks of StorageCraft Technology Corporation in the United States and elsewhere. All other brands and product names are or may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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