An AMI image is a "picture" of your complete EC2 instance at the time the AMI image was created. It will include EBS snapshots of any EBS volumes attached at that time. It will not include any data from ephemeral storage (or "instance store" volumes).

If you need to restore data from an AMI image, then you will create a fresh EC2 instance from your AMI image. That new EC2 instance will be a copy of the original EC2 instance at the time the AMI image was created.

It is not possible to restore an AMI image "into" an existing EC2 instance. So the restoration process is one of the following:

Option 1

  1. Launch a fresh EC2 instance from your AMI image.
  2. Stop or terminate your original EC2 instance and use your new EC2 instance going forward.

Option 2

  1. Launch a fresh EC2 instance from your AMI image.
  2. Sign-in to your new EC2 instance (either using SSH or Windows RDP).
  3. Copy data from your new EC2 instance to your original EC2 instance using your preferred tools.
  4. Continue using your original EC2 instance going forward.

Option 3

Some combination of options 1 and 2.

Additional Resources

AWS has documentation on launching EC2 instances from your (custom) AMI images:

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