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2012-04-10

A+: Using Automated System Recovery (ASR) (Windows XP)

Windows XP Professional does not include a true disaster-recovery backup program. However, the Automated System Recovery (ASR) option in NTBackup does enable you to restore the system state (user accounts, hard disk configuration, network configuration, video settings, hardware configuration, software settings, operating system boot files). To create an ASR backup with NTBackup, follow these steps:
Step 1. Switch to Advanced Mode (if NTBackup starts in Wizard mode) and click the Automated System Recovery Wizard button
Step 2. The Automated System Recovery Preparation Wizard’s opening dialog appears. Click Next to continue.
Step 3. Specify where to store the backup, and click Next.
Step 4. Click Finish to complete the wizard. The backup starts. Provide a floppy disk when prompted to store configuration files.
The floppy disk created by the ASR Wizard contains three files that store information about storage devices (asr.sif), Plug and Play (PnP) information (asrpnp.sif), and a list of system state and critical files that were backed up (setup.log).

To restore a system with ASR, you need the following: the Windows XP Professional distribution CD, ASR backup, the ASR floppy disk and a supported floppy drive.

If the computer does not have provision for a floppy drive connected to a floppy drive controller, there are a few USB floppy drives that are supported. The USB floppy drives that Microsoft supports for installing Windows XP (and for ASR) are listed in Microsoft Knowledge Base article 916196, available at http://support.microsoft.com.  Follow this procedure:
Step 1. Start the system with the Windows XP Professional CD.
Step 2. Press F2 when prompted to start Automated System Recovery.
Step 3. Insert the ASR floppy disk.
Step 4. Provide backup files when prompted.
After completing the ASR restore, you will need to reinstall your applications and restore your most recent backup to return your system to service.

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