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Disaster Recovery RRS feed

  • Question

  • My desktop motherboard died, and it doesn't make economic sense to fix it.  I've been backing up to an external drive.  I plan to buy another laptop, and bring the data on the external drive to that new machine.

     

    Is there a published procedure on how to do this?  I don't want to make any mistakes that will risk losing a lot of data. If I had any kind of ID numbers associated with WOC they are lost, so I need some way to recover that type of data too.

    [Stephen Boots, I asked you a question in another post about how to reach this site.  I've obviously found my way here, so please ignore that prior post.]

    Monday, March 17, 2008 6:58 PM

Answers

  • Hi, Thuse.

    The process is pretty straighforward.

    1. Install OneCare on the new laptop

    2. Activate OneCare - you will need to know the LiveID for your subscription.

    If you don't recall the LiveID you used for your subscription, you will need to contact support who can provide that information to you using your Key and/or contact information.

    How to reach support (FAQ) - http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsOneCare/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2421771&SiteID=2

    Alternatively, sign in at http://billing.microsoft.com with email addresses that you have set up as LiveIDs and one will show your subscription listed - that would the LiveID to use to activate with.

    3. Attach the external drive

    4. Open OneCare and select the restore option and restore from another PC.

    5. Select the back up you wish to restore and proceed with the wizard. Note that files already existing on the target PC or files from a User Profile that does not exist on the new PC will not restore to the same location, but the wizard will explain the process.

    If OneCare refuses to restore from the external drive, don't despair. Simply configure backup on the new PC to point to the same place on the external drive and perform a small backup. Once complete, perform the restore from another computer.

     

    If you encounter any problems, please feel free to contact support (link to how, above...)

     

    Good luck!

    -steve

    Tuesday, March 18, 2008 11:33 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi, Thuse.

    The process is pretty straighforward.

    1. Install OneCare on the new laptop

    2. Activate OneCare - you will need to know the LiveID for your subscription.

    If you don't recall the LiveID you used for your subscription, you will need to contact support who can provide that information to you using your Key and/or contact information.

    How to reach support (FAQ) - http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsOneCare/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2421771&SiteID=2

    Alternatively, sign in at http://billing.microsoft.com with email addresses that you have set up as LiveIDs and one will show your subscription listed - that would the LiveID to use to activate with.

    3. Attach the external drive

    4. Open OneCare and select the restore option and restore from another PC.

    5. Select the back up you wish to restore and proceed with the wizard. Note that files already existing on the target PC or files from a User Profile that does not exist on the new PC will not restore to the same location, but the wizard will explain the process.

    If OneCare refuses to restore from the external drive, don't despair. Simply configure backup on the new PC to point to the same place on the external drive and perform a small backup. Once complete, perform the restore from another computer.

     

    If you encounter any problems, please feel free to contact support (link to how, above...)

     

    Good luck!

    -steve

    Tuesday, March 18, 2008 11:33 AM
    Moderator
  • All went well up to the point where it estimated the size of the files to be brought over.  The part scheduled for the C drive fit well.  The part scheduled for the D drive was about twice as big as the space available (2 gig).

     

    The old, dead computer and my new one are both HPs.  They have an internal drive D that I suspect is HP-exclusive that I frankly don't understand, and have never used on purpose.  I think it is for some kind of disaster recovery.  If I could map the stuff schedueled for the D drive to go to the C drive instead, there would be a lot of space available, but I don't see any knobs that allow me to direct this D-drive stuff to the C drive.  I'd also be willing to throw away all of the old D drive stuff, on the theory if that I don't know what it is, it can't be very valuable.  This may be bad reasoning, but it is a way to get past the present brick wall.  I've looked at the options that allow you to bring over only certain types of data, but since I don't know what was on the D drive, I don't know what to de-select. 

     

    Any clues on what to try next?   'Thuse

     

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008 1:29 PM
  • The D: drive is a "Recovery Partition" which contains the complete Windows installation including the specific drivers and utility programs that HP provided originally with your PC. Since this partition is specific to the motherboard and additional hardware provided with each model of computer, you wouldn't want to recover anything from this to a different PC.

     

    In fact, since this partition should be backed up separately or you already received a set of disks with the PC which could be used to re-create it if the hard drive died, there's no reason to waste time and space backing it up with OneCare. When setting up the new OneCare backup you should select the root of the D: drive as an Exclusion for your future backup plan.

     

    In the past a new HP PC would ask you to insert blank CD(s) during the first startup to create the Recovery Partition backup. If it did this and you didn't create them, you should find out how to do this unless you would prefer to pay HP for a new drive already containing the replacement OS or your warranty covers this.

     

    OneCareBear

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008 2:27 PM
    Moderator
  • I went through all of the WOC displays and couldn't find anything that relates to excluding the D drive.  The closest thing to it is a display that allows including/excluding types of files, such as photos or music, but not what drive they are on or going to.  None of the categories would seem to exclude these D drive recovery files.  Where do I find the display for exclude drives on my new computer?   I can't get them off my old computer plan, because that computer is fried.  'Thuse

    Update:  Sorry, this was intended to be a follow-up post in the 'Disaster Recovery" thread.  See it for background.

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008 3:04 PM
  • Hello Thuse, open One Care, select Change Settings, select Backup, select Configure Backup, under "Your Backup Plan" "What" select Change This. In the left side column of the window that opens uncheck D:\

     

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008 4:04 PM
    Moderator
  • When I got to this display, the left side column did not include an "uncheck D:\" option.  What it does include is the names

    Backup plan for all PCs [in a box, remainder not in boxes]

    MIKE-PC [that is the name I gave my computer]

    USER-DOC..etc. [etc is a number generated by the computer, not me]

    FRIEDA-PC [I think this is the name of the dead computer that made the files on external drive]

     

    On the theory that the USER_DOC... thingy could be the D drive, I tried to delselect every thing on it.  It wouldn't let me do that, so I selected only Outlook Files, the first category, because it should be small or non-existant.  It still didn't work-got the insufficient space on D drive diagnostic.  I should be on the latest and greatest One Care version on the new machine, because I downloaded it yesterday.  I presume these displays can change from version to version.  The version I'm on has no way to deselect the D drive that I can find. 

     

    How do I get to the display where I'm allowed to deselect the D drive?

     

     

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008 4:35 PM
  • Select MIKE-PC then change the backup plan. You should then see the window where you can select or deselect drives.

     

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008 4:48 PM
    Moderator
  •  

    Tried it again, just don't see column or anywhere else where I can deselect D drive, just those categories listed above.  Would a screen dump to you help?

     

    Out of desperation, I tried deleselecting "Other files" on MIKE-PC, but I still get  the diagnostic

    Drive D:  3.2 gig required, 1.8 available. 

    Is there a practical alternative technique available, such as deleting the D drive content from the external drive [How would I identivy those files?].or map the D drive restore files to the C drive, where there is lots of room?   'Thuse

     

     

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008 5:11 PM
  •  thuse wrote:

    All went well up to the point where it estimated the size of the files to be brought over.  The part scheduled for the C drive fit well.  The part scheduled for the D drive was about twice as big as the space available (2 gig).

     

    The old, dead computer and my new one are both HPs.  They have an internal drive D that I suspect is HP-exclusive that I frankly don't understand, and have never used on purpose.  I think it is for some kind of disaster recovery.  If I could map the stuff schedueled for the D drive to go to the C drive instead, there would be a lot of space available, but I don't see any knobs that allow me to direct this D-drive stuff to the C drive.  I'd also be willing to throw away all of the old D drive stuff, on the theory if that I don't know what it is, it can't be very valuable.  This may be bad reasoning, but it is a way to get past the present brick wall.  I've looked at the options that allow you to bring over only certain types of data, but since I don't know what was on the D drive, I don't know what to de-select. 

     

    Any clues on what to try next?   'Thuse

     

    Interesting dilemma, though I wonder why OneCare backed *anything* up from the D:\ partition if it was the HP recovery partition. I'm using an HP laptop with Vista and it has the 8 gig Recovery partition. I can't access it via Explorer or the Command prompt to view files, so I'm surprised that OneCare backup would have been able to look there if this was handled the same in XP (never had an XP machine with the Recovery partition from HP).

     

    Any chance that you have a spare USB hard drive lying around? If so, plug it in. The in Administrative Tools/Computer Management/Disk Management, see if you can change the drive letter of D:\ to some other letter temporarily (it has to be an unused drive letter) and then change the External USB drive letter to be D:\ - then do the OneCare restore.

    Once complete, change the drive letter assignments again - USB first to an unused letter, then the original back to D:\

     

    -steve

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008 5:28 PM
    Moderator
  • Thuse, here's the steps to get to the selection for Exclusions:

     

    Open OneCare

    Click Change Settings

    backup tab

    Click change settings in the lower left

    Make sure that the first screen for Centralized Backup has "No Centralized backup" selected

    Click your PC on the left.

    Select What - Change This

    Let it scan for files to be backed up.

    Below the list of types, you should have a link that says "Exclude certain folders and files"

    Click that link

    A new window appears with two frames.

    The left frame shows "My Computer" in an explorer view. Click the + sign to expand. You should see C and D, but on my HP PC, D is already unchecked by default.

     

    I'm still confused by the fact that your old D: partition was backed up at all by OneCare - it should have been if it was the Recovery partition.

     

    Unfortunately, you can't re-map the destination of files that were on D: to a spot on C: - the recovery process requires a matching destination drive, as you've found. So, my previously offered workaround might do it.

     

    Alternatively, you can try a custom restore by type and try to identify which types you can restore without banging into the error about not enough space on D:\

     

     

    -steve

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008 5:36 PM
    Moderator
  •  thuse wrote:

    MIKE-PC [that is the name I gave my computer]

    USER-DOC..etc. [etc is a number generated by the computer, not me]

    FRIEDA-PC [I think this is the name of the dead computer that made the files on external drive]

    The list below the first entry in the upper left, "Backup Plan for All PCs," is the list of all PCs on your subscription.

    USER-DOC is the name of a PC you activated on your LiveID, as is FRIEDA-PC. You can remove any of these from your subscription by making your new PC a hub from the Manage your OneCare Circle on the main page, and then selecting details for each PC you wish to remove. You'll see a link below each entry to remove the PC. It will become unsubscribed of OneCare is still activated on a PC you remove.

    -steve

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008 5:43 PM
    Moderator
  • It's been a long two days, but it ended in success.  Comments on prior posts that you can view at the web site, then a summary:

    18 Mar, 11:33 AM UTC (Boots) The procedure given worked fine, until I ran into the "not enough space on D drive" roadblock.

    "Yesterday" (19 MAR), 2:27 PM UTC (One bear):  Good clue, drive D shouldn't be backed up on HP machines.  Unfortunately, it was on my last backup which I can't do over on the dead machine, and I needed some way to deal with it.   I don't remember asking WOC to back up the D drive too, but that is the most likely cause of its being marked for backup, I suppose.

    "Yesterday", 4:04 PM UTC, also 4:48 PM UTC (JimR1)   Just couldn't find anywhere that said block a certain drive.

    "Yesterday", 5:38 PM URC (Boots) Clue 1-I needed to look for a plus sign on the "Exclude certain files and folders" display.  Once I did this, I found the C and D drives listed, and was able to fix things up on my new computer.  Still had to deal with the old file with D data.

    Yesterday, 5:28 PM URC(Boots)(Out of order)  Clue 2-map the existing D drive somewhere else, put in a big flash drive as the new D drive, and let it put the un-needed stuff there, so I could then throw it away, then remap the recovery files back to the D Drive.   I've been looking for an excuse to buy a flash drive, and this was it.

     

    It gets confusing here.  I'd have a hard time repeating this sequence, but it went something like this:

    When I said to restore the files, a display came up saying that I didn't have a D drive on my new machine, and did I want to put its contents on C?  Although this was a good solution, I thought I had the flash drive set up as D, so I said to put it there.  Somehow it found the drive with the restore files, and crashed the same way.   I then went back, and tried to have it tell me again that I could chose to put in on the C drive, but it just worked.  I haven't figured out if it just discarded the old D drive content, or if it is floating around on my C drive, but I did get most of the files I wanted.  It did indicate a lot of .jpg files that it couldn't bring across.  It spent about a half hour doing the transfer, the effect of a lot of unzipping, I suppose.  The flash drive wasn't necessary, but "hiding" the D drive was the fix. 

     

    I plan to do a new backup on the external drive (there is just about enough space), then get rid of the old restore file from the old machine, and perhaps its restored D drive contents, wherever they are.

    What I think will work if someone else has this problem:  Rename the D drive to something else on your new machine, and that might be enough to make it work.  I don't think you have to define a new D drive.  Remember to put the recovery files back on D when you are through.

    What I wish HP had provided me:

    1.  A warning when I marked the D drive for backup, saying "NO NO, THAT'S A BAD THING TO DO".

    2. A note in the documentation warning about this problem.  MS could have warned me about this too, as HP machines are a significant part of its customer base.

    What I wish MS would provide me:

    1.  An easy, reliable way to block restoring to a selected drive, such as the D drive.  It is scary to go through the Administration procedures and rename files, and hope you get them renamed back correctly.

    2. A way to allow restoring to several drives, filling one up, and then filling the next, if necessary.  I've had machines where I had several disks for storing data.  If this were my new machine, and my old machine had all of the files scheduled for the C drive I'd be out of luck if it wouldn't all fit on the new C drive because it wasn't big enough, but C+E were big enough.

    3. Some information on why it couldn't bring some (most) of the .jpg files across, and better instructions on what to do if I really need them.

    Once again, this web site came through for me.  Thank you. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Thursday, March 20, 2008 2:42 AM
  • Thanks for sticking with it and solving the problem. I believe you are correct about changing the D:\ drive to another letter so that the destination PC no longer has the D:\ drive that OneCare will insist to restore to in order to match source to destination.

    I'm still interested in the fact that D:\ was backed up by default in your case. I have to check on a few other PCs, but on the Vista machine I'm at right now, an HP laptop with a D:\ recovery partition, OneCare backup does not select this drive as a source when I look at the exclude dialog when creating a new plan - it is already excluded by default.

    I also think that HP should be hiding the partition from Windows, but then I don't know exactly how their recovery program works. I suspect it needs to be visible since you need to use the provided burning software to create your own recovery DVD/CD set.

    You do point out a limitation of OneCare restore that really needs to be addressed - that is a better restore wizard that allows you to specify the destination for the restored data more easily.

    Thanks again for sticking with it and reporting the solution.

    -steve

     

    Thursday, March 20, 2008 4:43 PM
    Moderator
  • I'm one of the early beta users, so it is possible the system decided to save Disk D back then.  It is equally likely that I decided to do so, but that was far enough back that I forgot if I did it. 

    If I understand the Windows Explorer display, the D drive is actually a partition on the C drive.  I guess that is an irrelevant fact, since that shouldn't make any difference.

    'Thuse

     

    Thursday, March 20, 2008 9:41 PM
  • OK, how do I proceed in the future?  My external drive has a large backup file from my old computer.  I've successfully restored the files on my new computer, and plan to back them up on the same external drive.

     

    1.  In this circumstance, will updates be made on the old backup file, or will the backup generate an all new backup file, leaving the old one out there too?  I do have space for both, for a while.

    2.  If there are two backup files out there, old and new, how do I figure out what are the old file(s), and eliminate it (or them)?

    'Thuse

     

    Friday, March 21, 2008 4:09 AM
  • The old backup will remain until you delete it. The new backup is the foundation for subsequent incremental backups made from now on. When you choose to remove the old backup set, see this post - http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsOneCare/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1698096&SiteID=2

     

    The backups are named with the PC name and will also have dates for the files to help identify them. Within OneCare restore, a custom backup will present you with the two sets in a dialog to choose from if they are both in the same location (as they are...).

    -steve

    Friday, March 21, 2008 3:40 PM
    Moderator
  • Steven, a concluding post.  You may pass it along to your developers or the circular file, your choice.

     

    I understand that OneCare is designed for the novice user, and is limited to capabilities needed by him.  If one needs a power user utility, such as for a sophisticated backup, he is better off using an industrial strength utility for that.  The novice user would be confused by all the knobs to turn on such a package, and is better off with a simple, limited capability which he is more likely to use than something that requires more effort from him.  The present system meets this design requirement well, in general.

     

    If you look at where I had troubles in this thread, and another where I ask questions about how to remove a PC from OneCare, many of the problems that caused me to ask repeated questions had to do with the display design of OneCare. I like to think that I am a pro user, and I'm at least a semi-pro, but some display options baffled me.  I suspect they would baffle a novice even more.  Specifics:

     

    1.  To turn off a drive for backup it was necessary to go to a display that talked about classes of data to include/exclude.  If you wanted to turn off/on specific drives, it was necessary to select a plus sign near one of the icons.  There is no clue on the display about what the function of the plus sign is.  I had to ask questions several times on how to turn on the disk include/exclude display before one of you realized that I was plus sign limited.  This option needs more explanation on the display.

     

    2. To get to the "magic circle" or whatever it is called, where one can add or remove PCs, there are several words on the display closed inside a border that is in fact the icon for the onecare circle.  I never figured this was an icon by myself, and had to be led to that point by one of you guys.

     

    3.  When you get to the onecare circle display, and want to go back to another display, there is no apparent way to do it.  This display needs a "home" icon on it.

     

    In summary, I suggest you get some novice users to exercise the system and make notes of where the displays are not self-documenting to the uninitiated.

     

    "Thuse, the former QA guy. 

    Tuesday, March 25, 2008 8:12 PM
  • Thanks for the great feedback - most certainly not circular file material. :-)

    -steve

     

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008 2:18 AM
    Moderator