How To Recover Filesystem Backup With Stuck “Waiting-Client”

Recently I had a physical server failure. I will spare you the details, but to say that this was a mini-disaster recovery. This did teach me somethings that I had not yet experienced, and I hope you can learn something new much like I did.

First let me say that I have previously made tutorials on recovering physical server data to a VM for the purpose of quarterly audits. In those cases, those backups were of a running production physical server, and I was only attempting to restore the filesystem of one hard drive to a new virtual machine. In those examples, I would create a shared drive on the recovery vm server and point Avamar to this target via the share link. This worked every quarter with no issues.

This new issue was when following the exact same steps, the Avamar activities would only show “waiting-client” and never change to a running state.

The solution to this issue has to do with the client that is installed on the physical server. Avamar is waiting on the original, now crashed, server’s client to respond, which it will never do again. When doing audits, on restoring production “running” server’s files, the production server’s client responds because it is up and running. No running client, no restore! Crazy isn’t it? Here are two ways to get a client to respond to the restore client request of a crashed server.

First, cancel the “Waiting-Client” restore so that we can proceed with a running restore. Go to the backup of the dead server that you need to restore by selecting the 1. Avamar domain, in my case “PhysicalServers”. Then 2. select the name of the server, 3. the date you want to restore, 4. the backup that was taken on that date, and finally 5. selecting the data to restore.

Right click the data to be restored and choose “Restore Now…”

Restoring To The New VM’s Shared Drive

Over on your target VM restore point, go to the location you want to restore to, in my case the X: SQLDKUP drive. Right click and go to properties, then Sharing tab and then “Advanced Sharing…” button.

Put a check next to “Share this folder” and then click on the “Permissions” button.

I add “Everyone” with “Full Control” as this will only be shared while I am restoring to this location.

Click OK twice and then copy your “Network Path:”

Going back to our Avamar we will select “Restore everything to a different location” then click on “Set Destination”.

Paste in the copied shared Network Path for the shared restore location.

So far that is the exact same steps as in my audit restore tutorial, but here is the important different part. We 1. click “Browse…” button beside the “Restore Destination Client”, 2. expand the Avamar Domain where all your physical servers are kept, and 3. select any running physical server, except do not select a server that is not running, it has to be on and accessible to the Avamar.

Click “OK” twice to the selected client and again to start the restore.

Go to activities and you will see that it is in a running state.

That is the end of that solution, but what do you do if you only had one physical server with a client running on it and it was the one that died. What do you do then?

Restoring Physical Server Without A Shared Folder

In this case, as I am replacing the existing server with this one, I have named the server the same as the original. You will need to open a browser and type in the IP or DNS name of the Avamar server. Then click on “Downloads” and go to the OS version and download the AvamarClient.

Now you will need to move the downloaded file to the VM by whatever means that suites your environment. As mine is in a Windows VM I just copied it and RDP into the VM and then pasted it to the desktop. Once on the desktop you can run it to install the client by clicking next through all of the options. You will need to activate the client to reach out to the Avamar. Once completed find the client in the system tray.

Right click the icon and go to “Manage” and then “Activate Client”

Step 1. put in the IP of DNS name of the Avamar server. It does not need to be a fully qualified domain name. 2. Either leave the default /clients or change to the Avamar domain of your choosing, but this is case sensitive. 3. Click the “Activate” button.

You should get a popup letting you know it was a success.

Going back to the Avamar and selecting the backup to restore and right click to “Restore Now…” We will once again click “Browse”, but unlike last time we will look under the Avamar Domain where we just activated the client on the VM. We will select it and click “OK”.

With our “Restore Destination Client” selected we will leave the “Restore everything to its original location” and click “OK”.

Because the server named the same as the original and the new VM has the same amount of space as destination drive with the same drive letter, it will believe it is the same server. Once again the Activities show “Running”.

There you have it! Two different ways to restore a physical server after the server has become inaccessible. Let me know in the comments what you think about this tutorial. If you have question let me know.

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