Acronis Active Restore

Active Restore is the Acronis proprietary technology that brings a system online immediately after the system recovery is started.

Customers familiar with Acronis Recovery for Microsoft Exchange can note that this product uses Active Restore to achieve immediate availability of an Exchange information store after starting the recovery. While based on the same technology, recovery of the Information Store proceeds in quite a different way than the operating system recovery described in this section.

  Supported operating systems  

Acronis Active Restore is available when recovering Windows starting from Windows 2000.


The only supported archive location is a local drive, or more precisely, any device available through the machine’s BIOS. This may be Acronis Secure Zone, a USB hard drive, a flash drive or any internal hard drive.

  How it works  

When configuring a recovery operation, you select disks or volumes to recover from a backup. Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 scans the selected disks or volumes in the backup. If this scan finds a supported operating system, the Acronis Active Restore option becomes available.

If you do not enable the option, the system recovery will proceed in the usual way and the machine will become operational after the recovery is completed.

If you enable the option, the sequence of actions will be set as follows.

Once the system recovery is started, the operating system boots from the backup. The machine becomes operational and ready to provide necessary services. The data required to serve incoming requests is recovered with the highest priority; everything else is recovered in the background.

Because serving requests is performed simultaneously with recovery, the system operation can slow down even if recovery priority in the recovery options is set to Low. This way, the system downtime is reduced to a minimum at the cost of a temporary performance downgrade.

  Usage scenarios  
  1. The system uptime is one of the efficiency criteria.

    Examples: Client-oriented online services, Web-retailers, polling stations.

  2. The system/storage space ratio is heavily biased toward storage.

    Some machines are being used as storage facilities, where the operating system claims a small space segment and all other disk space is committed to storage, such as movies, sounds or other multimedia files. Some of these storage volumes can be extremely large as compared to the system and so practically all the recovery time will be dedicated to recovering the files, which might be used much later on, if in any near future at all.

    If you opt for Acronis Active Restore, the system will be operational in a short time. Users will be able to open the necessary files from the storage and use them while the rest of the files, which are not immediately necessary, are being recovered in the background.

    Examples: movie collection storage, music collection storage, multimedia storage.

  How to use  
  1. Back up the system disk or volume to a location accessible through the system’s BIOS. This may be Acronis Secure Zone, a USB hard drive, a flash drive or any internal hard drive.

    If your operating system and its loader reside on different volumes, always include both volumes in the backup. The volumes must also be recovered together; otherwise there is a high risk that the operating system will not start.

  2. Create bootable media.
  3. If a system failure occurs, boot the machine using the bootable media. Start the console and connect to the bootable agent.
  4. Configure the system recovery: select the system disk or volume and select the Use Acronis Active Restore check box.

    Acronis Active Restore will choose for the boot-up and subsequent recovery the first operating system found during the backup scan. Do not try to recover more than one operating system using Active Restore if you want the result to be predictable. When recovering a multi-boot system, choose only one system volume and boot volume at a time.

  5. Once the system recovery is started, the operating system boots from the backup. The Acronis Active Restore icon appears in the system tray. The machine becomes operational and ready to provide necessary services. The immediate user sees the drive tree and icons and can open files or launch applications even though they were not yet recovered.

    The Acronis Active Restore drivers intercept system queries and set the immediate priority for recovery of the files that are necessary to serve the incoming requests. While this on-the-fly recovery proceeds, the continuing recovery process is transferred to the background.

    Please do not shut down or reboot the machine until the recovery is completed. If you switch off the machine, all the changes made to the system since the last boot up would be lost. The system will not be recovered, not even partially. The only possible solution in this case will be to restart the recovery process from a bootable media.

  6. The background recovery continues until all the selected volumes are recovered, the log entry is made and the Acronis Active Restore icon disappears from the system tray.

Acronis Active Restore