Preparing for a disaster
Everything you do with EaseBackup is aimed at the ultimate goal of restoring files which have been damaged or lost. You may need to restore a few accidentally deleted files or an entire Windows computer that is no longer working. The following set of instructions will prepare your system for a restore of a few files or an entire computer.
To prepare your system for a major restore, you have to:
Before anything else, you must make a complete backup of all your hard disk volumes. You may have done so already following the Quick Start instructions for your first backup. If not, do a complete backup of all your files now. Set the scheduling properties of a Backup Set to update your backup as often as you can. EaseBackup is a powerful tool but if you haven't done a backup for a few weeks, you will lose everything you have done recently.
The Disaster Recovery CD is the easiest and fastest way to restore your computer's hard disk. It contains all core files and allows to restore your disk without formatting each drive and installing Windows and EaseBackup software. But this option has 2 limitations:
- Your registration key must include authorization to use this module.
- You computer must be able to boot from a CD-ROM drive.
Use the Disaster Recovery Wizard from the File menu to generate an ISO-format CD-R image file. Then burn the ISO image file into a CD-R disc and keep it in a safe place.
NOTE: We recommend that you do a new or incremental backup and prepare a new Disaster Recovery CD image each time you make hardware changes to your computer, such as changing a SCSI card, backup device, or device drivers.
Files with repair information contain everything you need to prepare EaseBackup to restore your files after a disaster, including: Backup Set definitions, encryption keys and other configuration files.
We recommend that you save your repair information even if you created a Disaster Recovery CD because the CD may still be unable to restore your hard disk (you may have a special configuration or other problems).
If you use encryption keys to encrypt your backup archives, you MUST have files with repair information to restore your files. Without keys you won't be able to decrypt your backup archives! Even if you don't use encryption keys, files with repair information will save you a lot of time. To restore your files you will need:
- All encryption keys you used during backups. You can't recreate or somehow recover them! If you lose them, you lose your backups!
- All Backup Sets. You can recreate them manually, but it is easier to use Repair Wizard to recover them.
To create files with repair information, use the Disaster Recovery Wizard from the File menu. Choose the "I want to save configuration and encryption keys" option and press the Next button. The following page will appear.
Choose a place to save your repair information. It can be a disk (select a target folder) or FTP Server. Press the Next button to save repair information.
Do not forget the passwords you used to generate your encryption keys. You will need to enter them during restore.
You may need to install your Windows operating system and EaseBackup to restore your files. Have your Windows and EaseBackup Installation Software, and your License numbers ready. You may need them to reinstall Windows onto your hard disk.
Note that you can always download EaseBackup from Internet, but a local copy of it is safer (in case you have problems with internet access).
At this point you have done the disaster recovery preparations. Any time you add a new Backup Set or encryption key you should update your repair information. To do that you should use the Repair Wizard again. Now you are ready to restore your files after a disaster.