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What is the best disaster recovery option for my machine running W2K3 std edition? I have already imaged my machine using Clonezilla and I have also taken a backup using Windows Automated System Recovery tool. However, I am worried neither of these options are robust enough to recover onto a machine that has significant hardware differences than the one that I am currently running. I am also planning on taking a VM image of the machine using VMWare converter since I am not sure if I can use VMWare on my clonezilla image. Any help on this matter is much appreciated.

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You can easily create a restorable image using Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 2010. They have a 60 day demo that will allow a running system to create an image. That image can be restored to same or different hardware or even convert to an MS or VMware Virtual machine image. You can alos recover individula files from the image and the image can be search enabled.

I have used this to recover to hardware that was very different and it worked perfectly

Symantec BESR 2010

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Depending on what your server is doing, a different approach to implementing your Server would be to running it virtually on a pretty easy to configure box with mirrored-Hard drives and using vmware.

If a hard drive dies, you're up as soon as you can configure the 'other' hard drive to be active. You could also backup the vmware image (of your server) onto another computer (either local or remote).

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This is an old question but there's no accepted answer, so I'll throw in my 2 cents.

I think virtualization is a good route to go. VMWare Converter can solve your physical hardware differences. But in order to use it you will need a host running ESX (or ESXi). So if you wanted to do it cheaply you could install ESX on a usb stick, boot up another computer under ESX and then use VMWare Converter.

In terms of on going backups you could use Windows ASR for backing up AD. And backup the files nightly. And then monthly do DR bare metal backup where you run VMWare Converter to make a VM of the server and boot it up.

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  • try recovering it from the backup. If you get a fully functional machine back, you're done.
  • move the recovery medium away from the workstation (fire, EMP, kids, etc)
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You need to have a disaster recovery plan including restoration tests, anyway it seems like backing up a running virtualized host is the most certain way to revover all your services and data in very short time.

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