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The WHS 2011 client restore NIC driver issue...again! RRS feed

  • Question

  •  Trying to restore my Dell XPS One 2710 after a badly corrupted Windows update screwed the pooch. I did a Windows refresh saving data files.  of course a whole bunch of apps and programs got deleted, including my .Net framework and C++ distributions.  Ugh!  So it was time for the WHS 20011 restore. I know about the apparent need for a 32-bit driver for the Qualcomm Atheros AR8161 NIC.  Did this before on a laptop having a different NIC on board.  So, I found and downloaded a driver set specifically for my computer that contains both 32 and 64 bit drivers for 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista and Server 2003.  Unpacked the files to a Drivers folder on the WHS restore key thumb drive.

    Plugged in the USB drive restore key and started the full system restore.  Went through the process of scanning for and loading the NIC driver.  It did but the NIC was dead (yes, it does work from Windows 10 AND the BIOS).

    Tried deleting all the 64-bit DRI files from the driver install pack file on the restore key.  Restore scan/install said it found and loaded a network driver.  It didn't.

    Deleted the contents of the driver folder on the restore key and loaded the Drivers for a Full System Restore folder from the WHS 2011 backup data set to the thumb drive.  Restore scan/install said it found and loaded a network driver.  It did.  NIC was dead.

    Conclusion: The full system restore program insists on loading 64-bit NIC drivers and they don't work!

    I've looked at every relevant post I can find and I think I've tried everything appropriate.  Does anyone have other suggestions?  Alternative would be to try restoring to a new drive attached to another computer. Dangerous and I assume could have the same NIC issue on the other PC...  Would have to buy a new 2TB drive too.  Ugh...

    Additional question: Some of the posts on this subject are confusing with regard to whether the issue and replies are for WHS v1 or WHS 2011. My issue is for WHS 2011. Can someone please clarify which OS and 32 vs 64-bit NIC drivers are most likely to work in the Full System Restore using the restore key (USB)? I'm also confused regarding the foundation OS loaded from the WHS 2011 Full System Restore Key. I know the ClienRestoreWizard.exe on the WHS 2011 server is for SBS 2011 Essentials which is based on Windows Server 2008 R2. The OS base booted from the restore key is different. If I knew for sure what it was I might be able to sort through and find a NIC driver that works! Again, thanks for any help!

    PS... My NIC is a Qualcomm Atheros AR8161 pci-e gigabit ethernet controller (ndis 6.30) if anyone has any advice specific for this device/driver.
    Tuesday, July 11, 2017 8:55 PM

Answers

  • Got it!!!

    Win7 x64 driver worked.  I had the full set of OS NIC drivers in a USB drive folder assuming "The Wizard" would find the correct one.  Apparently it picks the first x64 driver it finds.  I should have known that.  I copied the win7 x64 driver objects and replaced the win8 x64 driver objects in the Drivers for Full System Restore folder I had placed on the restore boot drive.  The Wizard was happy and I was overwhelmed with joy.

    Now all is well in the old folks home!


    Thursday, July 13, 2017 6:08 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    According to your description, my understanding is that it failed to restore client PC using backup on WHS 2011.

    Please make sure and confirm that you had followed the steps mentioned in “Where can I find the drivers for my hardware” to manually load appropriate driver version:
    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/find-driver(v=ws.11).aspx

    More information about “Using the Full System Restore wizard”:
    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system-restore(v=ws.11).aspx

    Besides, steps mentioned in “WHS Restore, 64 bit workstations and Realtek” can be considered as a reference:
    http://kwsupport.com/2012/07/whs-restore-64-bit-workstations-and-realtek/

    Please Note: Since the web site is not hosted by Microsoft, the link may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this information.

    If the problem persists, please provide the error message of failure restoration. Provide me the screenshot if possible.

    Best Regards,
    Eve Wang

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2017 8:52 AM
  • Thank you very much, Eve.

    I'll start out by saying the computer in question is working fine but needs a restore from a pre-incident backup to recover from a bad Window update that required an OS refresh to get working again.

    As my post indicates, I performed all three suggestions..., many times in fact.  One comment for those who may not know:  F8 is what gets you into the Windows Boot Manager during the boot initiation.  Be quick!  When the advanced boot options screen appears hit "esc" and the OS selection screen appears.  HOWEVER, my several attempts demonstrated that the Full System Restore (x86) or Full System Restore (x64) choices are NOT presented.  instead there is only one choice: windows setup enabled.  It appears that ClientRestoreWizard.exe makes the choice and in my case picked x64..., maybe.  I assume this because when I made only x86 NIC drivers available it didn't find one to use and when I made only x64 NIC drivers available it found one.  Also, when I had to restore a Windows 10 x64 laptop last year and went through the driver finding and restore process successfully I never went into the Windows Boot Manager to chose which OS to load.

    By the way, during the boot process the BIOS has the NIC working fine - lights blinking, then when "The Wizard" finds and installs a NIC driver the lights go out.

    So, did I miss something in the Boot Manager exercise or are those instructions out of date?  I don't suppose the restore environment defaults to x86 at startup, then picks x64 drivers to use.

    In any case, I know the NIC drivers are good because its the same set from which my active driver is from.  I had this problem several months ago trying to restore another computer with the same NIC.  Had to resort to a fresh install, program/app reinstall and file recovery from WHS 2011 (that worked!).  I'm trying desperately to avoid doing a complete rebuild or exploding my All-in-One to get at the hard drive.

    Any other suggestions I would greatly appreciate and gladly tried.



    Thursday, July 13, 2017 2:36 AM
  • Got it!!!

    Win7 x64 driver worked.  I had the full set of OS NIC drivers in a USB drive folder assuming "The Wizard" would find the correct one.  Apparently it picks the first x64 driver it finds.  I should have known that.  I copied the win7 x64 driver objects and replaced the win8 x64 driver objects in the Drivers for Full System Restore folder I had placed on the restore boot drive.  The Wizard was happy and I was overwhelmed with joy.

    Now all is well in the old folks home!


    Thursday, July 13, 2017 6:08 AM
  • Hi,

    I am glad to hear that your issue was successfully resolved. Also, thank you for sharing the details. It might be helpful for other people who has the similar problem.

    If there is anything else we can do for you, please feel free to post in the forum.

    Best Regards,
    Eve Wang

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Thursday, July 13, 2017 6:32 AM