With version 6.0, Iperius Backup has introduced new powerful functions for drive image and disk cloning, perfectly usable also for virtualizing physical machines (Physical To Virtual, P2V).
In this tutorial we will see in detail how to use these new features, both for the purpose of performing image backup of workstations and servers, or to clone entire disks or virtualize Windows operating systems to boot then directly into Hyper-V (or convert them for VMware ESXi with VMware Converter). In fact, this backup type allows what can be called an “instant restore”, just for the possibility to attach the cloned disk (.VHD or .VHDX) to a Hyper-V virtual machine and immediately start the system.
The Iperius drive image obviously allows you to restore the backup even on different hardware, is compatible with RAID disks and with any Windows operating system (7, 8, Windows 10, Server 2008/R2, Server 2012/R2, Server 2016 and Server 2019).
Finally, you can easily create your own recovery “disc” (on a USB stick or a .ISO file to be burned) directly from a convenient interface within the program, in order to boot into a machine and make a bare-metal restore (disaster recovery).
But let’s see in detail how to make an Iperius Drive Image, saving a Windows 10 system disk to a .VHDX file:
First, let’s create a new backup job:
Now add a new item to the backup, that is the advanced Iperius Drive Image (which performs a perfect disk cloning also useful for P2V conversions), as shown in the image below:
Note: Iperius allows you to run two different types of drive image backup, as you can see in the menu in the image. The entry “Windows Image Backup” allows you to create a drive image backup with the same method of Windows Image Backup (wbadmin), thus obtaining a backup that can be restored with the Windows installation disc and (on servers) also allows you to restore on an active system Active Directory, Exchange, Hyper-V (so-called applications) using Windows Server Backup.
The Drive Image we talk about in this tutorial has several advanced features, which make it an efficient and useful tool in many cases. Although the format of the image file is always VHD / VHDX, to maintain maximum compatibility, this backup performs a real disk cloning, including boot information in case of system disks. In this way, Iperius can be used to perform virtualizations of physical machines (by simply connecting the VHD / VHDX file on Hyper-V) and to get an instant-restore by immediately starting the system as a Hyper-V virtual machine.
Finally, with the Iperius Drive Image you can restore an entire system on a physical machine (even with different hardware) using the Iperius recovery disk (you can create the recovery disk directly from Iperius), without needing the Windows installation disc. The boot will be performed using Iperius Recovery Environment®, which will allow you to easily re-imaging a disk, therefore a bare-metal recovery, in a few clicks.
Add a drive image backup by clicking on the menu item highlighted in the image above, and move on to the selection of disks:
Iperius will show you which disk contains the system partitions, indicated by the Windows symbol. When you select a partition that contains the operating system, in the sample image C:, all other system partitions on that disk will be automatically selected. This is necessary to have a perfectly consistent backup and a recoverable system. The entire disk will be saved as a .VHD or .VHDX file, depending on the OS version. Of course you can also select other disks / partitions, for which other image files will be created.
Immediately below, you simply have to specify the destination path. In the case of a network path, such as a NAS, it is generally necessary to also enter credentials to access the network share.
The last option, if checked, means that the image backup, once saved in the destination you specified here, is also copied to the additional destinations possibly specified for this backup job (next screen, “Destinations” panel). For example, you may want to make a further copy of this image backup on Amazon S3 or on an FTP server, and in that case you will check this option and then specify an S3 or FTP destination in the next “Destinations” panel.
Click on “Save” to confirm the settings for this backup, and therefore have it in the list of items, as shown below:
Click on the “Next” button to continue. In addition to the “Destinations” panel, you will have the possibility to specify a scheduling (to automatically perform the backup at specific days and times), e-mail notifications (to be notified of the successful completion of the backup) or the execution of other processes (scripts, services, programs, etc. ..). For this type of backup it is not necessary to specify other options. So we can immediately save the backup job and run the drive image:
At the end of the backup, you will have in the destination folder a .VHD or .VHDX file for each disk you have selected. These files can be easily explored to recover individual files, or entirely restored, even on different hardware, using an Iperius boot disk and the Iperius Recovery Environment®. Finally, it will be possible to perform an “instant-restore” of the machine, immediately starting the saved system as a Hyper-V virtual machine with the newly created VHD / VHDX file as disk.
NB: Iperius Backup automatically assigns new GUIDs to the disk and its partitions, in order to avoid problems due to any duplication of the GUIDs when the image is mounted on the same system in which it was created.
To see how to create an Iperius recovery disk, see the related tutorial: https://www.iperiusbackup.net/en/create-recovery-drive-usb-recovery-disc-iso-iperius/
To see how to perform a bare-metal restore of an Iperius image backup, using Iperius Recovery Environment®, read the related tutorial: https://www.iperiusbackup.net/en/restore-drive-image-backup-system-recovery-with-iperius/