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StorageCraft Recovery Environment
A Necessary Component for Stress-Free IT Recovery


Overview:

As any seasoned IT professional knows, disasters happen and business needs change. The StorageCraft Recovery Environment, a critical component of our backup software, gives you the ability to respond fast: back up systems, restore them to different hardware or to virtual machines, or migrate them to new physical or virtual environments.

Use the StorageCraft Recovery Environment in these scenarios:

  • Restoring a system volume that cannot boot on its own
  • Backing up a non-bootable system before attempting a restore operation
  • Performing a bare metal restore when old hardware is damaged beyond repair
  • Recovering an accidentally deleted file or folder
  • Restoring an entire data volume
  • Migrating to new hardware or a virtual environment

What is the StorageCraft Recovery Environment, and who should use it?

The StorageCraft Recovery Environment is a critical component of StorageCraft ShadowProtect and StorageCraft ShadowProtect SPX disaster recovery software. IT administrators and other ShadowProtect or SPX users can boot this environment from a CD and then back up, recover, or migrate systems, applications, services, and data.

The StorageCraft Recovery Environment, ShadowProtect, and SPX are part of StorageCraft Recover-Ability. This solution provides you with all the products and services you need to protect and recover data, applications, and systems anytime, anywhere, and from any disaster.

As any seasoned IT professional knows, disasters happen and business needs change. The StorageCraft Recovery Environment gives you the ability to back up systems, restore to different hardware or to virtual machines, and migrate to a new physical or virtual environment. Additionally, the StorageCraft Recovery Environment includes utilities to aid swift recovery such as auto-repair and diagnostics.

Choose your own recovery environment

StorageCraft offers two recovery environment options:

StorageCraft Recovery Environment CrossPlatform
StorageCraft Recovery Environment CrossPlatform

This environment comes ready to go and works with both ShadowProtect and SPX. If you are using SPX to protect Linux servers, or if you prefer a pre-built recovery environment, then use the StorageCraft Recovery Environment CrossPlatform.

StorageCraft Recovery Environment for Windows
StorageCraft Recovery Environment for Windows
This environment works with ShadowProtect. If you are familiar with the previous StorageCraft Recovery Environment, or if you prefer using a Windows-based user interface, you may prefer this environment. However, this environment requires you to build it.

Features & Benefits:

Choice of Recovery Environment

The StorageCraft Recovery Environment Builder, StorageCraft Recovery Environment for Windows, and StorageCraft Recovery Environment CrossPlatform give you the option to:

  • Build your own custom Windows recovery environment with a familiar user interface and extensive driver support
  • Easily load additional drivers needed to access existing storage within the Recovery Environment for Windows
  • Have the convenience of a pre-built tool with Recovery Environment CrossPlatform so you don’t have to create one
  • Use the StorageCraft Recovery Environment CrossPlatform for the Linux systems in your IT environment

Backup

The Backup Wizard and Verify Backup Image tool enable you to:

  • Capture everything—systems, applications, configuration settings, services, data—on servers, desktops, and laptops
  • Back up Microsoft SQL, Exchange, and SharePoint servers and other critical application servers, including updates in memory
  • Encrypt backup image jobs to securely protect data
  • Save backups to any disk device (such as removable, local, and network drives) or any optical media (CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Ray discs)
  • Back up a non-bootable system before attempting a restore operation
  • Verify backup images to ensure they’re in a known good state for fast and reliable recovery

Recovery

The Restore Wizard, Browse or Restore Files Wizard, and StorageCraft Hardware Independent Restore technology let you:

  • Perform a bare metal restore in minutes
  • Restore a system to the same or different hardware or to virtual environments
  • Mount a backup image and quickly browse it in order to recover a file or folder
  • Restore an entire data volume from a backup image file

Migration

The Backup Wizard, Restore Wizard, Image Conversion Tool, and StorageCraft Hardware Independent Restore technology let you:

  • Migrate a backup image from one physical machine to another
  • Migrate a backup image of a physical machine to a virtual environment
  • Migrate a backup image of a virtual environment to a physical machine
  • Migrate a backup image from one virtual environment to another

Diagnostics and Troubleshooting

The StorageCraft Recovery Environment for Windows Boot Configuration Utility and Disk Map let you:

  • Detect and repair a boot configuration error or corrupt hard drive when the automated repair process fails
  • Repair or replace the information required for startup that may get lost during migration from one drive to another
  • Update the boot configuration when the old drive configuration doesn’t include what’s needed in order to boot on a newer drive

Screenshots:

storagecraft recovery environment disk utility

storagecraft recovery environment hardware independent restore

Licensing:

The StorageCraft Recovery Environment is a component of:

ou can download the StorageCraft Recovery Environment CrossPlatform ISO and StorageCraft Recovery Environment Builder after you purchase a user license for either ShadowProtect or SPX. You will need your ShadowProtect or SPX product key to execute the download, and you’ll need to accept the End-User License Agreement.

For StorageCraft Recovery Environment CrossPlatform, you also have the option to contact us to request a CD with the software on it be mailed for a small fee.

Note: In order to use StorageCraft Hardware Independent Restore technology as part of the recovery environment, the system volume backup image that you want to restore must contain a licensed version of ShadowProtect.

What about ShadowProtect IT Edition?

The StorageCraft Recovery Environment CrossPlatform is integrated into ShadowProtect IT Edition, so you don’t need to download it separately when you buy ShadowProtect IT Edition. However, StorageCraft Recovery Environment for Windows is not included—you have the option to create it by downloading StorageCraft Recovery Environment Builder.

Technical Specifications:

Supported Operating Systems

Both StorageCraft Recovery Environment CrossPlatform and StorageCraft Recovery Environment for Windows work with all the Windows operating systems that SPX and ShadowProtect disaster recovery software support.

StorageCraft Recovery Environment CrossPlatform works with all the Linux versions that SPX disaster recovery software supports.

Supported Operating Systems

ShadowProtect License Types
  Server Small Business Desktop Virtual
  Server Small Business Desktop Virtual
Windows Server 2016 x64 - -
Windows Server 2012 R2 x64 - -
Windows Server 2012 x64 - -
Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 - -
Windows Server 2008 x86/x64
(Service Pack 2 or higher)
- -
Windows Server 2003 R2 x86/x64 - -
Windows Server 2003 x86/x64
(Service Pack 2 or higher)
- -
Windows 2000 x86 Server, Advanced Server (Service Pack 4 or higher) Limited - -
Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 x64 Essentials - -
Windows Server 2012 R2 x64 Essentials, Foundation - -
Windows Server 2012 x64 Essentials, Foundation - -
Windows Small Business Server 2011 x64 - -
Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 x64 Essentials - -
Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 Foundation Limited -
Windows Server 2008 x86/x64 Foundation
(Service Pack 2 or higher)
Limited -
Windows Small Business Server 2008 x86/x64 - -
Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 x86/x64 - -
Windows Small Business Server 2003 x86/x64 - -
Windows 10 x86/x64 - -
Windows 8.1 x86/x64 - -
Windows 8 x86/x64 - -
Windows 7 x86/x64 - -
Windows Vista x86/x64
(Service Pack 2 or higher)
- -
Windows XP x86/x64
(Service Pack 3 or higher)
- -
Windows 2000 x86 Professional
(Service Pack 4 or higher)
- - Limited Limited

Hardware Requirements

Recovery Environment CrossPlatform (RE-X)
CPU 1 GHz or faster 64-bit processor
Memory 512 MB minimum
Motherboard Requires UEFI firmware to support GPT disks as bootable drives. When using a UEFI motherboard, the UEFI must support BIOS emulation.
Hard Drive space N/A
CD-ROM or DVD drive Required
USB Port Required if the image chain is stored on an external USB drive
Monitor VGA or higher resolution
Network Access to the backup repository (if not local).
Recovery Environment (RE)
CPU Windows 2008-based RE: 1 GHz or faster
Windows 2008-based RE (Japan only): 1.4 GHz (x64 processor) or 1.3GHz (Dual Core)
Memory 1GB minimum
Note: 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 memory is not an option, use the 32-bit version of the Recovery Environment.
Motherboard Requires UEFI firmware to support GPT disks as bootable drives. When using a UEFI motherboard, the UEFI must support BIOS emulation to support Recovery Environment for Windows.
Hard Drive space N/A
CD-ROM or DVD drive Required for if the Recovery Environment is stored on a CD/DVD.
USB Port Required if using the ShadowProtect IT Edition, REWIND on a USB key, or if the backup image chain is stored on an external attached USB drive. Supports USB 2.0 and USB 3.0.
Monitor VGA or higher resolution
Network Connectivity Configure VMs to use an identified OS option (such as Windows) and not "Other" in order for RE to automatically load the correct network driver.
Operating System Bootable GPT drives require the boot OS to be a 64-bit Windows OS (Windows Vista and later).
REBuilder requires Windows 7 or newer to run. (Older versions do not support the Windows ADK required to run REBuilder.)
Anti-virus Anti-virus programs may conflict with REBuilder creating a Recovery Environment. Temporarily turn off the anti-virus program to successfully use REBuilder.
Windows ADK REBuilder, which creates the Windows Recovery Environment, requires a clean install of Windows ADK v8.0 or v8.1. Note that Windows does not support installing both the 8.0 version of the ADK and the 8.1 version on the same system. Although Windows does support "upgrading" an existing ADK v8.0 install to a v8.1 install, this upgraded version does not support REBuilder. If necessary, uninstall an existing v8.0 install of the ADK, then install the v8.1 of the ADK before completing the REBuilder setup.
Drivers USB drive or CD/DVD with any additional required 32-bit drivers not included with the Recovery Environment.
Windows Deduplication Recovery Environment for Windows does not support hot backups or restores from volumes with Windows Dedup enabled.
iSCSI Recovery Environment for Windows also does not support iSCSI.

Hardware Independent Restore (HIR) Licensing

Recovery Environment for Windows allows HIR to run in the following situations. In all other cases, REWIND users must have a valid activation code to use HIR. 

  • ShadowProtect is installed and activated in the selected image file. 
  • ShadowProtect is installed and activated but is expired. 
  • ShadowProtect MSP is installed and activated, and its license is still within the subscription period.

Supported Sector Sizes

Contemporary hard drives and SSDs ship with a 4096-byte physical sector size. Most also support the 512-byte logical sector size. (These drives are often labeled 512e for "512 Byte Sector Size Emulation".) ShadowProtect supports backing up both 4096- and 512-byte logical sector sizes.

In the unusual situation of restoring a partition/volume from one logical sector size to another:

  • 512 bytes per logical sector  -> 4096 bytes per logical sector (and the destination does not support 512e)
  • 4096 bytes per logical sector  ->   512 bytes per logical sector

ShadowProtect will issue an error message during the restore if it encounters a mis-matched sector size.

Notes:

It’s always a good idea (a best practice) to boot up your Recovery Environment for Windows and test that you have all the drivers necessary.

Additionally, we recommend you download the latest StorageCraft Recovery Environment ISO whenever you download any SPX or ShadowProtect software updates.