Definition of recovery in The Network Encyclopedia.

What is Recovery?

The process of repairing a downed server, usually after a disk failure. Recovering a server usually involves these steps:

  1. Replacing the failed hardware that caused the server to crash
  2. Reinstalling the base operating system and any required service packs, along with any server applications that are needed
  3. Restoring critical data and configuration files from tape backup

In Microsoft Windows NT, you can configure recovery settings on the Startup/Shutdown tab on the property sheet of the System utility in Control Panel. (To configure recovery settings in Windows 2000, open the System utility in Control Panel, click the Advanced tab, and then click the Startup And Recovery button.) You use these settings to tell the server to dump debugging information or to log an event if a Stop screen occurs.


To prepare for the possibility of a downed server, you should do the following:

  • Create and keep handy floppy disks for booting the system.
  • Create and keep handy floppy disks containing critical system configurations, such as an emergency repair disk (ERD) for Windows NT and Windows 2000 systems.
  • Document the hardware of the machine and all installed software, fixes, and patches.
  • Keep a record of any previous recovery attempts.
  • Keep handy the hardware and operating system manuals.