USB Bare Metal Restore (BMR): Getting Started


This article describes the USB Bare Metal Restore (BMR) process for disaster recovery.

For best results, review the Datto Disaster Recovery Guide before beginning your restore.


  • Datto Bare Metal Restore (BMR) utility
  • Datto SIRIS
  • Datto ALTO


The Bare Metal Restore utility is a tool intended for the restoration of physical servers. To restore a virtual server, Datto recommends using the Image Export process.

If you are restoring to a backup point created before May 3rd, 2020, you may have to update the agent software on the protected machine after the restore is completed.


  • The Bare Metal Restore feature is not a deployment tool. To deploy a new server instead of recovering a downed one, install the new server's operating system, and then use the Direct Restore Utility to migrate its data.
  • Bare Metal Restore for ReFS is currently unsupported. Any ReFS volumes in the selected snapshot will be excluded from the restore. To perform a restore of a ReFS volume, use the Volume Restore feature.
  • A Bare Metal Restore will cause the target server to perform a full backup when the restore finishes. Depending on the speed of your network, you might need to order a RoundTrip to move this backup to the Datto Cloud.
  • The Datto Utilities version of USB Bare Metal Restore is only available for Datto appliances running the Datto IRIS 4 OS. You can see which version of Ubuntu your Datto device is running on the Advanced Device Status page. Contact Datto Technical Support for assistance with the above procedures.
  • Datto does not endorse backing up laptops because of their mobile nature. If you do decide to attempt to back up a laptop, it must be inside the LAN, and not on a wireless network,. Attempts to back up laptops are at your discretion, as Datto support for backups of laptop devices is best effort only.
  • Due to the wide range of touchpad drivers, custom drivers, and hardware configurations available for both laptops and all-in-one workstations, restoration support for these platforms is 'best-effort' only.



  • Performing a Bare Metal Restore of a BitLocker-protected system will result in a non-encrypted restored machine. For more information, see our BitLocker Considerations article.
  • If you are performing a BMR from a VM on a Datto appliance, make sure that all volumes have been backed up successfully, and are restored to the production machine, before you remove the VM from the Datto appliance. Otherwise, you can lose data.
  • Datto NAS devices do not support BMR functionality.
  • Touchscreens may not work after a Bare Metal Restore until you manually reinstall their drivers.

Requirements for the target hardware:

  • Datto recommends verifying that the target hardware is healthy, including checking the SMART values on hard drives to ensure healthy target disks.
  • The target hardware must be able to boot from USB.
  • The target hardware must be on the same network as the Datto device.
    • Make sure the Datto device can communicate to other subnets through proper routing on the network.
    • Any subnet with which the Datto device must communicate to perform the BMR must have the same public IP as the Datto device.
  • You must have internet access for the BMR.
  • The target hardware must be 64-bit.
  • The hardware must be able to support the system image you are restoring.
  • Bare Metal Restore to EFI Linux agents is not supported. See the Installing the Datto Linux Agent article for more information.
  • ATA devices on the target machine should be set to AHCI mode (not RAID). If set to RAID, it will emulate a software RAID, making the BMR impossible.
Operating systems will restore as a single partition.
Do not exclude any partitions which reside on a single drive in a multi-partition configuration; doing so will cause the erasure of all partitions on the drive.
Support of RAID hardware is dependent on compatibility with the Bare Metal Restore environment's Ubuntu version 20.04 See Ubuntu's list of certified compatible hardware for compatibility guidelines.
Bare Metal Restore does not support software RAID or FakeRAID (also known as 'HostRAID' or 'BiosRAID').

Networking requirements:

Figure 1 illustrates the data flow for the Bare Metal Restore solution. See the SIRIS, ALTO, and DNAS Networking & Bandwidth Requirements article for more information.

Figure 1: Bare Metal Restore data flow

You should have the following items available when starting this process:

  • A USB stick that is at least 8 GB.
  • We will automatically detect storage controllers and inject them as needed. You may still want to collect any other drivers to apply after the imaging is complete.
  • If your backups are encrypted, then you will need the encryption passphrase for the protected system that you are restoring.

Image the USB Drive

  1. Image a USB stick with the latest version of the Datto Bare Metal Restore ISO. For more information about this process, see Imaging a USB Drive with Datto Utilities.
  2. Once the imaging process completes successfully, unplug the USB stick, and proceed to the article USB Bare Metal Restore: Booting the target machine from USB.