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What is bare-metal recovery


Saltgrass

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#2
Bare Metal means a clean hard drive, like it comes out of the box. The entire installation is redone, just as it is if you recover a System Image Backup.
 

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Berton

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#3
It's also known as a Factory Restore, goes back to the day it shipped.
 

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#4
Not my understanding.

Bare metal recovery is restoring an external system image containing OS/applications and data - Bare-metal restore - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . In Windows it is taking the option in Recovery Environment (i.e booting from install media or recovery USB or similar) formatting and restoring either factory settings or to a system image you have defined.

Windows RE push-button reset features to fully recreate the partition structure of the hard drive. This procedure is also known as a bare-metal recovery. This procedure can be performed if a user needs to replace their hard drive or completely wipe it clean.

You can supply media with a recovery image instead of, or in addition to, including a recovery image on the PC
Bare Metal Reset/Recovery: Enable Your Users to Create Media and to Recover Hard Drive Space
 

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jimbo45

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#5
It's also known as a Factory Restore, goes back to the day it shipped.
OH dear -- not exactly.

Bare Metal recovery is simply RESTORING a WORKABLE OS from your last backup - this is often done if the OS HDD is broken / replaced or the OS becomes in any way corrupted so you BOOT from an external device, and perform a system restore (usually an Image) from the image also restored on an external device.

The actual OS doesn't have to be the one you eventually use - but it gets the system back into a workable order from which you can possibly add updates, other programs etc.

The whole point of it is that the restore data and boot program are run entirely from external media.

Cheers
jimbo
 

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vrosa

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#8

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jimbo45

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#9
Hi there

A lot of this stuff doesn't help if the original HDD is broken so you can't even ACCESS any "hidden" recovery partition.

That's the whole point of BARE METAL -- you don't rely on ANY hardware on the computer (apart from the BIOS boot working of course !!!!) for the recovery process.

You can put in a totally NEW HDD without a single byte of information on it and then using a bare metal recovery restore your OS.

There is a difference here in RECOVERING a non bootable PC and doing a Barel metal recovery. The OP wasn't asking about how to fix a computer that doesn't boot but what BARE METAL recovery meant.

Cheers
jimbo
 

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#10
Glad to know I'm not the only confused soul here... So many answers!

@Jimbo45 : I wanted to know 2 things, what Bare-Metal means, and what Bare-Metal Recovery, as an option along with Refresh and Reset means... In other words, does there exist a button, or an option or a setting that is called "Bare metal recovery". The documentation is mighty confusing on that aspect.

But I do know now what bare-metal means, thanks to the overlapping answers which form some kind of complete picture.
 

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jimbo45

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Hi there

Some older External HDD's were sold with a "1-step recovery" which was activated by pressing a button on the external HDD -- all this essentially did was restore a system image from the image stored on the HDD -- it would run a special program that *might* or *might not* need a Boot.

Windows REFRESH / RESET essentially both mean a re-install of Windows (but an automatic one) from some sort of saved data within Windows itself - they have slightly different meanings but -- seriously though I've never bothered with that. I prefer to work with images I've taken myself.

Your best bet is to take TWO separate images -- one of the hidden OEM recovery partition if you have one -- then you can delete that from HDD and free up more space, and a second image of your current running Windows system (and the small boot partition). Keep the system OS + pgms separate from other partitions so you don't lose data (such as music / photos etc) when restoring.

If you want to get the computer back to the shop state - simply a) restore the OEM partition that you saved as I pointed out earlier, and then b) run the manufacturers recovery program / procedure.

Cheers
jimbo
 

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Saltgrass

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#12

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#13
@Saltgrass : makes perfect sense. Thanks! I must have missed that para...

The reason I got interested in this was that I got 2 conflicting pieces of info :

  1. One CANNOT use a custom image for Reset PC, one must use the default install.wim
  2. ResetConfig.xml can be used to point to a custom install.wim

Bare-metal recovery involves both Push button Reset (which seems to include BOTH reset AND refresh), as well as ResetConfig.xml .
 

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Saltgrass

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#14
The two items do not conflict. You can't, or should not, use a Custom Refresh Image to reset a PC because it does not contain the entire install and will not replace certain components. Microsoft recommends against using such a process.

The ResetConfig.xml is a configuration file normally read by the Reset utility to set something up in a certain way. This particular file is referenced in the link I supplied. Reagent.xml is another one which normally points to the Factory Image used in Resets.

There may be several .xml files involved in a reset or recovery. One will usually contain the partition structure for a bare metal recovery. These files can be read and edited in notepad.

A reset does require an image named Install.wim (.swm) to function. There may be some other file extensions that can be used also, I am just not that familiar.

One thing I learned in my testing was a Recovery Drive made in Windows does not use the current partition configuration on the hard drive. It reverts to the Windows basic configuration so a bare metal recovery may not have all the original partitions. The OEM version will probably have all the original partitions, such as the Dell 40 MB OEM partition on my system.
 

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#15
Oh I did not mean using a custom refresh image to reset a PC... I meant using a customised install.wim (obtained from the original ISO, for example) instead of the default.
 

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#16
edit: deleted comment as I read 'refresh' for 'reset'
 

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