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A Personal Story: SCCM 2012 and Disaster Recovery

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 in System Center (Views: 4317)
So, here's a little about my experience with SCCM 2012 and disaster recovery.

- Receiving the "blue screen of death on boot" (unmountable_boot_volume) with Windows Server 2008 R2.

Site Config:
- Virtual machines, Windows Server 2012 Host, Hyper-V (although the VM platform is a moot point, concepts are the same)
- Single site, primary running Windows 2008 R2 and SCCM 2012 SP1 (OS Also a moot point)
- SQL Server was located on another server, running SQL Server 2012
- SMS Backup being stored to a third system
- All content source directories are located on a domain DFS, located on separate servers

The server was giving a blue screen on boot, and thinking "unmountable_boot_volume" must be referring to drive C:. I then did the usual things, chkdsk /r, even fixed the MBR and boot records, with no luck. Turns out the system would boot in safe mode, and learned D: was the problem, as I could do a normal boot with C:. After the painstaking effort of chkdsk /r on D:, was able to get the server to boot. About two weeks later, the problem was back. I repaired it again, and about 2 weeks later, the problem returned again. I resolved it a third time, made sure the SMS Backup was good.

Basic Remediation Steps:
- Made sure no snapshots existed on the VM
- Renamed VHDx Files (similar to VMWare's VMDK)
- Created new Virtual HDDs
. Was trying to solve a second problem here by moving the SCCMContentLib to a larger disk, so C: was made 40GB, D: was made 250GB
- Installed Windows Server 2012 on the VM (since it's supported and most of my others are moved anyway)
- Did the usual, domain join it, give it group memberships, installed updates
- I kept the same FQDN info and disk configuration the same, changed sizes however
- Installed the prereqs for SCCM
- Detached and kept the databases from SQL just in case
- Installed SCCM 2012 SP1 (same version as was previously loaded)
- Chose the recovery option and pointed to the 3rd system where the SMSBackup was
- SCCM 2012 installed, and after setup.exe terminated, the rebuild of the site began
- SCCMContentLib at first was blank, then after re-distributing content to the DPs, the package information was repopulating in the SCCMContentLib as needed

Things to keep in mind:
- Always have a good copy of your SMSBackup, even if it is out of rotation. A 6 month old backup may do no good for metadata from clients, but certainly does wonders for at least keeping site, package, and other data. Sure, you have 6 months of replacing to do, but much better than nothing and rebuilding from scratch.
- I like keeping 4 weeks of hot backups available. I back up my server once a week. Remember, the last backup is always overwritten
- The afterbackup process is your friend.


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