Restore files to a Windows server or Windows client machine using Resource Manager deployment model

This article explains how to restore data from a backup vault. To restore data, you use the Recover Data wizard in the Microsoft Azure Recovery Services (MARS) agent. When you restore data, it is possible to:

  • Restore data to the same machine from which the backups were taken.
  • Restore data to an alternate machine.

In January 2017, Microsoft released a Preview update to the MARS agent. Along with bug fixes, this update enables Instant Restore, which allows you to mount a writeable recovery point snapshot as a recovery volume. You can then explore the recovery volume and copy files to a local computer thereby selectively restoring files.

Note

The January 2017 Azure Backup update is required if you want to use Instant Restore to restore data. Also the backup data must be protected in vaults in locales listed in the support article. Consult the January 2017 Azure Backup update for the latest list of locales that support Instant Restore. Instant Restore is not currently available in all locales.

Use Instant Restore with Recovery Services vaults in the Azure portal. If you stored data in Backup vaults, they have been converted to Recovery Services vaults. If you want to use Instant Restore, download the MARS update, and follow the procedures that mention Instant Restore.

Note

Azure has two different deployment models for creating and working with resources: Resource Manager and classic. This article covers using the Resource Manager deployment model, which Microsoft recommends for new deployments instead of the classic deployment model.

Use Instant Restore to recover data to the same machine

If you accidentally deleted a file and wish to restore it to the same machine (from which the backup is taken), the following steps will help you recover the data.

  1. Open the Microsoft Azure Backup snap in. If you don't know where the snap in was installed, search the computer or server for Microsoft Azure Backup.

    The desktop app should appear in the search results.

  2. Click Recover Data to start the wizard.

    Recover Data

  3. On the Getting Started pane, to restore the data to the same server or computer, select This server (<server name>) and click Next.

    Choose This server option to restore the data to the same machine

  4. On the Select Recovery Mode pane, choose Individual files and folders and then click Next.

    Browse files

  5. On the Select Volume and Date pane, select the volume that contains the files and/or folders you want to restore.

    On the calendar, select a recovery point. You can restore from any recovery point in time. Dates in bold indicate the availability of at least one recovery point. Once you select a date, if multiple recovery points are available, choose the specific recovery point from the Time drop-down menu.

    Volume and Date

  6. Once you have chosen the recovery point to restore, click Mount.

    Azure Backup mounts the local recovery point, and uses it as a recovery volume.

  7. On the Browse and Recover Files pane, click Browse to open Windows Explorer and find the files and folders you want.

    Recovery options

  8. In Windows Explorer, copy the files and/or folders you want to restore and paste them to any location local to the server or computer. You can open or stream the files directly from the recovery volume and verify the correct versions are recovered.

    Copy and paste files and folders from mounted volume to local location

  9. When you are finished restoring the files and/or folders, on the Browse and Recovery Files pane, click Unmount. Then click Yes to confirm that you want to unmount the volume.

    Unmount the volume and confirm

    Important

    If you do not click Unmount, the Recovery Volume will remain mounted for 6 hours from the time when it was mounted. However, the mount time is extended upto a maximum of 24 hours in case of an ongoing file-copy. No backup operations will run while the volume is mounted. Any backup operation scheduled to run during the time when the volume is mounted, will run after the recovery volume is unmounted.

Use Instant Restore to restore data to an alternate machine

If your entire server is lost, you can still recover data from Azure Backup to a different machine. The following steps illustrate the workflow.

The terminology used in these steps includes:

  • Source machine – The original machine from which the backup was taken and which is currently unavailable.
  • Target machine – The machine to which the data is being recovered.
  • Sample vault – The Recovery Services vault to which the Source machine and Target machine are registered.

Note

Backups can't be restored to a target machine running an earlier version of the operating system. For example, a backup taken from a Windows 7 computer can be restored on a Windows 8, or later, computer. A backup taken from a Windows 8 computer cannot be restored to a Windows 7 computer.

  1. Open the Microsoft Azure Backup snap in on the Target machine.

  2. Ensure the Target machine and the Source machine are registered to the same Recovery Services vault.

  3. Click Recover Data to open the Recover Data wizard.

    Recover Data

  4. On the Getting Started pane, select Another server

    Another Server

  5. Provide the vault credential file that corresponds to the Sample vault, and click Next.

    If the vault credential file is invalid (or expired), download a new vault credential file from the Sample vault in the Azure portal. Once you provide a valid vault credential, the name of the corresponding Backup Vault appears.

  6. On the Select Backup Server pane, select the Source machine from the list of displayed machines and provide the passphrase. Then click Next.

    List of machines

  7. On the Select Recovery Mode pane, select Individual files and folders and click Next.

    Search

  8. On the Select Volume and Date pane, select the volume that contains the files and/or folders you want to restore.

    On the calendar, select a recovery point. You can restore from any recovery point in time. Dates in bold indicate the availability of at least one recovery point. Once you select a date, if multiple recovery points are available, choose the specific recovery point from the Time drop-down menu.

    Search items

  9. Click Mount to locally mount the recovery point as a recovery volume on your Target machine.

  10. On the Browse and Recover Files pane, click Browse to open Windows Explorer and find the files and folders you want.

    Encryption

  11. In Windows Explorer, copy the files and/or folders from the recovery volume and paste them to your Target machine location. You can open or stream the files directly from the recovery volume and verify the correct versions are recovered.

    Encryption

  12. When you are finished restoring the files and/or folders, on the Browse and Recovery Files pane, click Unmount. Then click Yes to confirm that you want to unmount the volume.

    Encryption

    Important

    If you do not click Unmount, the Recovery Volume will remain mounted for 6 hours from the time when it was mounted. However, the mount time is extended upto a maximum of 24 hours in case of an ongoing file-copy. No backup operations will run while the volume is mounted. Any backup operation scheduled to run during the time when the volume is mounted, will run after the recovery volume is unmounted.

Troubleshooting

If Azure Backup does not successfully mount the recovery volume even after several minutes of clicking Mount or fails to mount the recovery volume with one or more errors, follow the steps below to begin recovering normally.

  1. Cancel the ongoing mount process in case it has been running for several minutes.

  2. Ensure that you are on the latest version of the Azure Backup agent. To find out the version information of Azure Backup agent, click on About Microsoft Azure Recovery Services Agent on the Actions pane of Microsoft Azure Backup console and ensure that the Version number is equal to or higher than the version mentioned in this article. You can download the latest version from here

  3. Go to Device Manager -> Storage Controllers and ensure that you can locate Microsoft iSCSI Initiator. If you can locate it, directly go to step 7 below.

  4. If you cannot locate Microsoft iSCSI Initiator service as mentioned in step 3, check to see if you can find an entry under Device Manager -> Storage Controllers called Unknown Device with Hardware ID ROOT\ISCSIPRT.

  5. Right click on Unknown Device and select Update Driver Software.

  6. Update the driver by selecting the option to Search automatically for updated driver software. Completion of the update should change Unknown Device to Microsoft iSCSI Initiator as shown below.

    Encryption

  7. Go to Task Manager -> Services (Local) -> Microsoft iSCSI Initiator Service.

    Encryption

  8. Restart the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator service by right-clicking on the service, clicking on Stop and further right clicking again and clicking on Start.

  9. Retry recovering using Instant Restore.

If the recovery still fails, reboot your server/client. If a reboot is not desirable or the recovery still fails even after rebooting the server, try recovering from an Alternate Machine, and contact Azure Support by going to Azure Portal and submitting a support request.

Next steps