There is a misconception that to create an ASR backup you need a floppy disk. This could have to do with the fact that at a certain point, the backup utility prompts you for a floppy disk. And to go a little bit further, an ASR recovery can't be performed without a functioning ASR recovery disk. However, with a little patience, you can create a fully functional ASR recovery disk without having a floppy drive in a computer.
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Things you need
- Administrative account
- 64MB USB flash drive (or larger)
Sign into Windows using an administrative user account. Click on the "start" button and then "run." This will open the run dialogue box. Type "ntbackup.exe" and click "OK" to launch the XP NTBackup utility. If the "welcome to the backup or restore wizard" window appears, switch to advance mode by clicking on the "advance mode" link.
In the advanced mode window, there will be three main buttons to choose from. Click the bottom button, "automated system recovery wizard." Click "next" to continue.
Choose your backup destination by clicking the "browse" button or directly enter the destination in the "backup media or file name" field. Click "next" to continue. Click "finish" to start the backup.
Select "cancel" when prompted to insert a floppy disk. Another window will pop up informing you that the ASR recovery diskette was not created. Click "OK" to acknowledge the alert. Click "close" to close the completed backup. Click the "job" menu item at the top left of the screen and then "exit" to quit NTBackup. The backup is now complete.
Insert the USB flash drive and wait for it to be fully recognised by Windows XP. Close any windows that may pop up.
Right-click on the "start" button and select "explore" from the menu. This will open up Windows Explorer. Navigate to "%systemroot%\repair." In a typical installation of Windows XP, this can be found at "C:\Windows\repair." Click on the "asr.sif" file to select it. Then hold down the control key and click on "asrpnp.sif" and "setup.log" to select all three files. Release the control key. Right-click the first file and hover over "send to" in the menu. Another menu will open. The USB flash drive you inserted earlier will be listed. Click it to copy the selected files to the USB flash drive.
Remove the USB flash drive from the computer. Be sure to give Windows a few seconds to finish writing the files to the flash drive before removing it.
Sign into a computer that has a floppy drive and insert the USB flash drive. Close any windows that pop up. Then insert a blank floppy disk. Close any windows that pop up.
Click on "start" and from the menu select "my computer." Double-click on the USB flash drive that you inserted. The three files that we copied to the flash drive should be listed. Click on the first file called "asr.sif" to select it. Then hold down the control key and click on "asrpnp.sif" and "setup.log" to select all three files. Right-click the first file and hover over "send to" in the menu. Another menu will open. The floppy disk you inserted should be listed. Click the floppy disk to copy the three ASR files to the floppy disk.
Remove both USB flash drive and the floppy disk, being sure to wait a few seconds for the drives to stop flashing and the computer to stop copying the files to the floppy disk. Clearly label the floppy disk and then store it in a safe place. You now have a fully functional ASR recovery disk created from the ASR backup wizard.
Tips and warnings
- This procedure works equally well in Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2.
- Although you can create an ASR backup without a floppy drive present on the system, you must have a floppy drive present on the system in order to run an ASR restore using an ASR recovery disk.
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