Recovering Windows XP via ASR Automatic System Recovery

by Johannes Helmig [Published on 21 April 2002 / Last Updated on 21 April 2002]

Windows XP has replaced the NT4/2000 Repair Disk with the

ASR: Automated System Recovery Wizard.

The ASR process allows to restore the system disk ( C: -drive) including the Windows files,
all Registry settings and all user programs / data, allowing to recover a completely crashed system.

Note :
This procedure requires the possibility to boot the Windows XP Professional Setup-program from the
installation CD-ROM.
If your system has been delivered with a Recovery CD, this option may not be available for you.
Note :
The ASR process is only available for Windows XP Professional.
The "Backup" program, required for the ASR process, is missing in Windows XP Home Edition,
it is not listed in the Windows menu as a "System Tool" :

and even if it is installed from the VALUEADD folder, it does not allow to generate the ASR files.


To create the ASR Floppy Disk and the ASR backup-file, use "Backup "
(part of Acessories / System Tools ) :


On the tab: Welcome, select "Automated System Recovery Wizard" :


The Wizard will start, display first a Welcome screen, advising that a Backup and the ASR disk
will be created :

Just continue with "Next"

You will be prompted for
the location of a Backup-file.

It will become a file of approx.
1-2 GBytes, so do NOT use
the default on A:, but change
it to a disk-location :


NOTE: It can NOT be on the
C:-drive, because as part of
the recovery process, the
C:-drive will be formated and
you would loose this backup
file !

Screen:
"Completing the ASR
Preparation Wizard"

When you click Finish, the
Wizard creates a backup of
your system files. You will then
be asked to inster a floppy disk.

You will use this disk and the
backup to restore your System
in an event of a major failure.

To close this wizard and to
begin the backup, click Finish".


Continue with "Finish"
The sytstem will create a list of all files
and then start the backup-processes,
creating a disk-backup-file
Once the disk-backup is done,
you will be prompted for a
floppy disk (blank , formatted)
to store some ASR-data
copying files to the ASR floppy

ASR Restore process :

Once all other methods to start the XP system fail, you can use the ASR backup-file and floppy disk
to return the system to the status as during the creation of the ASR backup.

These screen dumps have been made using :
"VMWARE Workstation 3.0" of VMWARE.
( more details on this very powerful program )

Insert your Windows XP Professional Installation CD-ROM and boot from CD-ROM :

If you get the message to
"press any key to boot from CD...", press any key



Be prepared : as soon as at the botton of the screen the message :
"Press F2 to run Automated System Recovery (ASR) ..." is displayed, press F2,
so have your finger ready on top of the F2-key to press it as soon as you see :


You will then be prompted to insert the ASR floppy disk:


You have for a few seconds still the time to abort the ASR process by pressing ESC :


You will NOT be prompted : the system starts formating your C:-drive !

and starts then with a process very similar to the XP installation :

File will be copied from the XP CD-ROM to the disk.

The system will reboot and continue with the installation process :

But it will not continue a
complete installation :
It starts the Automated
System Recovery Wizard.

This screen will wait for 90 sec,
then it will continue automatically.
Screen
"Data Recovery Source"

Confirm the location of
the disk backup-file,
in my example:
E:\backup.bkf

At the end of the ASR process, Backup is used to restore the information on the C:-drive :


Your system has been restored !

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