Documentation forDameware

Back up Dameware Mini Remote Control settings and hosts during upgrade to version 12.2.2

Dameware Mini Remote Control (MRC) 12.2.2 features security improvements to the saved hosts protection mechanism. As a result, you need to back up your MRC registry settings and saved hosts from previous Dameware release(s). During your upgrade to Dameware 12.2.2, a password-protected archive with REG and MRCCv2.db files for each Windows user (who used MRC before) on your PC is created automatically using a batch script and the 7-Zip tool. Both stand-alone and centralized versions are affected, and the changes are reflected in both UI and silent upgrade methods.

Limitations

  • If a Microsoft Windows user's name differs from their profile name (that is, %USERNAME% does not match %USERPROFILE%), their Dameware MRC registry settings and settings will not be backed up automatically. For example, if %USERPROFILE% is C:\Users\richardross, but %USERNAME% has been manually renamed from richardross to JohnDoe71, that user's MRC registry settings and saved hosts will not be backed up automatically.
  • If your Dameware MRC upgrade is performed under a common Microsoft Windows account rather than a built-in administrator account, you must do one of the following if you wish to back up the administrator's data automatically as well:
    • EITHER the Dameware installer must be Run as administrator via context menu, as shown below:
      MRC - Run as Administrator
    • OR the runas command must be applied to the Dameware installer, as described in Microsoft Docs.

However, if you perform the Dameware MRC upgrade under a built-in administrator account, you avoid having to take these additional steps.

  • After upgrading to Dameware 12.2.2, you can no longer export-import MRCCv2.db from previous MRC versions if saved hosts' credentials are stored there. This would be the case if Store credential in database (not recommended) in Credentials Storage Options was enabled. To export-import saved hosts' credentials from one Dameware MRC 12.2.2 instance to another Dameware MRC 12.2.2 instance, use JSON format instead.

Create a backup

  • Backups are created only when upgrading Dameware. A backup is not created during for a first-time installation of Dameware.
  • The domain controller (if present in your corporate domain or environment) must be running and online (reachable) when you create a backup.

If you are upgrading from a previous version of Dameware to Dameware 12.2.2, the following dialog prompt appears during MRC, Dameware Remote Support (DRS), or server installation:

Create a single password to protect ZIP archives with MRC backups of all users

SolarWinds recommends that you create a strong password. You must then re-enter your password correctly for validation. If you do not enter it correctly in the confirmation field, you are prompted to try again.

Password confirmation doesn't match password. Please re-enter.

Passwords cannot be restored at a later point, so be sure to take note of your password in order to access the archive in the future.

After your password is accepted, the backup creation process begins and may take some time to complete. However, in some cases, the following message may display:

Failed to create archives with backup for 1 user - Continue or cancel?

This error indicates that an error has occurred, preventing one or more backups from being created. You can see which Microsoft Windows users on your PC were affected by viewing the %APPDATA%\DameWare Development\Logs\BackupMRC.log file. You may select to continue the installation anyway or cancel it. However, if you choose to continue the installation, SolarWinds recommends that you first follow the instructions in the BackupMRC.log file to back up the Dameware MRC data of affected users manually.

When you run Dameware MRC for the first time after the upgrade, you may see a message that says: Updating records. Please wait... This means that the process may take some time until all MRC hosts' encryption types are changed to a secure one. If you had your MRC saved hosts' credentials stored in the MRCCv2.db file, meaning Store credentials in database (not recommended) in Credentials Storage was enabled, they are moved back to a Microsoft Windows registry.

Restore from a backup

Any Microsoft Windows user who has a backup archive that was created automatically can always restore from it if anything goes wrong after the upgrade. The steps to restore from backup are below.

  1. Extract %APPDATA%\DameWare Development\MRC-backup.zip using the password that was entered during installation.

  2. Remove MRC 12.2.2 from the PC. (Otherwise, saved hosts will be updated again on the next MRC 12.2.2 run after restoring from backup.)

  3. Open Registry Editor (regedit.exe), go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\DameWare Development and delete the Mini Remote Control key (folder icon).

  4. Double-click MRC-temp.reg from the extracted archive and agree to merge it.

  5. Replace %APPDATA%\DameWare Development\MRCCv2.db with MRCCv2.db from the archive.

If desired, you can install and use the older MRC version now. For security purposes, SolarWinds recommends removing unpacked files after restoring them from backup.

Perform a silent upgrade using CLI

See the topic Install Dameware Remote Support or Mini Remote Control from the command line for the original set of commands.

The Dameware MRC upgrade will fail if one or more backups for Microsoft Windows users on the PC fails to create.

The new arguments are as follows:

  • BACKUPPASSWORD – a strong password that is used to protect backup archives of Microsoft Windows users on a given PC.

  • SKIPBACKUP – used instead of BACKUPPASSWORD to skip the backup creation process.

Command line examples (run as administrator) are provided below.

  • DamewareMRC64.exe /args "/qn APPDIR=\"C:\Program Files\Dameware Mini Remote Control (x64)\" reboot=reallysuppress SILENT=yes BACKUPPASSWORD=HwN!ng#3MU-`;4Z> INSTALLSTANDALONE=1"

  • DamewareRS.exe /args "/qn APPDIR=\"C:\Program Files (x86)\Dameware Remote Support\" reboot=reallysuppress SILENT=yes BACKUPPASSWORD=L92?AT%fy]R?u_63 INSTALLSTANDALONE=1"

  • DamewareMRC64.exe /args "/qn APPDIR=\"C:\Program Files\Dameware Mini Remote Control (x64)\" reboot=reallysuppress SILENT=yes SKIPBACKUP=yes INSTALLSTANDALONE=1"

Additional resources

For more arguments and additional information about CLI installs, see the KB article Install Dameware Remote Support (DRS), Mini Remote Control Client (MRC) and the Agent from the command line (silent install).