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Automated System Recovery (ASR)

Posted February 2003 by Steve Sinchak

Complete the steps outlined below to utilize XP's Automated System Recovery (ASR) functionality.


Dual Partitions (C and D)
XP installed on C


  1. Go to the Start button/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Backup
  2. Select the Advanced Mode link within the Backup wizard.
  3. Click the Automated System Restore Wizard button.
  4. Point the backup media file name to the D drive rename the backup file asr (d:\asr.bkf). (*Do not point the backup to the C drive where XP is installed because during the Restore mode the C drive will be formatted) Click Next and then click Finish. ASR will start it's System State backup (which copies all system files and registry configuration)
  5. After the backup of the system state is completed (approx 5-10 minutes), You will be prompted to insert a floppy disk into the A drive. Click OK. XP will complete the ASR backup.

* ASR will only backup the system state (windows folder) and registry configuration. You must return to Backup and create a separate backup of your valued data to the D drive.


In the event that your system becomes inaccessible and/or System Restore does not function properly, complete these steps.

  1. Make sure the system can boot from a CD-Rom (via the bios setup)
  2. Insert the Windows XP CD-Rom into the drive
  3. Insert the ASR Floppy disk into the drive
  4. Power up the computer
  5. Press the enter key when prompted to "press any key to run from the CD-rom"
  6. Press F2 on the keyboard when prompted to start the ASR recovery action.
  7. XP will format the C drive
  8. The computer will restart
  9. Let windows XP start automatically (do not press a key to run from the CD rom).
  10. XP will go through the basic plug and play discovery and copy setup files to the C drive.
  11. The computer will restart and boot into XP
  12. The ASR wizard will start and automatically point to the asr.bkf file on the D drive. Click OK to restore the system state and registry configuration.
  13. When completed XP will either present the login screen or login to the desktop automatically (depending on the configuration at the time the ASR backup was initiated).
  14. Return to the Backup wizard to restore any valued data that was saved beforehand to the D drive.

Benefits of using ASR

Timesaver = Entire restore process takes less than 30 minutes.
Configuration in tact = Desktop and user preference settings will be maintained.
Redundancy = Provides an additional restore option besides System Restore.
Registry = Backs up and restores the entire current registry configuration settings.

Drawbacks of using ASR

Does not restore any installed programs from the program Files folder.
Does not work on a single partition.

Completing an ASR backup on a regular basis will provide additional control over the outcome of a system failure.


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