Automated System Recovery (ASR) overview

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Automated System Recovery (ASR) overview

With Automated System Recovery (ASR), you can create ASR sets on a regular basis as part of an overall plan for system recovery in case of system failure. Use ASR as a last resort in system recovery, only after you have exhausted other options such as the startup options Safe Mode and Last Known Good Configuration. For more information about these and other recovery options, see Startup options.

ASR is a recovery option that has two parts: ASR backup and ASR restore. You can access the backup portion through the Automated System Recovery Preparation Wizard located in Backup. The Automated System Recovery Preparation Wizard backs up the System State data, system services, and all disks associated with the operating system components. It also creates a floppy disk, which contains information about the backup, the disk configurations (including basic and dynamic volumes), and how to accomplish a restore.

You can access the restore part of ASR by pressing F2 when prompted in the text mode portion of setup. ASR reads the disk configurations from the floppy disk and restores all of the disk signatures, volumes and partitions on the disks required to start your computer (at a minimum). (It will attempt to restore all of the disk configurations, but under some circumstances, it may not be able to). ASR then installs a simple installation of Windows and automatically starts to restore from backup using the backup ASR set created by the Automated System Recovery Preparation Wizard.


  • ASR does not include data files. Back up data files separately on a regular basis and restore them after the system is working.

  • Using All information on this computer in the simple wizard also creates an ASR floppy disk and an ASR set.

  • ASR supports FAT16 volumes up to 2.1 GB only. ASR does not support 4 GB FAT16 partitions that use a cluster size of 64K. If your system contains 4-GB FAT16 partitions, convert them from FAT16 to NTFS before using ASR.