What do you do with a Veeam agent backup for some hardware you no longer own, but would like to access the operating system? Restore it some where else of course! This is the beauty and ease of use of the Veeam backup suite and on for this example, a Veeam agent for Windows recovery to a virtual machine. This one will be a little different as the recovery will be to a Synology Virtual Machine, but the process is the same and works well.
Step 1 – Create Veeam Agent Recovery Media.
To do this, you first need to download and install Veeam Agent for Windows which is available here as a free download. Once installed, launch the Create Recovery Media wizard.
We want to create an ISO image to boot from later on, there is also the option to create a bootable USB key. My example below shows an SD card that can also be used as a boot option to launch the bare metal recovery wizard. You can add additional drivers at this point if required, the defaults work fine for recovery to a Synology VM. The wizard creates a customised Windows PE image, which is the Windows Preinstallation Environment media.
Choose where to save the ISO file.
And click Create.
Then wait for it to do its thing.
Step 2 – Upload the ISO to the Synology Virtual Machine Manager environment.
Fire up Virtual Machine Manager, browse to Image and then click Add.
Click to browse the computer to find the ISO.
Choose which storage on the Synology to save the ISO to. Click apply and done.
Step 3 – Create the virtual machine.
In this step we will create the virtual machine that we would like to restore the Veeam backup image to. I copied the system specifications in terms of disk capacity, CPU and memory of the source system, but they can be tweaked to suit your requirements. If you were not using the all of the drive on the source machine, then make the VM disk the size you need for the data, not the size of the old disk.
In Virtual Machine Manager, select virtual machine section and then create a new virtual machine.
Choose the OS type, this doesn’t really matter that much but it does use some defaults for VGA adapter, network adapter etc that are likely to work best with the operating system.
Choose the storage where the VM will live.
Define VM name, memory and CPU requirments.
Give the drive enough storage capacity for the recovery.
Choose the network switch to attach to, I only have one.
On the ISO selection screen, choose the Veeam Recovery Media ISO that was uploaded earlier and for my use case, I have attched an external USB hard drive to the Synology NAS with the backup files on, we need to pass this through to the VM so add a virtual USB controller to achieve this.
Define who can access and manage the virtual machine.
Confirm everything is good an apply.
Step 4 – Boot and recovery.
Back to the VM, once it boots you should see something similar to below. Choose Bare Metal Recovery.
Click the browse button on local storage and locate the backup on the USB drive.
Click next once the backup has been selected.
Choose which recovery point to restore from if there are more than one.
I want to restore the entire computer but there are other options below. Manual restore will allow recovery too a drive that is smaller than the source drive if there is enough space available to recover the data.
Then click restore.
And let it do its thing.
Step 5 – Post recovery config.
I had some issues powering on the VM after recovery, the two main issues was because of the storage presentation and the bios type I selected. The laptop the backup was created on was a UEFI config, where as this VM was set to BIOS. This can be changed to UEFI.
Edit the VM.
Change the disk controller from IDE to SATA.
Change the Firmware type from BIOS to UEFI.
All being good, the VM should boot and you can pick up where you left off on the previous machine.
Again we can see how simple Veeam makes it to recover from a disaster or even a migration scenario like this. What is also cool is just how easy it is to create the virtual machine on the Synology NAS, granted its not ESXi or anything like that, but it does what it needs to do for this purpose.