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Recover Hyper-V and virtual machines


Applies To: System Center 2012 SP1 - Data Protection Manager, System Center 2012 - Data Protection Manager, System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager

You can recover virtual machine backups as follows:

  • Recover to original location— The original virtual hard disk (VHD) is deleted. DPM recovers the VHD and other configuration files on the original location by using the Hyper-V VSS writer. At the end of the recovery process, the virtual machine is still highly available. The resource group must be present to enable the recovery. If the resource group is not available, recover the VHD to an alternate location, and then make the virtual machine highly available.

  • Recover to alternate location—DPM supports alternate location recovery (ALR), which provides a seamless recovery of a protected Hyper-V virtual machine to a different server that runs Hyper-V, independent of the processor architecture. Hyper-V virtual machines that are recovered to a cluster node are not highly available.

    Note that if you recover to a

  • Perform item-level recovery (ILR)—DPM supports item-level recovery (ILR), which allows you to perform a specific recovery of files, folders, volumes, and virtual hard disks (VHDs) from a host-level backup of Hyper-V virtual machines to a network share or a volume on a DPM protected server. The DPM protection agent doesn’t have to be installed on the guest machine to perform item-level recovery.

This table shows how these are supported for virtual machine backup scenarios.


Recovery to original location

Recovery to alternate location

Item-level recovery

Stand-alone host




Clustered host




Using server message block (SMB) share




Using live migration




The following table shows the supported and unsupported scenarios to recover files, folders, volumes, and VHDs by using ILR on a Hyper-V virtual machine.


Volumes or files/folders recovery

Virtual hard disk (VHD) recovery

Recovery from a virtual machine that has snapshots



Recovery from a secondary DPM server



Recovery from tape backups



Recovery from NTFS file system volumes only


Not applicable

Recovery from non-NTFS file system volumes


Entire VHD only

Recovery from a VHD that is partitioned by using dynamic disk partitioning


Entire VHD only

  • DPM provides both host-based and guest-based protection for Hyper-V virtual machines

  • DPM supports item-level recovery (ILR), which enables you to recover specific files, folders, volumes, and virtual hard disks (VHDs) from a host-level backup of Hyper-V virtual machines to a network share or a volume on a DPM protected server.

    You can’t select and recover multiple VHDs at the same time.

  • You cannot select and recover multiple VHDs at the same time. When you recover a VHD of a virtual machine that has Hyper-V snapshots, .avhd files are not displayed in the Recoverable Items pane, but DPM recovers the parent VHD and all the associated .avhd files.

  • DPM saves VHDs in a custom directory structure in the following format: DPM_<backup-time>\DPM_Recovered_At_<RecoveryTime>\<Path of the VHD on the protected computer> with the exact file system hierarchy that is used on a protected computer with the DPM protection agent installed.

  • If you use a version of Windows Server before Windows Server 2008, you must have the Hyper-V role enabled on the DPM server to perform item-level recoveries. During item-level recovery, DPM has to mount the VHDs of the protected virtual machines.

  • Item-level recovery does not support recovery of an item to its original location.

  • Item-level recovery is not supported if the Diff VHD and Base VHD are on different volumes.

  • You cannot traverse or browse the mount points when you explore a VHD for item-level recovery.

  1. In DPM Administrator Console, go to the Recovery view.Browse or search for the data you want to recover, and then, in the results pane, select the data.Available recovery points are indicated in bold on the calendar in the recovery points section. Select the bold date for the recovery point you want to recover.

  2. In the Recoverable item pane, click to select the recoverable item you want to recover.Click Recover on the tool ribbon to start the Recovery Wizard. Review the selection and click Next. Note that:

    • In a non-CSV environment, the destination is a volume in available storage in the cluster.

    • If you’re recovering to an alternate standalone server running Hyper-V, If the recovered virtual machine was backed up in an online state, and it is saved state after recovery, delete the saved state of that virtual machine from the Hyper-V Manager console and start it. Always check whether the virtual machine’s network configuration is correct after the alternate location recovery.

    • If you’re performing ILR in the Recoverable Items list you can view a list of files and folders and select a VHD or volumes of a VHD.

      Note that DPM saves files and folders in a custom directory structure in the following format: <Recovery destination that is selected by the user>\<Virtual machine name>_<Backup time stamp> with the exact file system hierarchy that is used on a protected computer with the DPM protection agent installed.

    • If you’re recovering a virtual machine that uses live migration you can only recovery to its original location if there is a replica from that location. For example, recovery is possible if a virtual machine is hosted on Host A and during this time 10 replicas are taken, and then the virtual machine is migrated to Host B, where two replicas are taken. Original location recovery means that the virtual machine is recovered to Host B if the latest replicas are used. If you want to recover the virtual machine to Host A, it uses an alternate location recovery flow.

  3. Specify the type of recovery you would like to perform:

    • Recover to the original location

    • Recover to an alternate location—Type the alternate location, or click Browse and then on the Specify Alternate Recovery Destination dialog box, select a recovery location.

    • Copy to tape—This option copies the volume that contains the selected data to a tape in a DPM library. When you select this option, click Next and, on the Specify library screen, select library details and tape options. You can compress or encrypt data on this screen.

    • Specify your recovery options:

      • Existing version recovery behavior—Set this option appears if you selected to recover to original location.

      • Restore security—Set this option if you selected to recover to the original or alternate location.

  4. In Network bandwidth usage throttling click Modify to enable throttling and to select Settings and Work Schedule.

  5. In Notification, click Send an e-mail when the recovery completes, and specify the recipients. Separate the e-mail addresses with commas.

  6. Review settings, and click Recover.

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