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Bare Metal Restore of clients using WHS 2011

    Question

  • First question; does anybody from Microsoft acually monitor this forum??

    I'm desparately trying to do a Bare Metal Restore (BMR) of a client machine using WHS 2011 and am not having any success.  This is something that is supposed to work; does work in WHS V1 but I cannot get to work in 2011.

    I have three machines; server (core 2 duo, 8 GB memory, 4x2TB disk), client 1 (core 2 duo, 4GB memory, 1x80GB disk, Windows  7 Pro), and client 2 (Pentium D, 4GB memory, 80 GB disk and Windows XP Pro with SP3). 

    All machines have been built just for this test.  Nothing fancy in the builds, just all patched up to the latest level.

    After each client has been installed and patched, I load the connector software and then do a manual backup of the machine.  This all works great.  Next I leave the machine overnight to allow a scheduled backup to happen; again works great.

    Following morning after checking backup status, I reboot a each client machine with Computer Restore CD and/or USB created specifically for the target machine, go through the prompts and start the restore.  Every restore fails with the following message:

    An error prevented the Full System Restore Wizard from creating partition on the
    computer that you want to restore.  Please try again.  To create the partitions
    manually, choose the "I will  select the volumes to restore (advanced)" option on the "Select a restore option" page of the wizard.

    In addition to this message, the log file contains some additional error messages:

    Recreating 1 volumes
    ERROR: Could not load VDS (0x80080005)
    ERROR: Failed to initialize VDS, 0x80080005
    RestoreHelper::T_Restore: Unable to recreate volumes
    RestoreHelper::T_Restore: restore complete with return value 536870913
    ERROR: CDialog_Restore::Completed failed, HR=0x80070001 (at func: CDialog_Restore::Completed, d:\wssg_src\colorado_qfe\backup\pc\bmr\restorewizard\dialog_restore.cpp (88)

    These messages happen regardless of the client I'm attempting to restore and regardless of the method of restoration (CD or USB).

    I have NEVER been able to do a client restore.  Backups work fine.  File sharing works fine.  Web services work fine.  But without the ability to recover a system, what good is a backup!

    Can somebody please tell me what's going on and how I can fix this problem.  I know I'm not the only person having this problem as I've seen other peoples messages.  Somebody must know what's happening!  I'm at my wits end!!

    Sunday, December 16, 2012 2:01 AM

All replies

  • Try going into advanced disk management and deleting the existing partitions before letting WHS do its thing again.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.


    Sunday, December 16, 2012 3:14 AM
  • I've tried going into advanced disk management and deleting the existing partitions.  Of course, once they are deleted, the WHS restore program will NOT let you do a restore.  The restore process MUST have an existing partition to restore to and it lets you know that!

    Just as another test, I installed a trial version of Windows Small Business Server Essentials 2011, added my two client machines, created some shares and did some backups.  When I tried to restore using the USB drive (SBS trial does not come with a Computer Restore CD), I had exactly the same failure with exactly the same error message as I posted above!

    Now this doesn't really tell me a lot, other than both WHS 2011 and SBSe 2011 are built using the same form factor and appear to work in identical fashions.  But still, it was an interesting experiment.

    My next experiment will entail  putting the server on a different box to see if the server hardware might be the problem.  Not likely, but what the hay.  At this point in time with this product, anything is possible!

    Sunday, December 16, 2012 3:16 PM
  • I've tried going into advanced disk management and deleting the existing partitions.  Of course, once they are deleted, the WHS restore program will NOT let you do a restore.  The restore process MUST have an existing partition to restore to and it lets you know that!

    Just as another test, I installed a trial version of Windows Small Business Server Essentials 2011, added my two client machines, created some shares and did some backups.  When I tried to restore using the USB drive (SBS trial does not come with a Computer Restore CD), I had exactly the same failure with exactly the same error message as I posted above!

    Now this doesn't really tell me a lot, other than both WHS 2011 and SBSe 2011 are built using the same form factor and appear to work in identical fashions.  But still, it was an interesting experiment.

    My next experiment will entail  putting the server on a different box to see if the server hardware might be the problem.  Not likely, but what the hay.  At this point in time with this product, anything is possible!


    That's disk management as part of the restore process. As far as I am aware, all you need is for the disk to be initialised and WHS will create the partitions it needs as if you were using a new disk following a hardware failure.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.



    Sunday, December 16, 2012 3:44 PM
  • That is certainly not what I am seeing.

    I insert the Computer Restore Disk (or USB stick) on the client machine and then boot.  The restore process searches for and finds the server, asks for a password (which I enter), then displays the backups which are available for restore. 

    After I select the appropriate backup I'm then presented with a screen showing where the backup is going to be restored to.  In the case of my test machine, I have two disks backed up and both are presented.

    It is in this screen that I'm offered the option of using disk manager to create/recreate and/or change partitions.  If I delete the partition, then the restore process indicates that it cannot do the restore as it has no place to restore the partition.  I must create a partition at this point so that the restore process can complete!

    So I select the partition I wish to have restored and off it goes until it fails with error message I posted with my original query (above). 

    Sunday, December 16, 2012 4:11 PM
  • Is the disk you are trying to restore to at least the same size as the original disk?  In my experience when doing a bare metal restore, you may not always be able to retarget to a smaller disk (such as an SSD).
    Sunday, December 16, 2012 9:43 PM
  • Yes Gary, the drive I'm trying to restore is the exact same drive that was backed up.

    That said, I've recently had a small victory in this never ending story. 

    I rebuilt my server, using another Core 2 Duo box.  This machine would only allow for 4 GB of memory.  Instead of the 4x2TB drives mirrored, I decided to simplify.  I used a 160GB for the system and 2 of the 2TB drives for storage (1 for shares and client backup and 1 for server backup).

    I then set up the original server (Core 2 Duo with 8GB memory) as a Windows 7 Home Premium test client, with 2 x 80GB drives; 1 for system and 1 for Acronis image backup.

    Next I did a backup of both this system as well as my test XP SP3 Pro client.  After the backups for these two system had completed, I tried a BMR to the XP box and for the first time with WHS 2011, I was able to complete this task!!!  One thing I did notice on this restore was that I received a prompt screen I had never seen before.

    As usual I was asked about region and keyboard then presented with the option to load drivers.  Next it was the Welcome to the Full System Restore Wizard screen then the prompt to enter the password for my server.  Once the password was accepted, I was asked to select the computer to restore followed by selecting the backup to restore.

    The next screen I had never seen up to this point.  Select a restore option screen!  Gives me a choice to "let the wizard fully restore the computer" or lets me select the volumes to restore.  I chose to select the volume which I did and then off it went and completed the restore.

    After that limited success, I next tried to restore the Win7 client box.  I never saw the "Select a restore option" screen and this restore failed with exactly the same message as displayed in the original post!

    The Win7 restore was a 64bit restore while the XP Pro was only 32 bit and this was respectively selected during the first screen after booting the Computer Restore CD.

    WHS 2011 does not work!!

    I have wasted hours (no, days!) trying to get something to work that should be a no-brainer and work out of the box.  I'm a computer professional with over 40 years of experience dealing with everything from big iron through the mini (PDP and Vaxen) era and into PC's (Domain and Exchange admin).  But I  think I've had enough of the POS, particularly when nobody from MS even takes the effort or time to respond. 

    Thanks for all who helped!

    Sunday, December 16, 2012 10:44 PM
  • I've no idea as to what is going wrong for you Greg but WHS 2011 restore does work. In doing approx. 20 restores, I've had one restore that failed but which restored correctly on the second try. I've no suggestions as to what is causing the continual failures you are seeing.

    My restores include mainly win 7 machines, both 32 and 64 bit. I tend to do a lot of experimenting with my machines and have no second thoughts in blowing them away once finished and restoring from backup.

    As I mentioned in your previous thread of a few days ago, my only issue with restores is having to create the partitions manually as I could never get the automatic partition creation to work reliably.

    I do agree WHS 2011 is not a patch on it's predecessor but within it's serious limitations it works OK.

    Dave

     

    The Frog on the Lilypad at Home

    Monday, December 17, 2012 2:31 AM
  • Frogz1, I have used WHS V1 since 2005 or 2006 and have used the BMR as an aid in testing hardware and software.  

    The only thing I can think of that is causing me problems with WHS 2011 has to be hardware!  I am using two older Intel boards (DQ9865GF and DG31PR) as my server(s) and maybe WHS just doesn't like them!

    In the early days, I had problems restoring with V1 as well, but as it turned out, these problems were network related.  MS was trying to use DNS to locate the server, but not many home users with 2 or 3 PCs on their network had a DNS server so their lookup when to the ISPs server and of course it knew nothing of boxes on the local LAN.  Disconnect from the ISP solved the problem.

    I suspect something similarly stupid is happening now, but as there does not appear to be any MS presence on these forums, getting any real help is out of the question.  I guess I could spend $600 on a support call for a $50 product!

    Greg

    Monday, December 17, 2012 5:43 AM
  • Had a similar issue with a WIN7 64-bit client and solved it by using the 32-bit restore wizard. Sounds weird but it worked for me.

    Luc.

    Monday, December 17, 2012 10:46 AM
  • Had to reply to this issue as I just faced the same error (and heart attack).

    After experiencing the same problem word for word as above, I finally managed to start the restoration. Restoration was to the same SSD I had previously made a backup from (back up to WHS 2011).

    As Greg put it...

    "

    I insert the Computer Restore Disk (or USB stick) on the client machine and then boot.  The restore process searches for and finds the server, asks for a password (which I enter), then displays the backups which are available for restore. 

    After I select the appropriate backup I'm then presented with a screen showing where the backup is going to be restored to.  In the case of my test machine, I have two disks backed up and both are presented.

    It is in this screen that I'm offered the option of using disk manager to create/recreate and/or change partitions.  If I delete the partition, then the restore process indicates that it cannot do the restore as it has no place to restore the partition.  I must create a partition at this point so that the restore process can complete!"

    The KEY is to delete the partition on the HDD you wish to restore to, then proceed to create a new simple volume (on the hdd you just deleted the partition on) but DO NOT FORMAT IT OR ASSIGN A DRIVE LETTER/NAME.

    There is an option as you go through the 'create a new simple volume' wizard which will allow you to 'Do not format this volume'.

    This worked for me and I truly hope it will work for any others who find their way to this thread in the future.

    All the best..... and good luck!

    Stoley.

    Sunday, January 26, 2014 10:33 PM
  • Thanks for the replay Stoley.  I thought this thread was long dead!

    Anyway, eventually I was able to get the BMR to work.  It is still buggy, but I have found a work around which is now a permanent part of my recovery instructions. Cannot remember where I got this, but it must have been somewhere other than a Microsoft Forum.  What works for me now is as follows:

    Symptom:

    When you do a client bare metal restore, it may fail in the last page (page with restore progress).  In the log file, you will find error message below:

      ERROR: Failed to initialize VDS, 0x8008005

    Cause:

    The VDS iniitialization fails due to a permission issue.

    Solution:

    You can work around this issue using the following steps:

    1. When you get the failure dialog, click back to go back to the previousl dialog
    2. Press Crtl+Alt+Shift for several seconds, wait for the command line window pops up
    3. Type diskmgmt.msc, and disk management window pops up

    Then leave the disk management window open and click next to go through the Bare Metal Restore wizard.

    Doing this has allowed me to always complete my Bare Metal Restores.  The program as delivered from Microsoft is broken but nobody there will every admit to it so it has never been fixed.  And now that Microsoft has abandoned WHS it never will be.Hope this helps.

    Greg ...

    • Proposed as answer by raptor2364 Wednesday, January 29, 2014 5:04 PM
    Monday, January 27, 2014 2:28 PM
  • Strange - I have never had any problems with any BMRs and have used it many times.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    Monday, January 27, 2014 2:52 PM
  • Greg's solution worked for me. I was having this exact problem for months. It would keep giving me the same error and after 2-3 different tries it would restore fine.
    Wednesday, January 29, 2014 5:06 PM
  • Thank you Greg iv'e been struggling with this problem for weeks your solution works great. Pity microsoft won't resolve the issue ? Trev
    Saturday, February 15, 2014 4:20 PM
  • Trev, I'm glad that my little set of instructions have been useful to somebody!  I still run a WHS 2011 box as a test, but will not use it for my "production" products.  It is just too flakey.  I've stuck with WHS V1 which while not perfect does seem to work better.  That and I'm more comfortable with the server backup portion of the older product.
    Sunday, February 16, 2014 2:24 PM
  • This helped me too. Many thanks
    Thursday, March 20, 2014 7:59 PM