How to restore backup images of systems protected by Symantec Drive Encryption


Article ID: 158736


Updated On:


Drive Encryption


The technology behind commercial backup-and-restore solutions—including Microsoft Backup and Restore—varies greatly; therefore, restoring volume(s) directly on a disk encrypted by Symantec Drive Encryption is not guaranteed.


A best practice for successful restoration is always to decrypt the disk first.

If you cannot decrypt the disk before attempting restoration, follow the workarounds below at your own risk:

  1. Follow the instructions provided by your third-party software vendor to restore your backup.

    Warning: Do not proceed with the next step unless the third-party software reports that the restoration is successful.

    If the third-party software cannot restore your backup while the disk is encrypted, you must decrypt the disk before trying the restoration again.

    • If you are unable to boot into Microsoft Windows to decrypt the disk, use the recovery CD that you prepared prior to encryption, to decrypt the disk.
  2. Follow the third-party software instructions to restart the computer.

    Note: You may need to reset the master boot record (MBR), if the system fails to boot and you see a BIOS-level error similar to one of the following:

    “Operating System Not Found”
    “Missing Operating System”
    “Non-system Disk or Disk Error”
    “BOOTMGR is missing”

    To reset the MBR:

    1. Insert a DVD appropriate to your Windows operating system.
    2. Restart your computer.
    3. Press any key when asked if you want to boot from your DVD drive.
    4. Choose your language and then click Next.
    5. Click Repair your computer.
    6. Select the operating system you want to repair.
    7. On the system recovery screen, click Command Prompt.
    8. Type bootrec.exe /fixmbr, then press Enter.
    9. Type bootrec.exe /fixboot, then press Enter.
    10. Remove the Windows DVD.
    11. Reboot the computer.

Note that an overall best practice for creating useful backups is to choose volume-based backups, not file-based.